Monday, February 18, 2008

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

I just read the most AMAZING debut novel by Paula Yoo! The book's main character, Patti, is smart, sassy, and incredibley lovable. If you are, or know an intelligent, driven teen you should buy this book! Here's the reviews:

- BOOKLIST (Nov. 17, 2007): Yoo follows her picture-book biography Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story (2005), with a funny, contemporary first novel about a high-achieving high-school senior who struggles between her Korean parents' expectations and her growing desire to shape her own future. Patti, a self-described "B-tier violin prodigy" and class valedictorian, recounts her senior year, in which her first deep crush is a powerful distraction from college applications and her parents? stringent requirements for a "P.K.D." (Perfect Korean Daughter). Like the best comic writers, Yoo uses humor to illuminate painful experiences: "Why does Susan get to be called . . . dork or geek but I always get called Jap or Chink or gook?" Patti wonders. "I'd take geek over gook any day." The frequent lists ("How to Make Your Korean Parents Happy"), SAT questions, and even spam recipes are, like Patti's convincing narration, filled with laugh-out-loud lines, but it's the deeper questions about growing up with immigrant parents, confronting racism, and how best to find success and happiness that will stay with readers. Gillian Engberg

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Patti knows that the only thing harder than calculus, or maybe mastering the cadenza from the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, is being a PKD, a Perfect Korean Daughter. The PKD achieves great grades, shines at extracurriculars and is devoted to her church but never complains or brags. Most important, the PKD never questions her parents' pushing her to get into Harvard, Yale and Princeton and become a doctor or a lawyer. Though witty, linguistically gifted Patti has a number of academic talents, her greatest joy is playing the violin. She knows she's not supposed to rock the Harvard/Yale/Princeton boat but, encouraged by her violin teacher, she applies to Juilliard. Now her dilemma is not her SAT scores or her grades, but how to hide her desire to attend music school from her academically oriented parents. The Clash, a jam session and a new boy at school encourage Patti to break from her PKD shell and see her social life and violin studies in new ways. Teens living through the pressure of college applications and questioning their futures will sympathize with Patti in this enjoyable, funny but not superficial read, which bears many similarities to Alex Flinn's Diva (2006). (Fiction. YA)

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