Review: American Born Chinese — Gene Luen Yang

Read: 87
To Go: 13

Book List
81. The Next Always — Nora Roberts
82. The Single Girl’s To-Do List — Lindsey Kelk
83. The Heart of Devin MacKade — Nora Roberts
84. The Fall of Shane MacKade — Nora Roberts
85. One on One — Peter Mansbridge
86. Girls in White Dresses — Jennifer Close
87. American Born Chinese — Gene Luen Yang

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in. When his family moves to a new neighbourhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god…

Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a basketball player, a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse…

These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant, and action-packed.

Firstly, thank you Brian for lending this to me. Secondly, even if I hadn’t liked the book, I would’ve been grateful to read it, since it was a graphic novel and I was able to finish it in a half an hour. I’m starting to have a new appreciation for the graphic novel genre!

Anyway, I really did love it. American Born Chinese was so funny and clever, and at the same time incredibly sweet and sad. I wasn’t sure how the three stories would come together, but the climax of the story just astounded me. It was a really unique way to bind three seemingly unrelated stories, and drive the underlying message home. And, of course, the illustrations were beautiful. I love Yang’s art style.

I’d definitely suggest reading it. American Born Chinese is great!

Next book: A Tale of Two Cities — Charles Dickens (Nick found me the online version, so I will be reading my first “classic” of the year.)

– Kelsey


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