Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: Since You Asked by Maurene Goo

Title: Since You Asked
Author: Maurene Goo

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic

Length: 262 pages
Original Publishing Date: June 25th, 2013
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: NetGalley

Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture."
Main characters: 4.5/5

Holly's wit and disillusioned view of high school made her perfect to write her rant-y column. Sometimes I would have a little twinge of, "I kind of liked that about high school", but it fit Holly perfectly. Holly was really well developed and being able to see her through an entire year made her really come alive. Mostly, I could really connect with a lot of what Holly was feeling. I think everyone has those moments of hating high school and the popularity contests that come with it, we all struggle with the stress and pressure, and all have issues with our parents. Also, Holly's narrative voice was unique and hilarious.

Secondary characters: 4/5

I was really impressed with how well Goo characterized Liz, Carrie and David. They each had their own quirks and problems to deal with. Especially when the three of them compare their families and parents, you really get a clear glimpse into how each of them are so similar and different. I would have liked a little more development of Holly's family; I feel like we understood that they loved her in their own way, but it wasn't tied up neatly and I wanted to see more connections made between their family.

Writing style: 4/5
The ease of the dialogue and the wittiness of Holly and her friends was funny and refreshing. As someone who lacks a lot of wit, I am always impressed when people can just pull funny out of nowhere. This novel also read so quickly! I read it in pretty much one sitting and Goo's writing left me laughing out loud in some points.

Plot: 4/5
While there weren't a lot of "plot points" per se, everything was realistic because it chronicled a regular year in the life of a high schooler. I love that part of the conflict was Holly attempting to reconcile her Korean background with American culture. The mix of Holly's columns with her descriptions of normal teenage life made the plot move quickly and realistically.

Ending: 2.5/5

I was a little disappointed with the ending. It seemed to end really quickly and not much was wrapped up. While we got a fun last column that detailed some of what happened to Holly, I would have preferred a little more time spent on the ending. 

Best scene: When Holly first gets the column

The fast moving pacing, realistic plot, Holly and her hilarious wit, well-characterized secondary characters

Negatives: I wanted more depth from Holly's family, the ending

Cover: Gah!!! I love this cover, especially the typography.

Verdict: A witty and quick read about a girl struggling through high school; Holly's voice is worth the read!

Rating: 7.6/10 (4 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? How does it compare to other time travel books you've read? Let me know!

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