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review: “good enough” January 28, 2010

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goodenough

Good Enough by Paula Yoo.
HarperTeen // Hardcover // 336 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.

Think you’ve got pressure? Try Patti’s life! Her Korean-American parents have high standards: she must be perfect. That means a perfect score on the SATs, getting into an Ivy League school (HarvardYalePrinceton), playing her violin and being concertmistress, and never once letting boys get in the way. But when Patti starts to fall short of her parent’s expectations and meets Ben, her eyes are opened up into a new world. What if she doesn’t want the same things that her parents do?

Patti, I hear you, I do.

Confession: I was a huge overachiever in high school. We’re talking four different orchestras (regular, chamber, pit, quartet), choir, Key Club, reading club, and a total of eight AP courses, seven Honors courses, and the only regular courses I took were gym and Spanish, my “consumer education” requirement, and my one guilty pleasure — photography.

So when I say, “Patti, I hear you” — I really, really mean it.

While this book is definitely about an overachiever with parents pushing her to do better — I really think anyone will be able to relate to parental pressure and trying to live up to expectations. And if you can’t relate (which seems unlikely to me), just laugh because I can assure you there’s a lot of opportunities to chuckle peppered throughout the book.

The supporting characters are awesome. Ben reminded me of my illegal band crush (band and orchestra do not mix — ever!), and I was so glad with how the book dealt with Ben and Patti’s friendship/relationship.

I was pretty shocked that this was a debut novel — it did not read like one. Also, I’ll definitely be adding this to my “Unsung YA” list next year — this book is truly one of my favorites now.

I rooted for Patti from page one, wanting her to figure out what *she* wanted in life instead of following the plans her parents set before her. I think YA readers will too.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
Paula Yoo

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Comments»

1. Wendy - January 28, 2010

“I was pretty shocked that this was a debut novel — it did not read like one.” That’s a great (and true) compliment! I agree, I thought this was so competently and joyfully written. I can’t wait to find out what the author will write next.

2. Sarah - January 28, 2010

This is nominated for state book award next year! Maybe it’ll not be as unsung then 🙂 Great review!

3. Jan@eatingyabooks - January 28, 2010

Wow! I have a lot of students who would love to read this book. Me too. I stopped by to congratulate you on the Kreativ Blogger award, and I see why Natalie nominated you. I am definitely buying this one to have on my classroom shelf … after I read it first!

4. Abby - January 28, 2010

Yaaaay for Good Enough! I loved this book!


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