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Bitter Melon MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Bitter Melon tells the story of Frances, a Chinese-American high school student. All of her life, it's only been Frances and her mother depending on each other, and her mother making the decisions with Frances trailing behind. So, when it comes to Frances' future, her mother has the whole thing planned out: Frances will got to med school and get a life much better than the one her mother received. Though, everything changes the day Frances accidentally walks into a speech class with a teacher who's like no teacher she's ever had before. With Speech class, Frances finds a new talent, a talent of public speaking, and soon enough, Frances builds up the courage to tell her mother who she wants to be, but will she be able to rise to the task in the end? Will she be able to tell the women who's done as much as she possibly could for her daughter that she doesn't want med school? Only time will tell in this tale of mother and daughters and the space and secrets that lies between them.
I'm sure everyone here who reads my reviews has had that one big fight or fights with their mother before, thought I doubt it's ever been as the one between Frances and her mother. Frances and her mother are both interesting characters.Read more ›
This book isn't just another contemporary novel. It breaks the mold from the rest, telling an unforgiving raw and real story without all the sugarcoating and sprinkled happiness. Frances' mother is so unbelievably horrible to her, but Cara Chow writes is so naturally, as if it's almost considered okay for a mother to talk to her child like that. But it's not. And this book had me so riled up, wanting to reach through the pages and punch her mother in face repeatedly. And even though I was so angry, I was very pleased. I say this a lot, but any book that can elicit that kind of strong reaction from me is definitely written right.
Not surprisingly, Frances inadvertently inhabits some of her mother's harsh personality. Her thoughts towards classmates and her cousin Theresa were sometimes downright nasty and mean-spirited. I'm not sure if it was intended or not, but either way, it adds another layer of realness onto Frances and her story.
Overall, Bitter Melon is inspiring and harsh and I enjoyed it very much. Even though it seemed to fly under the radar with all of the recent releases lately, I think it's one that deserves a chance and it's definitely one that I recommend to all readers!
Frances is a down-to-earth girl who lives with her MASTER LIKE mother in San Francisco. Her meanest and brutal mother has planned out everything for her: Aching SAT, attends Berkeley, study medicine, and help her mom. Regardless, Frances find something she loves when she accidently enroll in speech class. Here is what I think about Frances: I felt bad for her, I was angry at her, I was proud of her, and I was embarrassed with her. She's a loveable, yet a weak protagonist. And Theresa, Frances's best friend was a nice person and a well-formulated supporting character. As well as Ms. Taylor, Frances's Speech teacher (or mentor--depends on how you see it). In contrast, Frances's mother was the cruelest, meanest, and inconsiderate person, ever. She's abusive.
At first, I thought the situation between Frances and her mother was a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, Frances's mother acts like she's pouring support and caring, but truly, selfishness has tied her down. No matter how supportive and brutal she gets, her ultimate goal is to help herself.
I loved this book from the start; however, a little part of me wanted to see a lot of rage and resentment from the protagonist, Frances. At the end, some points were left loosen: Frances relationship with her mom, best friend, and Derek (her boyfriend, I think I can call him that).Read more ›
Chinese-American Frances has grown up in a cramped apartment with her single mom in San Francisco. The story takes place in the 1980's and obviously, Frances doesn't have access to internet, cell phones or social media, making her isolation from the mainstream all the more possible. Frances is truly withdrawn and mentally beats herself up for always falling short of her mother's impossible expectations.
The mother in Bitter Melon is incredibly unlikeable. I would have liked seeing some more shades of grey for a more nuanced and compelling story. The book opens with a disgusting scene where Frances is being forced to massage her mother's stomach as her mother loudly belches due to her ongoing stomach problems. Even allowing for the fact that the mom is very hurt at being abandoned by her wealthy husband and forced to raise her daughter alone and close to poverty, it's impossible to work up any sympathy for her. She is tone-deaf to any of her daughter's feelings and seems to enjoy constantly putting Frances down, fearing that any kindness will make her daughter too soft. The mother's plan for Frances to go to med school so that she can treat her mother for free and finally work out her stomach problem seemed idiotic to me. It's hinted that it's a pretty serious problem, possibly even stomach cancer... wouldn't she be dead by the time her daughter finally finishes medical school?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Bitter Melon has become one of my absolute favorite books. I got this book as a gift from one of my teachers in seventh grade. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Woodland Park Writer
The writing is clear and personal so much you feel all the emotions troubles and victories and its beautiful! FABULOUSPublished on February 14, 2014 by J.P
As a young adult book, this is very well done. The story is well-written and the characters are complex. Read morePublished on September 27, 2012 by Heather
Frances plays the dutiful daughter, fulfilling her mother's ambitions to get good grades, be subservient and strive toward the best college and medical school. Read morePublished on June 20, 2012 by Lisa Ard
A Chinese girl with a "Tiger Mom" finds the courage to escape from violent physical and emotional abuse, but not without some carry-over effect on her own relationships.Published on June 18, 2012 by J. Grambo
Frances has been a good girl all her life, but when she gets put in speech class instead of calculus, her rebellion begins against her traditional Chinese mother, and what her... Read morePublished on March 9, 2012 by Rebecca Clouser
Frances world in one filled with strict tradition (and not the fun Fiddler on the Roof kind....). Although she is 17 and her and her mother live in a one bedroom apartment in San... Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by Sheila A. Dechantal