Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: Since You Asked by Maurene Goo

Title: Since You Asked
Author: Maurene Goo
Pages: 272
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Maurene Goo skillfully weaves a story cultural values, high school problems, and a teen girl’s hectic life in the book Since You Asked.

Holly Kim has always been a nobody. Just the Korean American girl that everybody ignores. But when she accidentally submits a newspaper article filled with negative comments about the school, Holly’s no longer a nobody. But that’s not all the trouble Holly’s facing. No, high schoolers have more than just one problem, a truth Holly can definitely consent to.

A secret admirer, a new crush, strict Korean parents, weird problems have taken over, and Holly’s life has totally taken a strange turn. First of all, a secret admirer. Someone who likes Holly? Unheard of. And the new crush? After interviewing one of the most popular guys in the school, who isn’t what he seems, Holly’s head over heels. But the parents are the worst part. With a crazy, vindictive mother and a father who doesn’t normally side with Holly, things are never fair. Whether she likes it or not, Holly’s in for a strange sophomore year.

My favorite character in this book is Holly. She’s witty, funny, a great friend - what’s not to like about her? As she faces each problem, her reactions are entertaining and easily kept me hooked. Angry, sad, or confused, Holly’s a character I enjoyed reading about. Adding to that, Holly is a very stubborn character. If she believes in something, she will follow through, a trait that I admire. And though my life isn’t like Holly’s, I understood what she was going through, and instantly connected with her when the story started.

As Holly encounters one problem after the other, this tale is told with skill and precision so that readers don’t get bored easily. Maurene Goo fills the story – and characters – with life. Everything is interesting, and nothing is simple. One problem blends smoothly into another, and readers are thoroughly entertained for all 272 pages of this book.

But the part I liked the most about this book is how there were multiple plot lines. For example there would be one problem, and then it would be dropped, but would be solved in the end. This ties the book together so there aren’t any large – there are some – cliffhangers in the story.

The biggest thing that I didn’t like about this book is the main plot: a girl having trouble dealing with her life, in and out of school. While Maurene writes an entertaining story, the plot is very clich├ęd. There have been dozens of books written about people not fitting in, each having to face problems. And after reading so many of them, the plot begins to wear down. Otherwise, I loved this book and the problems Holly must face.

Join Holly as she faces the problems of 10th grade in the book, Since You Asked by Maurene Goo. If you like realistic fiction, then this book is one that you will like.

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