TWICE AS PERFECT
For seventeen-year-old Adanna Nkwachi, life is all about duty: to school and the debate team, to her Nigerian parents, and even to her cousin Genny as Ada helps prepare Genny’s wedding to Afrobeats superstar Skeleboy (“Skeleboy me, Skeleboy this money, everything na Skeleboy…that Skeleboy!”). Because ever since her older brother, Sam, had a fight with their parents a few years ago and disappeared, somebody has to fill the void he left behind. Ada may never know what caused Sam to leave home, but the one thing she’s certain of is that it’s on her to make sure her parents’ sacrifices aren’t in vain.
One day, chance brings the siblings back together. Although she fears how their parents will react if they find out she and Sam are back in touch, Ada’s determined to get answers about the night Sam left—Sam, who was supposed to be an engineer but is now, what, a poet? The more she learns about Sam’s poetry, the more Ada begins to wonder if maybe her own happiness is just as important as doing what’s expected of her. Amid parental pressure, anxiety over the debate competition, a complicated love life, and the Nigerian wedding-to-end-all-weddings, can Ada learn, just this once, to put herself first?