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Girl Overboard

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,641 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything any kid could possibly desire: a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboards. But most of what glitters in her life is fool's gold. Her half-siblings hate her, her best friend's girlfriend is ruining their friendship, and her own so-called ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Little, Brown and Company
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Kira-Kira by Cynthia KadohataGirl in Translation by Jean KwokA Step from Heaven by An NaBorn Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Best Asian-American teen fiction
14th out of 118 books — 166 voters
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Girls in Sports
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Community Reviews

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Syrah was injured in a snowboarding accident. Her dream is to become a Pro-Snowboarder. Her family is unsupportive. Her father, Ethan Cheung, made the cell phone of today. Her mother, Betty Cheung, is both a fashionista and do charity fundraising. All she want to do is be on the slopes with her best friend, Age,but he is too busy with his new boyfriend.
She soon befriends Lillan, an energetic and kid person. That spends most of her time at Seattle Children's Hospital. Lillan's sister, Amanda, has

Girl Overboard stars a very unhappy girl, Syrah, who is frustrated with practically everything in her life: she's unhappy with how her knee is healing after a bad snowboarding accident; unhappy that there seems to be a mental/emotional block preventing her from moving on in her life after a disappointing first taste of love/lust; unhappy that her very best friend, Adrian "Age", has a girlfriend who won't allow him to see her; unhappy that her parents ignore her except for when they're bossing he
I bought Girl Overboard because I really enjoyed Headley’s latest book, North of Beautiful. The whole snowboarding premise seemed really interesting to me because I tried snowboarding once and I fell about a million times. I’m much better at skiing.

I was a little disappointed, however. For about the first 100 pages or so, I felt like I’d been thrown headlong into Syrah’s life without any explanation, even though there definitely was. I didn’t really feel a strong connection to her love interest,
Oct 19, 2014 Zyrelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
Do you want to read a book about a teenage girl who has everything? Well, I know a good book that you would really love, its called Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley.
Girl Overboard is full of surprises. Syrah the main character loves snowboarding. One day she gets into a very horrifying accident while hitting the slopes and that event changes many things in her life. With her father being a billionaire it also changes the way people think of her. Syrah's parents are not very supportive o
Sharupa Azmal
I would rate the book Girl Overboard 5 stars. This book is really touching and inspiring. The book is about this girl Syrah whose father is a mega millionaire but she is only known as a rich spoiled girl not who she wants to be when she grows up. In this book the author Justina really describes the emotions of Syrah and how she feels that she is not known as someone who she truly wants to be. Also she uses a ton of sensory imagery to describe what Syrah looks like and how her physical traits are ...more
I started this book at 11:15 last night. I went to bed at 5:45 this morning. I don't think I've ever done that before. It was a great read. Coming of age, but dark. Very good.
Ash R.
If you are looking for a book that is about a Rich girl and her perfect life don't read this book. If you want to read about a rich girl who has everything perfect her and she wants that to change then you should read this book. This book is about a girl who struggles to keep being rich out of living a normal life. She wants to be able to do things regular people do. She is tried of being different and doesn't want to be the Rich bratty girl, but the girl who is just like me.

I can make a text t
Doug Beatty
Syrah Chen is the daughter of Ethan and Betty Chen and the family is very wealthy. Syrah really enjoys snowboarding but after a run in the back country, Syrah damaged her knee and had to have pins put in. Syrah’s friend is Age who is dating Natalia even though Syrah would like him for herself. Syrah dreams of getting sponsors and becoming a snowboarding star. Syrah finds a friend in Lillian who she travels with to the hospital and helps her with a party she is having for the children. Lillian ha ...more
Mar 16, 2008 Nian rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenage girls
Shelves: 2008
After reading Justina Chen Headley’s debut novel, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies), I was anxiously waiting for Girl Overboard, expecting great things from a Chinese American writer. I shouldn’t have. Five chapters into the book and I already felt the enthusiasm slipping away, replaced by a blank expression as I wondered why I’d been so eager to check this out at the library. It’s the story of a billionaire’s daughter who, despite what everyone else thinks, isn’t exactly leading the ...more
I know some people really like this book, but I just couldn't get into it. I could not relate to the daughter of a super-rich business man who got anything and everything she wanted, materially speaking. True, the main character does end up doing some good in the end, but she spends most of the story complaining. I also didn't like the author's terminology that a biological family is the "real" family, as opposed to an adopted family. I bet many adoptive families feel like they are "real" famili ...more
Djamila Oliveira
I thought the book was very interesting to read for my project i had recently done. The book was about a girl named Syrah who in this case,is facing a lot of obstacles in her life, even though she is rich and can get anything she wants in a snap. I personally though that she would be able to defeat them and she did. Unfortunately, it took her long to do so. She is almost like me because I tend to have a lot of stress in completing my work and other errands that are important outside of school. T ...more
Eddy Allen

Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything any kid could possibly desire: a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboards. But most of what glitters in her life is fool's gold. Her half-siblings hate her, her best friend's girlfriend is ruining their friendship, and her own so-called boyfriend is only after her for her father's name. When her broken heart results in a snowboarding accident that exiles he
I had high hopes that this book would have a strong empowering messages for girls, but unfortunately it fell short of that goal. Although the author strives to leave the reader with positive messages at the end of the book, these cliches are overshadowed by the shallowness of the rest of the story.
Jan 30, 2014 AliceAnn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cheryl
Shelves: young-adult
I picked this up because I saw the cover in our YA winter display. At first I thought it was going to be: girl gets hurt snowboarding, is unsure if she'll ever snowboard again, then manages to become even better/stronger, the end. But that wasn't it. Instead, it was a book about a teenage girl finding herself. I also liked that the main character was Chinese-American, and we got to meet some endearing, long-lost family members along the way. I also enjoyed that the main character used manga to e ...more
Sumi Cameron
This book was amazing!!!!! I got it from the library on Saturday afternoon and finished it that night. I usually don’t like reading books for long periods of time, but this book I just couldn’t put down! It just grabs you right in from the first few sentences. Now you might want to know what the book is about well, it’s about a girl named Syrah Cheung who wants to be a professional snowboarder but has gotten injured in the process. She wants to try again and start over but her parents are very u ...more
Star Shyne Brite (Stargirl)
wow! i wish there was more! unless there is.... then I HAVE TO GET IT! :)
This started off a mess, and got much better as it went on, although the narrator's growth and development was abrupt, and the revelations she has about her parents and other family members I'm not sure are enough to excuse or explain their behavior, as she seems to think. Mostly I was annoyed by how much she talked about loving to snowboard, and snowboarding being her life, yet never actually hitting the slopes (well, she does one time, and yes, she's coming off a serious knee injury, but, come ...more
I love those quotation marks at the end of the synopsis. Totally LOL moment.

Okay. Girl Overboard sounds like a book rich heiress should read. But really, it's a book most people should read. Or maybe not, because it's a four hundred page book that is sort of boring. Okay, I'll admit it. It's boring in the middle part of the book. There's a lot of good stuff in the book (I mean good lessons), but it can be overwhelming to the point of them just giving you an old man's advice on his death bed.

Of c
Kelly Oram
I love it when I'm surprised by random books I've never heard before. I just plucked this one off the shelf at the library the other day because I was out of things to read. Usually when I do that I get some really blah book, but I absolutely loved this one!

I adored the main character in this book. And her situation was just so frustrating and felt so desperate at times that she could have just given up or become completely spoiled and selfish or rebelled by way of drugs/alcohol/destructive beh
A Canadian Girl
Out of all the novels I’ve read by Justina Chen Headley, Girl Overboard is by far my favourite. Headley always does a superb job with character development and Syrah’s evolution was no different. Initially, Syrah wants to just be seen as “Syrah” and not “Syrah Cheng” but by the end of the novel, Syrah has learned to embrace her last name and everything associated with being a Cheng while still being true to her own dreams.

Relationships were such a crucial element in Girl Overboard and this book
Que Syrah Syrah..."what will be will be." Well, not for Syrah Cheng, a.k.a. Ethan Cheng, billionaire's, daughter! Life for Syrah isn't as simple as it seems to be: ride in a limo, live in a mansion, eat your heart out, and basically mooch off your rich daddy's money. As appealing as that sounds, it ain't the life for her. Truth is, Syrah has an alternate identity: Shiraz, the sassy snowboarder chick. She and her best friend, Age, would cruise the mountains like the rich girls would cruise in the ...more
Who wouldn’t want to have everything, a huge house, a name that is well known, and billionaires for parents. Syrah Cheng that’s who. It may seem like Syrah has everything, but we all know that line about judging something by it’s cover.

Syrah wants nothing more than to be a pro snowboarder, but as soon as she tears her ACL that dreams goes down the drain. The almost boyfriend she thought she had was only using her, well he was only hoping to use her name. Her parents are never around and her step
Girl Overboard by Justina Chen is yet another book about a rich spoiled brat, only the names ever change and in this book its Syrah, her father Ethan Cheng, is of course a billionaire and she has everything any kid could possibly want; a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboard, and what kid would want that i have no clue. Her best friend's girlfriend is trying to break up their friendship, and she also has a border line crush on him. She organizes a snowboarding fundraiser t ...more
Laura Martinelli
If there’s one problem I have with this book overall, it’s the cover description. Partially for giving out the entire backstory, but mostly for making it out to seem like another cookie-cutter YA rom-com.

Talk about wild misrepresentation. What looks like a fluffy, winter-vacation romance about girl snowboarders is actually a fairly deep and thought-provoking study of a girl learning to stand on her own and embracing her family, warts and all. What I love about Syrah is that she feels so real. I
Feb 17, 2008 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Syrah Cheng has everything- the Ethan Cheng life, money, and almost anything she wants. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, self made billionaire, who is “new money”. But… what Syrah wants can’t be bought.She wants her old knee, before the accident. She wants real friends, who don’t diet on air, and she wants her half sister Grace and half brother (why am I forgetting his name? I had to return the book to the library) to like her. She wouldn’t mind being skinny, either, but most of all she wan ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

If you are looking for a rags-to-riches story, don't pick up GIRL OVERBOARD. On the other hand, if you are looking for a story about a rich girl struggling to be a normal, well-adjusted girl, than this one is for you.

Syrah Cheng is the daughter of privilege. Her father, Ethan Cheng, made the cell phone what it is today. Her mother, Betty Cheng, is the queen of charity fundraising, and demands only the best. Unfortunately, all the s
Emma (Miss Print)
If nothing else, the Chengs know how to save face. So to everyone else, Syrah Cheng's life looks like a dream come true. Her father is a billionaire, her mother is beautiful and always buying her fancy clothes (and custom-designed snowboarding gear). Between that and the mansion and private jet, it really seems like Syrah has it all. But . . .

The worst part of having it all is having to deal with it all--the good, the bad, and the just plain weird.

Syrah knows better than most that appearances c
Abby Johnson
Syrah Cheng, daughter of multi-billionaire cell phone mogul Ethan Cheng, is not quite sure where she fits into her world. She's a snowboarder on the mend from a knee injury and a (vastly worse) heartbreak that's left her vulnerable and adrift. Her family is no help - all they care about is their bottom line - and she's having problems with her best friend. Finally, after studying her father's business model, Syrah will figure out what is important to her and learn to ask for what she wants.

The publisher sent this to me as an advance copy several months ago. I was feeling guilty that I hadn't picked it up yet, that I'd waited so long, and really I just wanted to clear off that corner of my desk, so I finally read this.

Syrah was an avid snowboarder until she blew out her knee on the slopes. Now she’s stuck at home, where her wealthy parents don't approve of her life's ambition and don't make any time for her. They criticize her weight gain, trivialize her sport, and they don’t even
Syrah Cheng is a poor little rich girl--or so she thinks. Her father is too busy being a captain of industry to pay any attention to her. Her mother is too busy shopping for antiques to pay any attention to her except to complain about her weight (not that she's overweight--she's just more sturdy than her beautiful and tiny mother.) Her half-siblings hate her because her mother broke up their parents' marriage and they think she's a spoiled brat. She has a hard time making friends because most p ...more
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Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose most recent book, A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS, is a Booklist Top 10 Romances for Youth. North of Beautiful was named to the Best Books of 2009 lists by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include Return to Me, Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere selections) and Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), w ...more
More about Justina Chen...
North of Beautiful Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) Return to Me A Blind Spot for Boys The Patch

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