Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

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What a gorgeous book and an easy read! I’m not usually into works that focus on culture (I often find them dull and repetitive), but this one is pretty special. One of my favorite aspects was reading so many beautiful and unique Chinese expressions (obviously translated into English). Kwok is able to relay Kimberly Chang’s early years in New York with a bitter humor that makes you want to laugh and cringe at the same time. She truly takes the weight off of a subject that is traditionally heavy with grief. My only complaint is that there’s no happy ending–not the one I was rooting for anyway. Grrr! Still, Kimberly’s experiences are surprisingly relatable, and this book will leave you cheering for the diligent underdog. Girl in Translation has beautiful moments, often interrupted by the ugly realities faced by immigration and just life in general. There’s never a dull moment; it’s a must-read!

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