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Good Enough Hardcover – February 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; aFirst Edition First Printing edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060790857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060790851
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,442,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A funny story that will hit home for many readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Patti’s convincing narration [is] filled with laugh-out-loud lines, but it’s the deeper questions about growing up with immigrant parents, confronting racism, and how best to find success and happiness that will stay with readers.” (ALA Booklist)

“Teens living through the pressure of college applications and questioning their futures will sympathize with Patti in this enjoyable, funny but not superficial read.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Yoo will have teens wondering if Patti can ever measure up, and how she will survive the pressure and heartbreak of her senior year. Short chapters, the teen’s funny occasional SAT tips, and her top-10 lists make this a good options for reluctant readers.— (School Library Journal)

“Caught between cultures, Patti must also learn to navigate her own dreams and aspirations alongside the expectations of others. The author reflects on the hard lessons of adolescence—maneuvering between childhood and adulthood and developing a sense of self—with humor and authenticity.” (KLIATT)

About the Author

From Paula Yoo:

Okay, I admit it. Like Patti Yoon, I play the violin. Yes, I was concertmaster of my Connecticut All-State High School Orchestra. And I snuck out occasionally to see a couple of cool bands (sorry, Mom & Dad). But this novel is a work of fiction. Although I too was forced to undergo a really bad home perm, it burned my left ear, not my right. And there was a cute guy in my homeroom who played rock guitar and asked me to work on a few songs with him, but his name was not Ben Wheeler.

When I'm not writing novels that allegedly have nothing to do with my personal life, I also write TV scripts. I was born in Virginia and grew up in Connecticut. I've also lived in Seoul, South Korea; New York; Seattle; and Detroit. I now live in Los Angeles with my husband, who plays guitar—and yes, we jam occasionally, just like Patti and Ben.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
This book is smart, funny, and genuine.
Erin E. Kono
AHHHHH Paula Yoo's first YA novel, Good Enough, (HarperCollins Feb 2008) totally blew my socks off.
S. Park
Good Enough is not about rebelling against your parents, nor breaking the rules.
Little Willow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. P. Thomas on March 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This stand-out debut novel clearly benefits from Paula Yoo's own life experiences, but is a delightful and engaging piece of fiction unto itself. Like all good speechwriters and storytellers, Paula Yoo opens with a joke, and you're rooting for her heroine Patti Yoon by the bottom of Page One. Cute boys were certainly the center of MY Universe in high school, and Patti's constant distraction by Cute Trumpet Guy is both believeable and, thanks to Yoo's evocative writing, totally understandable.

Immediately and firmly planted in her world, the reader is thoroughly invested in Patti's struggles, and ultimately in her triumphs. Yoo exposes issues of pressure and prejudice with honesty, and Patti learns to stand up against them, pleasing both herself and her reader. I've never even so much as handled a violin, but Patti is such an authentic and accessible character that I, too, found "the scent of rosin dust and the varnished maple wood of [her] violin" comforting. I have just finished the book and am on a trip, but when I return home I plan to try Patti's mom's spam recipe number 3, Spam Kimbap, and in my opinion, any book that can sell me on the idea of buying spam has definitely taken its reader into a new world and gotten its message across.

In addition to brains and talent, there is beauty, strength, and joy in home-perm survivor Patti Yoon, and it's a true pleasure to be with her when she discovers and embraces these qualities. "Good Enough"'s message of self-discovery and empowerment is one all teens should hear, and Paula Yoo deserves the critical praise she is receiving for her artful delivery of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Park on February 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
O.M.G. I feel like I haven't read a really good young adult novel since I took YA Literature last spring with Loretta Gaffney. AHHHHH Paula Yoo's first YA novel, Good Enough, (HarperCollins Feb 2008) totally blew my socks off. Patti is a high school senior with perfect grades and perfect helicopter parents. Although my parents weren't as overbearing as hers, much of the story (including all the SPAM references!) totally resonated with me. My brother and I were expected to perform well in school, be obedient, don't ask questions, be an officer/leader in every club/organization/team, attend church diligently, hang out with good kids, become a doctor and/or lawyer (or marry one, as Patti says), and live happily ever after. Well, neither my brother nor I became a doctor or lawyer (or married one) but I think we're all living happily ever after anyway, and our parents are pretty happy with us too. They tell us (now) that they want us to be happy and be with people who make us happy. And doing just that - being happy - seems like an elusive dream for Patti as she struggles with what is happiness and what is success, and can the two ever be the same? Like a good story, the ending of Good Enough is not neatly tied up but rather leaves open the possibilities for Patti to choose her own path to happiness. (I also posted this review on my blog: readingspark.blogspot.com)

THIS BOOK IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST-READ.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Good Enough by Paula Yoo is the fantastic and funny story of Patti, a Korean-American girl dealing with her parents' expectations and restrictions (Get good grades! Don't date boys! Get into HarvardYalePrinceton!) during her senior year of high school.

Patti is an impressive student and an honored violinist. If only she could celebrate her musical talent herself, on her own terms. Her parents think it's a just another way to get into college, and that prevents her from considering it a true talent. That is, until she meets a trumpet player who makes her think twice about the life her parents have planned out for her and starts thinking for herself.

Good Enough is not about rebelling against your parents, nor breaking the rules. It's about knowing that it's okay to question the rules and to have your own beliefs and dreams.

This book is seriously funny. Don't misunderstand me - the book does not rely on jokes and punchlines, and Patti is not a comedienne. The book is funny because it's true. It relates events that are humiliating when they happen but hilarious in retrospect. It takes SAT problems and applies them to Patti's everyday life. There's plenty of math and music humor mixed in with test prep, church meetings, and college applications. The short chapters are supplemented with footnotes, Spam recipes, and quirky chapter titles, such as How to Make Your Korean Parents Happy. I have read passages out loud to customers. The writing is witty and fun without compromising the reality of Patty's situation. Seriously funny.

Good Enough will definitely appeal to fans of Michele Jaffe's Bad Kitty, Maureen Johnson's Girl at Sea, and Justina Chen Headley's Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Compton on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Paula Yoo's first Young Adult Novel, "Good Enough". I never in my life thought that a young adult novel about a Korean-American girl in high school would mean a thing to me, considering that I'm a middle-aged, gay white male. But I just finished the book with tears in my eyes. It didn't matter that the heroine of the book was a high school girl. It didn't matter that she was Korean-American. It didn't even matter that she had overbearing parents who refused to see what SHE wanted out of life instead of what THEY wanted out of her life. (My parents weren't like that at all.)

What did matter was how universal the theme of growing up and searching for your path in life is to just about everyone. It didn't hurt that one of those paths she wanted to follow was music, as music has played a major role in the path my life has taken. I especially loved the passages where the heroine, Patti, begins to learn about rock and roll; that music isn't only Brahms, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, just as her friend, Ben, begins to learn that music isn't all the Clash, the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

As Patti makes her way through the minefield of her senior year of high school, there are events of extreme joy. There are also events of absolute frustration and sadness. But it all adds up to a story of heartbreaking beauty and hope for the future.

I wish I could have read this book when I was in my late teens. A story like this could have helped me realize that I wasn't alone in my frustration and that despite all the roadblocks, the future is always full of hope and possibilities when you're young. I doubt that knowledge would have changed any of the decisions I made way back then, but it certainly would have helped making them a whole lot easier.
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