Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Fusion

Today's schedule brings you more Fusion Stories! And limited blather!

These reviews are a little lame though, because I really liked these books. So, it's all THIS BOOK ROCKED! YAY! But seriously, you should read them. The books, not the reviews (well, hopefully you'll read the reviews but... you know what I mean...)

My space bar is squeaky...

Good Enough Paula Yoo

Patti tries to be the Perfect Korean Daughter (PKD). She gets straight As, is active in her youth group, and is an amazing violinist-- her hook to get into HARVARDYALEPRINCETON. But then she meets Ben, aka Cute Trumpet Guy at her auditions for All-State Orchestra. Maybe there's more to life than being the PKD? Is there a way she can please her parents and still do what she wants?

I love this book. I couldn't put it down and the super-short chapters didn't help. I love how Patti described her relationship with music. I love the inclusions of all of Patti's mom's Spam recipes (but not enough to actually try one.) And I really, really loved the ending. More about that here, full of spoilery action.


Girl Overboard Justina Chen Headley

Syrah Cheng seems to have the perfect life-- her dad's one of the richest men in America and whatever she wants is hers.

Except... her parents are never home. Her older (half)siblings hate her. She wants to be a pro-snowboarder but she busted her knee on a fall that should have killed her 6 months ago and her best friend's new girlfriend has put a complete embargo on their friendship.

Oh yes, and her nanny is moving to California and her family is moving to Hong Kong.

There is no snow in Hong Kong.

But... then she meets Lillian, the daughter of her father's new VP, who treats her like a normal person. Then she meets Lillian's sister, who's dying of cancer. Syrah is frustrated at having all the money and connections and the world and being unable to help... but maybe she can help after all.

This is a great book about finding your talents and your family in unexpected places. Syrah is a great character that I would love to be friends with, and not just for her recording studio. I also really like that instead of keeping a standard diary, Syrah draws her entires manga-style.


The Fold An Na

I was a little wary of this one. I was rather underwhelmed by Wait for Me. But I liked this. Before I talk about why though, I'm going to blather a bit. Sorry.


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This song was getting a lot of airplay in Nanjing in 2000. It's unbelievably catchy, but the lyrics touch on something-- I'm not your style... he only likes double-eyelid girls, but with my single eyelid I can't be picky...almond-shaped eyes almond-shaped eyes...

Joyce's family owes her aunt, Gomo, a lot. She's the one who sponsored them so they could move to the US from Korea. But... Gomo can be more than a little over-bearing. When she wins the lottery, she gives everyone a present to make their lives easier, but it's not necessarily what everyone wants. Joyce's gift is a plastic surgery operation to give her eyelids a double-fold. If Joyce can have the "good" eyes, she'll be more pretty, like her perfect older sister, Helen. But... it's someone taking a knife to your eye and Joyce doesn't have a high pain tolerance.

Joyce is not the world's most likable character, but she is very, very real and believable. I like all the consideration she puts into her decision to accept or decline Gomo's present. Even more than her decision about the surgery, this was more a story of Helen and Joyce's relationship. I saw the end revelation coming and wasn't entirely sure it was necessary, but the tension in that relationship kept me enthralled.

An excellent choice.

7 comments:

Becky said...

I really really loved Good Enough! It was so great. I haven't read Girl Overboard yet though it is on the to-do list :)

Jennie said...

I'm glad you also really really loved Good Enough! I hope you like Girl Overboard too. They were both fantastic!

MotherReader said...

I loved the first An Na books, wasn't sold on the second, so I've been waiting to see where the third book would fall. I didn't expect a total surprise, but I'd be happy with a good read and some cultural insight. Thanks for the review.

Jennie said...

MR-- Was the first A Step from Heaven? I haven't read that one yet. I wasn't going to pick it up after Wait for Me but I think I will after The Fold.

MotherReader said...

The first was A Step From Heaven, and I thought it was really well done. I especially liked how the text evolved in sophistication along with the age of the protagonist.

Tarie said...

I liked The Fold too. I think it's an excellent book. :o) I am excited to read Good Enough and Girl Overboard!

Tarie said...

Why am I the only person who did NOT predict Helen's revelation at the end???