Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
My rating: 4 /5 stars
Date Read: 4/11/18
American Panda focuses on a Taiwanese American girl name Mei. She is a 17 year old and is starting her first year in MIT. Her parents sacrificed a lot for her and have planned her entire future out. She is to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese guy that her parents approve. Mei however hates germs and has no interest in becoming a doctor. She also has a crush on a guy who is not Taiwanese.
I am half Taiwanese half Chinese and am born and currently live in America. Unlike Mei's parents, my parents are less strict than Mei's when following the Taiwanese and Chinese traditional culture. As long as a get good grades and study hard, they are happy.
Mei's and my life are very different, but they are also very similar. While reading this book, I did learn a lot about the Taiwanese culture that I did not know about. I did understand how Mei was feeling about both cultures and how being raised Chinese (Taiwan is and is not part of China. It is hard to explain) in America and accepting both cultures. It is had. Some of the small things like not knowing and never watching some of the TV shows that most Americans watch and having know idea what they are talking about is something we both have in common and I found that I did relate to Mei a lot throughout the story even though my parents have adapted a American Chinese Taiwanese lifestyle while her parents followed a strict traditional Taiwanese culture.
In this book Mei struggles with the decision of whether or not she wants to follow the path her parents set for her in the future, or confront them and tell them she wants to make her own choice. Her brother did not follow the path he was given my their parents and was actually disowned from the family. This of course makes Mei even more nervous to tell her parents.
This book was cute and I really liked Mei as a character. The writing was the thing that I was not the biggest fan of. I did like it, but it was not the best and it did not blow me out of the water. I felt like this book was missing something that would of made it amazing and I think it was the writing. I thought some parts would be a bit jumpy like it needed another scene to be there before the next scene happened. It may just be me because I know some people really like the writing.
Overall I really did enjoy this book and I would recommend it. It is an own voices book and as an own voices reviewer I can say that the representation is accurate from my point of view.
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