Girls for Breakfast

David Yoo, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-73192-8
This often hilarious first novel begins on the morning before narrator Nick Park\x92s high school graduation, when he skips out on rehearsal to reflect on his frequently disastrous life growing up in the only Asian family in Renfield, Conn. For instance, he recalls how, at age eight, he acted on his classmates\x92 prejudices by pretending to be a Kung Fu master, even making up his own moves with names like \x93the Triceratops.\x94 Nick is a complicated character, and readers will alternately sympathize with him for his outsider status, and occasionally dislike him for his actions; a Korean girl at church calls him \x93a banana... White on the inside, yellow on the outside,\x94 and he endures racial slurs by his peers, but in his quest for popularity\x97and girls\x97he does mean and creepy things, too. He \x93ditch[es]\x94 his nerdy friend and shows his embarrassment about being seen with the first girl he has sex with when popular kids spy them together. Yoo dots the narrative with 1980s references to bands and songs (Nick talks about \x93French-rolling the cuffs\x94 of his jeans), which may not resonate with readers, but they will find themselves laughing at many of his scrapes, and cheer when he marks the \x93end of the selfish Nick\x94 and finally begins to care less about what others think. Ages 14-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Library Binding - 294 pages - 978-0-385-90227-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 294 pages - 978-0-440-23883-6
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