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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Cultures Class
I use the book for my ninth grade World Cultures students to highlight cultural prejudice as well as modern Asian history & culture. They relate to it easily as it's told through the voices of American teenagers. Once they start, they always read through it faster than the schedule I have set for the class. A good read with great lessons!
Published on June 8, 2006 by Steven A. Sitz

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important Issue, Not the Best Writing
I read this book in middle school a few years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. I happened across it again on a list of books that my Honors World Literature and Composition class could choose from to read outside of class. I decided to read it again and this time I was sorely disappointed. What had been a captivating read in middle school fell flat in high school. While...
Published on March 7, 2010 by Karly B.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important Issue, Not the Best Writing, March 7, 2010
This review is from: Mismatch (Hardcover)
I read this book in middle school a few years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. I happened across it again on a list of books that my Honors World Literature and Composition class could choose from to read outside of class. I decided to read it again and this time I was sorely disappointed. What had been a captivating read in middle school fell flat in high school. While the core issue is important to discuss, in my opinion the author did not portray some aspects of the book well at all.

For example, Sue's friends were constantly grouping Andy and Sue as coming from the same country because they are Asian-American. While it is difficult to tell Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, etc. apart, I find it difficult to believe that Sue's friends would be quite as ignorant about different cultures as they were. I attend a high school that has little diversity, but I know that a majority of the people would not make the mistake of grouping all Asians together as one culture. Also, as other reviewers mentioned, Sue's friends were very one-dimensional. They were mentioned a few times throughout the book and usually they only popped up to make cringe-worthy remarks about how all Asians are from the same country as well as to gossip about Sue and Andy's relationship.

Pertaining to the relationship itself, I found the lack of physical intimacy unrealistic. It seemed as though they would make better friends than a couple. There are a few physical moments, and several rather out of place moments where Andy found himself wanting to "kiss Sue hard." While I appreciate that the book wasn't overly crude, it seemed as though there should have been more chemistry between the two characters than there was.

Finally, as other raters have discussed, the balance of historical fact and interesting story line was tipped slightly in favor of historical fact in this book. There were several scenes where the overload of history made me lose interest. The facts themselves were interesting, but they should have been spread out more or relayed in a less text-book-like manner.

While this book has its flaws, it still sheds light on important issues. While not all Caucasians are as racially ignorant as they were portrayed in this book, there are many that need to be be aware of different Asian cultures. Lensey Namioka writes a good book for middle school students, and perhaps some high school students, but it is difficult for this book to penetrate anyone beyond high school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Cultures Class, June 8, 2006
This review is from: Mismatch (Hardcover)
I use the book for my ninth grade World Cultures students to highlight cultural prejudice as well as modern Asian history & culture. They relate to it easily as it's told through the voices of American teenagers. Once they start, they always read through it faster than the schedule I have set for the class. A good read with great lessons!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MIsmatch, June 13, 2006
This review is from: Mismatch (Hardcover)
"After all, what's wrong with flirting with a Japanese American boy?" Sue's friends think that Sue and Andy would be a perfect couple; they're both Asian. Sue isn't so sure though. Of course she likes him, but she's not so sure her family will. Her grandmother lived through the Japanese invasion of China and has disliked the Japanese ever since. Wouldn't going out with Andy be disrespectful to her and the other Chinese who suffered?

Sue meets Andy at orchestra tryouts at her new school. Right away she likes him and can tell he likes her as well. The problem hits when she finds out his name, Andy Suzuki. Suzuki is a Japanese name. She decides that going out to the local sandwich shop after orchestra with him isn't too disobedient, but when he asks her to go to the movies with him, she declines. Andy doesn't understand her rejection until she tells him her reasoning. Then, when he asks his parents what they think of the Chinese, he finds out his dad isn't too fond of the "dirty and backward" people from China. Sue and Andy struggle with keeping their relationship from their parents. Also, Sue isn't sure if she will be able to go on the orchestra's trip to Tokyo and both have to deal with discrimination at school.

I thought the idea for this book and the information given in it were terrific. I didn't, however, enjoy the writing of it so well. The relationships, especially Sue and Andy's, didn't progress very well. There wasn't much growth from beginning to end. Also, Sue's friends seemed two-dimensional. They didn't have unique or specific personalities. To me this book served more as a textbook than the fictional novel that is was intended as.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fact(s) or fiction?, December 14, 2007
This review is from: Mismatch (Mass Market Paperback)
I didn't read up on any reviews before I bought this book. I happened upon it by chance in a bookstore, and after reading the brief summary on the back, found it interesting. However, it seemed the reading level was fairly low. It seems to be recommended for Grades 7-10, or 6-9, but even then it is a bit disappointing.

I agree with a reviewer earlier who said it seemed more like a collection of facts than an actual work of fiction. It is interesting to explain certain words, historic terms, etc. but to do them to such a degree as is presented here creates a didactic feeling and leaves the reader feeling a bit bored.

In addition, some of the aspects of this book seem greatly exaggerated. Sue's friends are COMPLETELY one-dimensional; I'm sure I'm not the only one who's experienced similar confusion about racial issues from friends, but in all honesty, I don't think most 15-year-olds are that dense about race, upper-class-prediominantly-white school or not. And Sue herself seems incredibly sensitive about her race from the beginning, which doesn't strike me as realistic.

On the whole I'd been rather excited to read this book, but it ended up being less of an intellectual challenge and was not that satisfying. Maybe those in middle school and early high school would appreciate it more, but any older than that is stretching it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., November 16, 2006
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This review is from: Mismatch (Library Binding)
I have read and enjoyed Lensey Namioka's series about the Yang family. This is the first of her YA novels I have read, and I'm sad to say I couldn't get into it. There are many places where the presenting of historical and/or cultural information overwhelms the plot, almost giving a nonfiction impression.

The romance between the main characters progresses from the first "I like him/her" all the way to...touching hands a few times and one hug. I certainly wouldn't expect to find anything explicit, but it seems to me that most YA readers wouldn't understand why such a chaste couple calls themselves boyfriend and girlfriend. Occasional hugs and some kisses now and then would come closer to reality for most high school readers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cultures, May 6, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Mismatch (Mass Market Paperback)
Andy and Sue, two Asian orchestra students in high school, like each other a lot. They sound like a good match, right? In the book Mismatch by Lensey Namioka, Andy and Sue are attracted to each other, but they know their families would not approve of them dating. Sue is Chinese-American, and Andy's family is from Japan. Generally, the Chinese and Japanese do not get along. Will Andy and Sue's families allow them to date?

This book was a pretty quick read and it held my interest. I enjoyed it because it was easy to relate to Sue and Andy. This book did a great job of showing readers that Sue and Andy both wanted to respect their cultures, but they also wanted to respect themselves through dating someone from a different background. I learned a lot about Chinese and Japanese traditions by reading this story. I enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it to other teenagers who are looking for a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cultures, May 6, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Mismatch (Mass Market Paperback)
Andy and Sue, two Asian orchestra students in high school, like each other a lot. They sound like a good match, right? In the book Mismatch by Lensey Namioka, Andy and Sue are attracted to each other, but they know their families would not approve of them dating. Sue is Chinese-American, and Andy's family is from Japan. Generally, the Chinese and Japanese do not get along. Will Andy and Sue's families allow them to date?

This book was a pretty quick read and it held my interest. I enjoyed it because it was easy to relate to Sue and Andy. This book did a great job of showing readers that Sue and Andy both wanted to respect their cultures, but they also wanted to respect themselves through dating someone from a different background. I learned a lot about Chinese and Japanese traditions by reading this story. I enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it to other teenagers who are looking for a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Glimpse Into CrossCultural Relationships, April 30, 2014
This review is from: Mismatch (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this book because I learned about the tense relationships between some Chinese and Japanese individuals. I liked the fact that, like me, Sue and Andy are musicians and I can relate to them.
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Mismatch
Mismatch by Lensey Namioka (Hardcover - February 14, 2006)
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