Subway Girl

P.J. Converse, HarperTeen, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-157514-3
Amy Lee stands out in Hong Kong with her purple-streaked hair and fiery personality, but when mellow yet ambitious Simon Chan finally gathers the confidence to approach her in the subway station, they develop a surprising relationship, balanced between friendship and romance. Simon's parents run a small odds-and-ends shop and have high hopes for him to be the first high school graduate in the family, but he struggles with learning English, and is in danger of failing out of school. Originally from San Francisco, Chinese-American Amy attempts to tutor him, but their bond is threatened when she discovers that she is pregnant by her now ex-boyfriend and needs Simon's help to get an abortion without her mother finding out. The frequently alternating points of view highlight the teens' unique problems as well as the struggles they share, which involve the academic and social pressures associated with Chinese culture and adult life. Debut author Converse writes straightforward and sometimes lyrical prose, well suited to this story of wanderlust, dreams, and the forces that both bring people together and pull them apart. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-06-157515-0
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-206981-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-4864-5
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