Are you good enough for your parents?

Dec 01

The question of the evening is, are you

It’s taken me a while since my last post to write about the next YA I read because this one hits way too close to home. So close I was actually really upset right after I put the book down, no joke. For Paula Yoo’s debut, it’s not bad. I’m not Korean American, but the whole Asian-please-your-parents theme is pretty clear. Good Enough reads realistically, with some unbelievable parts like when Patti Yoon wins her concert master challenge even though she didn’t practice. Come on. She’s already getting straight A’s and is going to HarvardYalePrinceton. You’ve got to put something in there that makes her human. Also, if she’s so busy taking 5 million AP classes, doing SAT prep, going to youth group and playing the violin, where is she getting the money to buy all those magazines with Jet Pack on the cover?

I didn’t like the first sentence. I didn’t find the viola jokes funny. I kept reading because I could relate to being an Asian American girl in high school trying your best not to let your parents down. I couldn’t relate to all the spam recipes, but this book made me want to try them for sure. I already know kimchi tastes yummy. I couldn’t relate to youth group, at least not directly. But you can tell that she’s for real. It just struck me as amazing how much Asians put pressure on themselves to be so perfect that it’s the end of the world if even one thing goes wrong. Amazing, yet made me feel angry at the same time and I’m not sure I can explain it in words.

What upset me the most was BEN WHEELER. Patti calls him Cute Trumpet Guy because when she first notices him, it’s at her All-State audition and he plays a note too loud for her to concentrate on trying to get first chair for another year in a row. It’s the typical Asian girl-White boy crush. I won’t go through all the details, but what I never got was how he could flirt with her, burn a CD for her, ask her to jam with him on Saturdays and take her to a Blister concert all to reject her in the end and only like her as a friend. B.S. A load of poop. I’ve actually calmed down a lot, but I wanted to chuck the book against the wall when I first reached the last page. The ending was bad. Yoo fast forwards through Patti’s life then brings her back to the present moment to receive a kiss on the cheek from Ben and her watching him walk off the stage. They do not end up together and that is the most disappointing aspect of all. I learned something about myself from all of this. I LIKE HAPPY ENDINGS! Don’t get me wrong though. You should still read this book. She likes Jet Pack and the cute lead singer is British and yes, he’s a pop artist and she’s secretly embarrassed about it, but hide magazines of the band in her room. One Direction anyone? I had a flashback to my *N’SYNC/BSB age while also playing the violin. Aren’t Asian Americans so predictable? I know she’s really smart, but this book is just as much about music and boys as many other YAs. I just wanted to know if Patti was going to end up with Ben. But HE BREAKS HER HEART, making her cry inside a club.

Maybe White guys are just that sweet, which is why they get all the girls or something. They act like your boyfriend even if they are not your boyfriend. OK, I know that is not true, but it broke my heart when Ben broke Patti’s heart and friendzoned her.

That being said, here’s my favorite part in the book:

“What? Tickets have only been on sale for five minutes. It’s not fair! I do nothing but study all the time! I get straight As! I practice my violin three hours every day! I go to church every Sunday and don’t complain! And do I get any reward for all my hard work? Like one measly little ticket to see Jet Pack in concert? Nope! Nothing! Why do I even bother?

I slump back in my chair. Who cares if I get into HARVARDYALEPRINCETON or Juilliard? Jet Pack has sold out. My life has no meaning anymore.”–pp.205-6