17 February 2018

American Panda - Gloria Chao | it was painful to read how Mei's relatives acted

contemporary young adult
From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.
after I checked out the plot and the cover of this book
I expected a mostly cute ya romance with some serious undertones
I expected to read about some old traditions
that constrict the younger generation
I also expected to read about a family who in the end learns to adapt to the now
I expected many cute and hilarious scenes
what I didn't expect were parents and grandparents who had such narrow minds
that they nearly managed to destroy their family
characters so unwilling to move on from the past and old traditions
that it was at times very frustrating and nearly painful
there were scenes in which Mei, the female main character, had some space to be free
to find out what she wants from life
however the family issues were always present
they overshadowed everything
and made it hard for me to enjoy the lighter moments
I don't think that the author exaggerated the behaviour of Mei's family
however I'm a wimp and prefer to read about happy and positive things
I'm sure that there are readers who will enjoy this novel
because it doesn't shy away from portraying painful family dynamics
don't be fooled by the lovely cover and expect a cute ya romance
that's just not what this book is at its core. 

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