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Since You Asked

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  266 ratings  ·  89 reviews
A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture.
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,712)
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Lisseth (Read-a-holicZ)

4.5 Stars: Since You Asked was Laugh Out Loud HILARIOUS, entertaining, and enchanting book. It's full of great characters, friendship, family, and a girl who needs to answer our questions, one sarcastic-realistic column at a time ;)

When I heard about Since You Asked I was already sold on reading it. Why? Korean girl *never read about a girl in a Korean family* whom lands a newspaper column by accident?! Yeah I want to read and it said it was humorous, you k...more
Flat. Disappointing. Annoying. PASS.

Holly is a stuck-up, whiny, stereotypical teenage brat. She thinks she knows every, everyone else is so lame, her parents are the worst people to ever undertake the task of parenting, and high school totally sucks. Holly fulfills every aspect of the teenage girl stereotype. It was so impossible to have sympathy for her as she complained about going to Las Vegas for Christmas and whined about being given money to buy her own Christmas presents.

Her dialogue was...more
Kelly Hager
I love the concept behind this story. (Holly writes a joke article blasting high school and that article accidentally gets published in the school paper. Not surprisingly, a lot of people do NOT think it's at all funny...but what IS surprising is the fact that she ends up getting a monthly column in the same paper.)

Holly is incredibly sarcastic. On a scale of one to 10, where one is Pollyanna and 10 is some unholy combination of Veronica Mars, Veronica Sawyer, Daria and Lorelai Gilmore, she's pr...more
Isabel (Sab The Book Eater)
Check out The Maurene Goo Three Blog Hop and enter the giveaway for a chance to win lots of great prizes!

Story. Of. My life. Maurene Goo couldn't have made a better protagonist. I'm not sure if it's my Asian tendencies (whatever that is hah) or that I can still remember what it felt like to be fifteen. Either way, I could easily relate to Holly and that made reading Since You Asked twice as enjoyable. The humor alone was enough to keep me interested but with a main character like Holly, everythi...more
 Lori (Ficwishes)
That summary, while not very exciting, is actually what got me to read the book. My husband's mother is a Korean-American and that was enough to convince me that I needed this story in my life.

Holly Kim is less than thrilled with her life. Her Korean-American parents tend to be over-bearing and, at least in Holly's mind, completely unreasonable. Why does her family think that Christmas should be celebrated in Las Vegas? Holly really would like to celebrate a tradition American Christmas just onc...more
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When was the last time you read a laugh out loud, can't stop reading, contemporary YA about a rebellious teenager living in a very traditional home? I thought about that after I read SINCE YOU ASKED. It literally has been years since I've read a book that has made me laugh as hard as this book has.

The summary on the book does a pretty awesome job at telling you what this is about. Holly is a hysterically sarcastic teenager jus...more
Amber Seibert
When Holly Kim, copyeditor for her high school newspaper, accidentally submits an article full of her honest opinions about her high school, she gets her own column instead of punishment. Holly rants and raves about what bothers her and tries to find balance between being known for speaking her mind, keeping her Korean family’s values, and trying to survive high school.

I had really high hopes for this book!

I thought the cover and title were cute. I loved the premise. Scholastic Inc. published it...more
Sasha Tommo~the way of the wind~
Holly Kim is just an average teenager. Except, her mom and dad are Korean. She is trying hard to adjust to her strange Korean ideals and still being American.

I could relate a lot to Holly Kim. I feel like I struggle to fit in, and I don't really fit into a certain group. I have great friends, don't get me wrong, but I am not exactly what others would classify them as, if that makes any sense. My parents are Pakistani, so I can completely understand how Holly feels about strange ideals and pract...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The kids at school may not have asked for Holly to write a column in the school newspaper, but Since You Asked is just the sort of YA novel I have been asking for. I picked it up solely for the premise about a Korean-American girl, but found even more to enjoy in this fluffy, sweet read, set in a high school that’s much more like the one I went to back in the day. Maurene’s debut novel is a humorous delight and one that avoids typical YA tropes.

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions.
Lilly G
Smart, funny, well-written YA that kept me, an adult with a life, hooked from start to finish. The author perfectly captures the high school experience (let's be honest: many try, most fail). The highs, the lows, the stereotypes, and the unexpected surprises that make it such a fun time in life. Holly is a great protagonist; for me, her witty columns are a highlight of the book and modestly showcase Goo's great talent. So impressed that this is a debut!
Stephanie Ward
4.5 Stars

'Since You Asked' is a upbeat and fun young adult contemporary novel that follows the exploits of leading lady Holly Kim, a Korean-American sophomore in high school who makes waves during the first week of school when she accidentally submits a snarky article for the school's newspaper. Throughout the book, Holly and her group of friends experience typical teenage problems - including secret admirers, the stuck up popular crowd, and the issues that come from being a second generation Am...more
Kate McMurry
Young adult, multicultural, "clean read" chick lit

Holly is a fifteen-year-old Korean-American whose three best friends are a geeky boy who is Chinese-American, a beautiful, rich girl who is Persian-American, and a Euro-American girl whose parents are hippie types. They attend a public high school in San Diego, and Holly writes a snappy column in her school newspaper about surviving life as a sophomore.

This humorous, chick-lit, multicultural, young-adult novel alternates between Holly's school l...more
Sophomore Holly Kim attends Bay High School in San Diego, and she is largely ignored by the rest of her classmates until a newspaper piece she revised as a joke and filled with snarky comments is published. Suddenly, everyone knows Holly. She gets to write a regular column and feature stories as part of her journalism class. Some classmates applaud her outspoken writing while others dismiss her comments about homecoming, holidays, and the school's social order. Through it all, her friends, Carri...more
Jul 18, 2013 Nina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Since You Asked(ARC) by Maurene Goo

Since You Asked,Maurene Goo,arc

"A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture."

Since You Asked(ARC) by Maurene Goo
262 pages

If the summary up there doesn't interest you, then I don't know what will.

Holly Kim is a realistic,...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This looked like one of those boolot that I should love, so I was kind of disappointed at first that it took me so long to get into it. I would say the first third of the book I was reading thinking, oh no…. But then, flip the switch, sound the horns… I started loving it!

Holly is great. I think we all had a friend or so in school that was a little I over the top. That was Mrs. Kim. Holly gets to spend her summer I in SAT classes and Homecoming Dance? Forget about it. Meanwhile, when a column she...more
Cait Grace
There’s nothing like a book full of good ol’ high school dramas to keep you thankful that a) you’re not in high school anymore, b) you’re not American-Korean, and c) you don’t have lips that flap in a completely annoying, whiny way for 99% of 230 pages. Yes, I wasn’t particularly fond of this book. Which is a shame, because I thought it’d be a favourite.

Let’s start with the characters? Being a contemporary, this book is obviously character driven. And it has one of the BEST foursome friends th...more
Maurene Goo's, Since you Asked...was actually better than I had originally anticipated but the ending definitely leaves you wanting more...

I will say that it took me till about 1/3 of the way into the book to really get hooked (in fact I remember looking down and noting the point where it really picked up and thinking, "yay!"), but keep with it and you will be rewarded with some really wonderful moments of surprising humor. I know it's so cliche, and we often complain about it, but I really did...more
A fun story about the sophomore year of a sarcastic, moody teen named Holly, who lands her own column in the school newspaper after accidentally submitting a joke article. Holly is an incredibly believable teen character and her relationships with friends, family, and foes ring true. And as a person of color, it was really refreshing to read a realistic teen book about a poc whose ethnicity/race isn't an issue as much as it is just a part of her life. While racism is still a very real thing, bei...more
Holly Kim is just your average California girl. Also, her parents are Korean. Which gives her quite an interesting perspective on things. When Holly accidentally becomes a columnist at her school's newspaper, she's finally given a voice.

Holly's voice is wild and hilarious. This book, set over the course of the school year has it all--what to do with a secret admirer, how to handle being forced to interview the school's biggest jock, being accused of bribery, family drama--and Goo handles it all...more
Holly Kim is the stereotypical Korean girl: skinny and shy with long black hair; expected to make the best grades, get into the best college. She is fighting back, refusing to do the “dress up for first day of school” thing, and associating with a variety of best friends. (the “one of these, one of those…” variety of best friends)
She is also a copy editor for the school newspaper. On the first day, a bored Holly edits a story sarcastically as a “real world” version of the saccharine line put out...more
SMART Book Club
As Holly encounters one problem after the other, this tale is told with skill and precision so that readers don’t get bored easily. Maurene Goo fills the story – and characters – with life. Everything is interesting, and nothing is simple. One problem blends smoothly into another, and readers are thoroughly entertained for all 272 pages of this book.

To read the rest of the review, click here.
Sara  (
3 1/2

A sassy, quick read about some lightweight high school drama, with the refreshing change of having a core group of friends where only one of the four is white.

Some issues I had:

1. The author mixes references to hot trends and brands of today with hot trends of her own teen years; neither is a great strategy as the references to current fads will not age well and the references to 80s fads is jarring to hear from a 2013 teen.

2. The whole idea of a vibrant and widely read school newspaper do...more
Confession time. I’m forty-something, which means that what I like may not coincide with what teens like. Since You Asked by Maureen Goo had high potential because it’s about a teen writer and books about writers generally resonate me. However, the clichés and stereotypes, the snarky attitude, and the abundance of slang and cursing ultimately turned me off. Adolescent girls will however probably enjoy the rebellious Holly and the romantic twists that develop throughout her last year in high scho...more
Feb 19, 2014 Musia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: He Who Shall Not Be Named
My policy has always been: JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!
Like a true blue idiot, I ignored my policy when picking up this book, so despite the crappy picture on the cover of an obnoxious girl wearing hot pink shades (it was not even a HIGH QUALITY photograph!) I soldiered through the first chapter like a brave stupid warrior.

-------------(an excerpt of the book. kind of.)------

Hi everybody, I'm Holly and I am your UNSTEREOTYPICAL teen. I don't dress up for the first day of school, cuz, like, tha...more
Lisa Nocita
A year in the life of sophomore Holly Kim, a bored, complacent teen who happens to be Korean American. Her biggest bane in life is her overprotective, nosy, bossy mother who won't give her any privacy or space. Potentially funny as Goo attempts to show the conflict between tradition and culture and 21st century American teenagers. However, Holly comes across as needlessly put upon, whiny, and ungrateful (not so unusual for a teen protagonist, I realize) and shows mostly flat character growth. Th...more
Korean-American Holly Kim leads a fairly normal life, but then accidentally turns in the wrong thing for the school newspaper and has an article of her own published! She meant it as a joke, but it was fairly vicious and biting. Even more shocking is when she is given a regular column in response. Holly and the story are supposed to be biting and satirical, but sometimes it was just a little too much, and very annoying. She was very stereotypical, as were many of the other characters in the book...more
Since You Asked details the angst of high school as seen through the eyes of sophomore student, Holly Kim. Kim faces the typical battles of high school with a healthy dose of high Korean parent expectations thrown in. Her sarcastic tone adds humor to the story, although this won’t be for all readers. Sometimes her sarcasm blends into just plain whining and this quickly loses the reader’s interest. However, it’s easy to skip through these parts without really missing anything. After accidentally...more
Rating 3.5/5 stars

Well I am not sure what I was getting into this one but when it started I liked it but after a few chapters I lost a little interest. For me it was just not that book, and I was having a hard to keeping involved into. The writing was good and it had a great pace but I just could not get into it.

I really did enjoy Holly, she is like all teenagers ( this I know I have 2) and I can see any one of them relating to her. She is facing the sam things my 15 year old is dealing with a...more
Super-duper generic contemporary YA.

I liked how Holly's fraught experience as a kid of Korean parents is a focus, but without it being too much of a problem-novel, and the rest of her friends have rich cultural backgrounds too. This is still rare in YA, I think, even though I think it's more normal of an experience for kids today than the white-washed worlds of most YA novels. That part was good.

The rest? Blargh. These kids were purportedly born in the late 1990s, but Holly drops clunky 80s-90s...more
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Maurene Goo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she navigated her childhood by practicing extreme bossy lord-dom over her many cousins. She studied communication at the University of California, San Diego, and received a master’s degree in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a very old cat.
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