You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Bitter Melon by Cara Chow

Description

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school.  But is being a doctor what she wants?  It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent.  Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her?  Set in the 1980s.

About the Author

Cara Chow was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where Bitter Melon is set.  She attended an all girls' Catholic high school, competed in speech, and had an encouraging speech coach, which served in part as the inspiration for her novel.  She was a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow in 2001. In addition to writing, Cara also teaches Pilates. She currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and son. Bitter Melon is her first novel.

Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606841262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606841266
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER
MY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

Every once in awhile I come across a book that really hits me emotionally and Cara Chow's Bitter Melon is one of those books.  It filled me with pleasure, a bit of sadness and a some triumph.  The characters just jump off the page and the dialogue just flows perfectly.  This story is set in the 1980's but you would only pick up on the decade once or twice since the story is really quite contemporary.  I loved how the author took on such themes as tradition and duty versus independence and individualism. 

Frances finds herself in that in between world of family values and that teen need for independence.  She is expected to become a doctor and support her mother after graduation.  These plans go awry when Frances ends up in a speech class rather than the Berkley worthy class of calculus through a mistake. When Frances finds a natural talent for public speaking and is encouraged by her teacher, Ms. Taylor, she comes out of her subservient role and truly finds her own voice.

There are some moments in the book where you will find yourself weeping for the abuse that Frances endures from her mother, Gracie.  Gracie is set on raising Frances in a traditional Chinese way and only seeks monetary success for her daughter with no other options.  If you have read anything about the Tiger Mother controversy lately, this book will give you the point of view from a child's perspective and how hard it is to live up to the expectations of the parents.

Gracie's best friend, Nellie and her daughter, Theresa try to calm down Gracie and help Frances through the abuse they see but can't truly act on since it is acceptable for the immigrant Chinese culture and for that matter most immigrant cultures through out history.  Theresa truly grows with the help she receives from Frances' friendship and Nellie is just a fun romp with her enthusiasm for life.  This is a book that can be enjoyed by all family members and should spark some important discussions about teenage life.


WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK?

Contest is open to anyone with reliable mail service (Worldwide and PO Boxes OK!)
Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 4.6.11 (ends 4.5.11)
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is sponsored by ME and one book is available.
This book is a once read ARC.

Complete the below form
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47 comments:

  1. This looks like a good novel. I have it on my DAC list.

    Lisa, lkendhammer@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/50251457202626560

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the giveaway!
    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the giveaway! Book sounds very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've heard quite a few good things about this book! It looks so good. Plus I'm Asian, which makes it all the more appealing. :)

    Thanks for stopping by on my Book Blogs profile! Glad to know people are there to help.

    iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the book and for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't heard much about this novel but I've added this contest to my sidebar. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds interesting. :0)

    Tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/librarygrinch/status/50475056920395776

    Thanks!
    librarygrinch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great giveaway!
    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/50624124044845056

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the great giveaway! I love the title of this book!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the giveaway! I keep seeing this one around and it looks good. I definitely love the title too.

    http://sandrathenookworm.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Enjoyed the review. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I tweeted at http://twitter.com/#!/LexieBookBug/status/50773341514104833
    lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you so much for the chance to win

    ReplyDelete
  17. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/50959534809821184

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/Melanie_2006/status/51055743935324160

    ReplyDelete
  20. Daily entry 3/24. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Daily entry 3/25. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/51334965325086720

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Daily entry 3/26. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/51710839736111104

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Daily entry 3/27. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/52041818082263041

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/52454796933861377

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/52762514483712000

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/53160721512534016

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/53499555613904897

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Daily entry 3/31. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy April Fools!!

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy April!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/53863777573142528

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sounds like a book I would like to read.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Tweet!
    http://twitter.com/#!/EVA_n_essence/status/54171706197164032

    ReplyDelete
  37. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/54269794798678016

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Daily entry 4/2. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Daily entry 4/3. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. from visiting her website, I learned that she's from Hong Kong!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  41. tweet:
    http://twitter.com/tearyeyedstars/status/54912518094733312

    ReplyDelete
  42. Daily entry 4/4. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Daily entry 4/5. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I tweeted here. http://twitter.com/#!/baniclips/status/55254756305805313

    ReplyDelete
  45. tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/55339760197173249

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. aploughery

    An email has been sent to the lucky person named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam). The winner(s) has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

    Thanks to all who entered.

    PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOR THE EMAIL FROM BOOKHOUNDS @ HOTMAIL REQUESTING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!

    ReplyDelete

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