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A book about an Asian-American that we actually liked?

May 7, 2007
by

Before we get to the chat, let me just say that there aren’t too many.

Gayle: I think some authors like to qualify too much the characters being of a different race. Have either of you read the Dating Game series. One of the main characters is Asian.
Trisha: No. I tried the first one, but didn’t finish it.
Gayle: OMG there’s a total trend that I’ve noticed, we can’t finish these books featuring Asian-American characters.
Gayle: Poor writing?
Jolene: Poor writing and uninteresting characters and plot.
Trisha: Didn’t finish Mismatch. Did I mention that already?
Gayle: Me neither, I didn’t finish Mismatch. What about Kira Kira?
Trisha: Didn’t finish. Haven’t tried Weedflower yet.
Gayle: I actually liked Kira Kira.
Jolene: I liked Wait for Me by An Na. I thought it was interesting and kinda reminded me of the movie “Better Luck Tomorrow,” where the protagonist can’t live up to the Asian stereotype.
Trisha: Didn’t finish Wait for Me. The protagonist couldn’t live up to the Asian stereotype, but the mother was too stereotypical.
Jolene: But that’s how most Asian mother’s are.
Trisha: Which is why it’s a stereotype, right? I guess, in the parts that I read, the mother never moved beyond the stereotypical. Maybe I should’ve given it more of a chance? In Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) (which I did finish), the mother starts off similarly, but she did have more depths, I guess you could put it.
Jolene: That’s true, but how else would she [the mother in Wait for Me] react to–

**spoilers cut**spoilers cut**spoilers cut**

Gayle: All the books we like have characters who go beyond the stereotypes as actual characters, not as prefabricated ideas of a certain race.

Trisha: So how many books are there that we liked? I think there are some books that I admire more than I liked.
Gayle: I liked three: Fly on the Wall, Samurai Girl, and A Step From Heaven.
Trisha: Liked: Fly on the Wall. Admired for one reason or another, but otherwise mixed feelings: Fresh Off the Boat; Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). Oh, and Haters, even though the Asian girl is not the main character.
Jolene: Wait for Me, Name Me Nobody, Kiki Strike (still reading). Need to read more.
Trisha: Oh yeah, liked Name Me Nobody and Kiki Strike.
Gayle: Guess I should read Kiki Strike.

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