Since You Asked...
Maurene Goo. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-545-44821-5
Goo debuts with a drily funny account of a teenager who feels like an outsider in her high school, family, and society in general. Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the headstrong daughter of Korean immigrants, and she regularly butts heads with her mother, who is forever on her case about keeping her grades up and being a respectful member of the family. Holly is also the copyeditor at the school newspaper, and after she jokingly edits a classmate’s column about the new school year (turning it from sappy to sarcastic), Holly’s version is accidentally printed. Instead of getting in trouble, Holly is offered a monthly column, and her sardonic dispatches give Goo’s novel its structure. Because the story moves so quickly through the school year, the minor dramas surrounding Homecoming, Holly’s family’s Christmas trip to Las Vegas, a secret admirer, and other occasions come and go without making much of an impact. Nonetheless, Goo capably demonstrates the pressures and expectations Holly is under, and that a sense of humor is valuable for dealing with both. Ages 12–up. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/20/2013