** warning some stuff might be given away here*** There are not many books that I want to get rid of, but this made the short list. In fact, it's a book that I want to use to start a little fire with! Ha! J/K... kind of.
The first half of the book I was all in. Ng has a different way of writing that I really like actually. She is able to tell the story from first person, from several points of view in the same few pages, along with having an overall narrator voice as well. She does it in a way that flows really well. I was super impressed.
The opening is quite a grabber. It's like she spent a REALLY long time with the beginning and middle and got it down pact. Then she had to create the second half of the book to match up to the first.
It was like the first half was written by an author that knows what they are doing, and the second half was written by someone in middle school or high school, with little experience in story telling. Two main characters are pretty well-developed and then do things that don't make any sense.
For instance, Mia is a rebellious, selfish woman. For the last 15 years she had dragged her child around the country, moving 43 times (it's in the 40's I don't have my book in front of me to verify the actual number). That is on average 3 times a year, but the story makes it sound like sometimes they are only in one place for a month. What kind of life does that give a child? The story also goes into how both Mia and her daughter Pearl don't ever get attached to anyone because they know they are moving shortly.
Come on... seriously? To have Pearl be so normal and "cool" with her mom chasing her happiness?? That isn't what children are about. Kids want friends. They want family. They want stability. To not ever have furniture (unless they find it for free), to barely have enough food to eat, to not ever put any roots down... all in the name of ART???
So this is the character right... Mia is really, really selfish. If she feels like she is not being inspired by an area, she moves. She doesn't ever think of her daughter Pearl. But Pearl is totally fine with this... and of course brilliant. I guess self-taught, even tough they don't own more than two books, if that, and is constantly changing schools.
Mia is someone that does what she wants. Social norms, family, friends, school, money, job, and her daughter don't have a factor at all in making her decisions. She just does what she wants, if her artistic sides wants to do it.
Then suddenly at the end of the book, some uppity rich white chick TELLS her to leave - TOMORROW - and she does?? Not only does she but she does it in such a dramatic ridiculous way I just can't believe it. She has befriended the Richardson daughter Izzy to a point that this girl feels like Mia is her Mom. Want to live with her and all. But someone tells her to leave so she does, without saying goodbye? Why? It's not like the cops are after her and will put her in jail.
Why doesn't she find another apartment to live in, nearby, so her daughter can continue school. Why would Mia's personality suddenly change to where she cares what someone else thinks or wants for her??? She wouldn't.
I'm so, so, so disappointed that I can't get those hours of my life back that I spent reading this book.
What made me get to the level of burning this book (I don't want to give it to a library or anyone else to read to spread her terrible lies!) is the pro-abortion crap you will find in here.
How Lexie can get an abortion and NOBODY in her life talks about adoption is beyond me. At one point Mrs. Richardson thinks that Bebe Chow might have had an abortion because of the stress she is under going to trial. WHAT???? Where did that come from? This character that is going to trial is fighting for all she's got for her daughter, why would she THINK of aborting a child?
I'm not sure if the author had an abortion or not, but it seems like to me that she wanted to try and make it seem like this is a normal thing that teens do. NO WAY IN HELL WOULD I LET MY KIDS READ THIS BOOK!
I could go on and on about the inconsistencies in this book with the story, themes, and character development. About halfway through all of it falls a part.
Such a waste. This story had so much potential.
Don't waste your time. I wish I would have looked at more reviews.