Title: Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now
Author: Dana L. Davis
Start date: March 13, 2018
Finish date: March 17, 2018
Note: Special thanks to Harper Collins for providing an ARC for review.
✧✧✧✧/5 (3.5/5 rounded up)
There is so much more to this book than what the summary describes. There’s a certain level of complexity here surrounding the characters’ relationships, the plot, and dialogue that is rare in YA contemporaries.
This book incorporates OCD, anxiety issues, PTSD, autism, and psychosomatic induced alopecia into the storyline. At first, it feels like the author was trying a little too hard to cover as many mental health disorders as she could, but it did not distract from the story or challenges Tiffany was facing, and I was able to learn a bit about each of these conditions. Of course, this is not an official source for mental health, however I thought Davis did a great job interweaving these mental illnesses with the characters. We see the drawbacks of not doing proper research before interacting with a child on the autism spectrum, we see the challenges people with OCD and anxiety face daily, and we get an intimate look at how family members and friends can learn to assist people with mental illnesses.
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Title: The Astonishing Color of After
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Start date: February 9, 2018
Finish date: February 9, 2018
Note: Special thanks to Hachette Books for providing a digital copy for review.
I love, love, LOVE THIS BOOK. This has everything I love in it: beautiful and lyrical writing, an accurate representation of Taiwanese culture, wonderful characters who develop and mature through the novel, a slow burning romance that does not take away the grief and identity of our protagonist, and I could go on, which I will in this review.
This was the type of book I wish I had read as a teenager because it does an incredible job of flawlessly depicting Taiwanese culture, and I was sorely missing that during those years. So far, I can think of one novel that does a good job at it, but it doesn’t excel at it nearly as much as Emily X.R. Pan’s debut novel. WHERE HAS THIS BOOK BEEN ALL MY LIFE? It’s safe to say I could not put this book down for many reasons.
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Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Start date: January 26, 2018
Finish date: January 31, 2018
Note: Special thanks to Simon Pulse for providing a digital copy for review.
I FEEL LIKE A TRAITOR. After ranting in previous book reviews about how few Taiwanese YA authors there are, I almost feel bad about giving American Panda, also written by a Taiwanese author, a 2.5/5 rating, but I really didn’t like this book. This may have been something I would have loved as a teen, but I’d like to think it would have been a more superficial type of attraction; one that focuses more on the fact that there weren’t many female Taiwanese protagonists out there, and so I’d feel compelled to give it a 5/5 for the sake of seeing myself represented in a novel. This is not the case anymore.
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