Robbin's Reviews > Yellow: Stories

Yellow by Don  Lee
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's review
Jun 14, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: asa-literature, library-book
Read from May 30 to 31, 2012

Now that I finally forced myself through what seems to be the young adult version of this book, I can finally take a breather and review it. First thing's first: I really, really, tend to dislike short stories. I put up with them when I had to read them for class, sure, but generally, I stay away from them. But Yellow was something else. To think, the short stories were actually connected with each other in some way! Since it takes place in an imaginary port town in California, it really threaded all of the characters together. Instead of feeling like a hodgepodge of stories that are loosely connected simply because they're all about Asian-American stories, I actually felt like there was something to get excited about. The stories themselves were also very human -- that's really the only word I can think of to describe it. Lee doesn't rely on weird imagery and hugely distant narratives to tie his stories together. He tells the stories of these people with voices you can actually relate to and hear in your head (assuming you're an Asian-American and are put into the situations the characters get into, which, admittedly, can be surprisingly common).

The stories simply tell themselves. I read it so quickly that I didn't realize it had gone by; it was as if I was just talking to an old friend, reliving each other's memories in the form of gossip or just talking over coffee. What's phenomenal was that the ending was extremely well-done. One of those endings where you can't help but feel satisfied with the time you took to read this book. Sadly, I don't get enough of those -- lately, I've been reading books that I can't wait to just put down and be done with. Thank goodness that Lee's compilation of short stories sated a hunger for good Asian-American literature that I've had for such a long time.

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