Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Target Audience: 12+
Rating: A+ (96%)
Goodreads Rating: 5/5
There’s no surprise that this book was the winner of the 2020 Australian Independent Booksellers Indie Book Award Nominee for Young Adult. It’s such an amazing book!
When I read this book, I wasn’t expecting a serious, mental health focused novel that covers racism and the prospect that you don’t always know what someone else is going through. That’s exactly what this novel does. It was such an incredible book that dives into family, and standing by them especially when it gets tough.
The characterisation in this one blew me away. It was so easy to pick apart the characters, to see who they really are. Or sometimes you can’t, because that’s just how it’s supposed to be. To be honest, my favourite character based on characterisation alone has to be Anna Chiu’s (the main character) mother. I could never predict what she was going to do, but that was how it was supposed to be, and it was so well-done.
My favourite character in general, for just being a good character, is Anna’s sister Lily. I don’t know why, just ’cause! She’s great.
The plot starts off slow. It present the driving plot with their mother straight away. The subplot then becomes Anna’s desire to help her father at his restaurant where they hire a new delivery boy. Then there’s the romance plot. It was done so well!
I highly recommend!
Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.
But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.
A nourishing tale about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family, and the surprising power of a good dumpling.
The break down of my rating:
Style & Tone: 9/10
Enjoyment Factor: 10/10