Tag Archives: contemporary

[Review and Q&A] American Panda – Gloria Chao

Book Title: American Panda (Standalone)
Author:     Gloria Chao
Number of pages:  320

Synopsis:

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

(re: Goodreads @ American Panda by Gloria Chao)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– First generation Taiwanese American protagonist beginning university at MIT at age 17 (one year earlier than her age cohort)
– Struggles of culture and family expectations balanced against protagonist’s passion and her struggle with germaphobia being a hindrance to her current success at school
– The setting/world building is lush with Chinese culture re: traditions, idioms, food, art, values, etc.
– Heavy on the instalove romance with a Japanese love interest

Initial Thoughts

Like looking into a mirror.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of American Panda from Simon and Schuster Canada.


Continue reading [Review and Q&A] American Panda – Gloria Chao

The Thinker Awards – Best in 2017 Fiction

Thinker Awards is posted under the umbrella of Top Ten Tuesday, an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it’s yearly prompt of “favourite books of x year”.

The Thinker Awards:
Best in 2017 Fiction

Initial Thoughts:

Welcome to this year’s installment of the Thinker Awards, a yearly book awards ceremony hosted here on my blog showcasing the best of the best in fiction experienced during 2017. The esteemed panelists joining me in this year’s celebration are contributors and friends of mine from the YA community –

 2017 Thinker Award Panelists:

Sarah (at) The Book Traveler
J. M. (at) Book Freak Revelations
Fadwa (at) Word Wonders
Mishma (at) Chasing Faerytales
Val (at) The Innocent Smiley
Joey (at) Thoughts and Afterthoughts

The only rules I gave my panelists is that their choices had to have been experienced and/or read for the first time in 2017 (no re-reads), so winners not exclusive to 2017 releases only even if “best of 2017 fiction” is used.

But I’d like to hear from you! Which book would you give the award of “Best Overall Book of 2017“?

Happy scrolling!

Continue reading The Thinker Awards – Best in 2017 Fiction

[Review] Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds

Book Title: Long Way Down (Standalone)
Author:     Jason Reynolds
Number of pages:  320

Synopsis:

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

(re: Goodreads @ Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– A fully formed story with 99% of the words removed, seriously.
– Claustrophobic and introspective realistic fiction with themes of gun violence, power, and family at the heart of it all
– Setting and characters may not be discretely described but they act as vessels to this cyclical story that can apply anywhere

Initial Thoughts

My first verse novel ayyyy.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Long Way Down from Simon and Schuster Canada and at Book Expo.


Continue reading [Review] Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds