Archive for April, 2021

I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson

Genre: Mystery

Number of Pages: 326

Ruthie grew up in Anchorage, but moved away with her mom three years ago. After her mom’s sudden death she is set to return to live with her dad, whom she hasn’t seen since he got sober, and his new wife and stepsister. Ruthie is very excited to see her best friend, Zahra, whom she hasn’t seen since she moved away, but when she texts her to let her know she’s moving back she is surprised not to get a response. When she arrives she goes immediately to Zahra’s house in order to see her, but learns she hasn’t returned home from a big party on Friday night. By Monday morning the entire high school is buzzing with the news that Zahra is missing and Ruthie thinks it’s her job to find her, even if that means skipping school, ditching her step sister, and going against her father’s wishes. As she tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to Zahra, Ruthie begins to learn that the girl she remembers has changed a lot and she isn’t sure why. Has Zahra really changed that much or does Ruthie remember her differently than she actually was? Will she be able to find Zahra before it is too late and what secrets will she stumble across along the way?

This psychological thriller will keep you guessing until the shocking conclusion. The pieces of the puzzle are all there, but it takes awhile to put them together as Ruthie goes on her quest to find Zahra at all costs, no matter who she has to step on in the process. Along the way, Ruthie encounters a variety of interesting characters who all know a little about who Zahra really is and what might have happened to her. Fans of mysteries will be satisfied with the exciting ending.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Genre: Romance/Realistic Fiction

Number of Pages: 406

Frank Li is Korean American and his parents are very serious about him marrying a Korean girl someday. This was especially made apparent when they shunned his older sister simply for marrying a black man. When he begins to like a white girl in his math class he knows it would be a problem if his parents ever found out, but his Korean friend Joy is in a similar situation with her boyfriend so they decide to form a fake relationship so that both of their sets of parents can relax and be happy. As time goes on, however, Frank begins to realize that he does in fact like Joy and he thinks it’s possible he never noticed before because he felt pushed toward her by his parents. He does not want to be with a Korean girl simply because his parents think he should be, but he can’t deny the fact that he has some chemistry with Joy. Meanwhile, he is dealing with other issues such as what college he’s going to get into, how he can better help his parents with their store, and if there is any way to reunite his parents with his sister (whom he misses terribly). Can he make his parents proud without reaching all of the high expectations they have set for him? Can he make his own way in America without losing his Korean heritage? Can he be happy with a Korean girl?

This book cleverly depicts how many pressures are on teenagers from different cultural backgrounds. They are trying to make their way through adolescence while adults around them all seem to have different expectations for them. Frank is trying to balance his Korean heritage with his American upbringing. He knows his parents’ expectations are unfair and at times judgmental considering there aren’t that many Korean families in his community, but he still wants to make them proud, especially once he begins to suspect they are keeping some big news from him. We do not see a lot of books about Asian American culture, so this is a welcome addition to the library collection.


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