Book Reviews

Review: The Search for Us by Susan Azim Boyer

I enjoyed Susan Azim Boyer’s debut, Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win so I’ve been looking forward to the next one. And as someone who is adopted, I was even more excited for The Search for Us! Keep reading this book review to see my full thoughts.


Two half-siblings who have never met embark on a search together for the Iranian immigrant and U.S. Army veteran father they never knew.

Samira Murphy will do anything to keep her fractured family from falling apart, including caring for her widowed grandmother and getting her older brother into recovery for alcohol addiction. With attendance at her dream college on the line, she takes a long shot DNA test to find the support she so desperately needs from a father she hasn’t seen since she was a baby.

Henry Owen is torn between his well-meaning but unreliable bio-mom and his overly strict aunt and uncle, who stepped in to raise him but don’t seem to see him for who he is. Looking to forge a stronger connection to his own identity, he takes a DNA test to find the one person who might love him for exactly who he is―the biological father he never knew.

Instead of a DNA match with their father, Samira and Henry are matched with each other. They begin to search for their father together and slowly unravel the difficult truth of their shared past, forming a connection that only siblings can have and recovering precious parts of their past that have been lost.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I’ve always loved the idea of a DNA test, even though I’ve never take one. The Search for Us begins with a quest to find a missing father, but it quickly becomes a story about family, about our relation to our family, and the past. I quickly became attached to Samira and the way she is an over fixer, someone who is trying to fix everything to avoid looking within. I felt personally attacked by how spot on that was! But I think what kept me reading is the way Samira and Henry explore their family and their own relationship to family.

To the ways they can disappoint us, show up for us, and try to protect us. It can feel that family is demanding so much from us. To have us give up everything, chipping away pieces of ourselves, but for Samira and Henry they have to figure out how to ask for help, how to speak openly, and see if they can find some answers. There are these answers we pin hopes to, questions we think will unlock something magical. And then we find out that sometimes answers don’t provide what we thought they would. Lingering questions become unfinished answers.

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The Search for Us is an emotional book which deeply connects readers with Samira and Henry. The weight that can fall on our shoulders and everything we’ve missed. It’s a story about aching for answers, about being disappointed in people we think should have our backs, and about finding others who will support us. Find The Search for Us on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


What is your favorite book with a DNA test?

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