I couldn’t go through life as a shadow.
Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Page Count: 311 pages
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.
But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
This book made me laugh out loud, it made me cringe and it made me cheer and shout for the main character! What a touching story about a girl who breaks some of the hardest bonds while creating healthier ones. I breezed through this one and was so touched by it. Mei was just so LIKEABLE. I found myself nodding along to everything she did and said.
The biggest reason I connected with this story was because I too am a child with two cultures blended in me. I connected to her thoughts and her way of thinking. It’s so important for children of immigrates and refugees to find a balance between the outside world and the home world. Once a balance is struck and you accept that you are a part of BOTH worlds it really helps you become confident and comfortable within yourself.
Thank you Gloria for sharing this wonderful book! I’m so excited to see what you bring to us next.