Terry Farish's "The Good Braider" is a beautiful, lyrical novel that tugged on my heartstrings in many moments. It's the story of a teenage African girl named Viola who survives hardships in her homeland to travel with her family to America in search of a better life, out of the heart of war. The novel is written in verse, and the flow of the language and Viola's voice feels authentic and heartfelt. I really gained a sense of who Viola was and how much she cared for her family, alongside the fear she feels in her homeland. She endures some horrid tragedies, yet expounds upon them with a maturity that I couldn't help but admire. I was glad to see that, through the hardships she relives and ultimately comes to terms with, she finds happiness as she pursues an education, and finds a relationship with a boy who cares for her. The book proved a fast read for me, and I think it's one that young adults would appreciate for not only the voice of the young woman and her respective experiences, but also gain a sense of what its like moving from one country and adjusting to life and common place ideals and values in another. In the end, Viola stands as a strong character that's hard not to feel proud of in her respective accomplishments and happiness.Overall score: 4/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Marshall Cavendish.