Well, guess who blew her 2014 Goodreads reading challenge out of the water and by the beginning of August?
This lady right here. I upped my book challenge from 12 to 15 books because I finished book 12 back in July.
By happenstance the majority of books I read this year are by authors who are women and writers of color, which I think is quite good considering I enjoy and thus gravitate toward mainstream YA fiction. I grew up consuming this genre, which I love, but am painfully aware of how it is not all that diverse.
I delved more into YA and kid lit this year to recapture the early reader experience of experiencing another’s point of view for the first time. More accurately the first of many times, but that’s another blog post. I now have a better understanding of what inspired my obsession with reading at a young age. I would like to continue reading more in this genre for the rest of Summer.
Book Review: Good Enough
This is a fun read with an added bonus of the protagonist’s perspective being that of a young WOC! This novel focuses on Patti, written with flaws and a good sense of humor, as she recounts the stress-filled college application experience during her senior year of high school.
This is an absolutely American story which happens to be from the lens of a first-generation American with immigrant parents. She juggles the near-impossible expectations of her parents, her Korean-American community, and societal ladder of her small New England town, while sharing Korean comfort food recipes and top ten lists of amusing ways she deals with making sense of her world.
What I liked most about this novel is that I easily related to the Patti’s experience as I remembered my own days of university interview and application experiences.
While I recognize that her home life story is an experience common to many, I can also see how it would reinforce a certain first-generation American, particularly Asian-American trope. The one about having parents so singularly focused on instilling superior educational and extracurricular achievements to make their kids competitively qualified for a top American university, that they come off as one-dimensional and interchangeable– I’m talking about parents who are devastated that their student got a B+ on one test (not a final exam) and are legitimately worried it will bring shame on their entire family when others find out.
I look forward to reading more from Ms. Yoo.