Title: Since You Asked…
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school’s newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine’s Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family’s traditional Korean values? In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what’s considered “normal” in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one’s individuality…or being driven insane.
This was a surprisingly good book. It took a little while for me to get really into it, but after a few chapters, I started to really like Holly as a character and as a narrator. It was certainly a different book than I’m used to reviewing, if only because of the format, but I still enjoyed it. Holly’s voice was very strong, and I liked having a main character with nationality issues. The characters in the book are very diverse, and the names were consistent with the diversity – Korean and Chinese traditions, stereotypes, etc. Even though I risk coming across as a sucker for stereotypes, I think that in Holly’s world, it would really suck to be her.
However, she has great friends. David and Holly have a great relationship, and David is sweet, even though he doesn’t like to come across that way. I wish there was something romantic going on, and maybe during their junior year, in a sequel…? However, at the same time that I wish there was romance, I’m glad that there wasn’t any, too. I think that it was refreshing to have a character with supposedly zero prospects of a high school relationship, especially since she was so anti-high school sweetheart anyway. Having a boyfriend would have turned her into a hypocrite. Her girlfriends Liz and Carrie were great, too. I loved their personalities, and Holly’s theories about them (like how Liz is probably a trained spy. Or part of the Persian mafia). They really brought life to the story, and they grounded Holly, too.
Even though I liked the plot in general, I didn’t like how some of the things that happened were never mentioned again. I just felt that there was something missing about certain things. Like Matthew’s little sister never came up again, or the ending that kind of just ended abruptly. I hope that there is a second book, so that the story itself doesn’t actually just end like that. Other than that, though, the books was really good. I would definitely recommend it to any teenager looking for a funny, not-so-serious read, as indicated by the cover. It would be a great summer book, for those of you not already back to school!
**I don’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13 due to some obscenity.