Catrin's Reviews > Like Mandarin

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
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's review
Jun 19, 12


The two-star probably doesn't look too promising. I was pulled by the blurb of the book, when Madarin becomes the friend of Grace, whose relationship with her pageant-obsessed mother was rather strained, living in a small, boring little town.

What I liked

I liked the description of the book, the general concept.

What I Disliked

I really disliked how the story doesn't actually revolve around the plot. We are told that Grace likes Mandarin. Grace becomes friends with Mandarin. Grace wants to be like Mandarin, despite her having a reputation as a whore. But there isn't much of their relationship in the story. It seemed that Grace was something of a punchbag, a teddy bear instead of a friend. Mandarin claimed that Grace was her best friend (completely weird, because they didn't even know each other properly. Nobody does that) and then proceeded to go about as she pleased, ignoring Grace, talking to Grace, ignoring Grace. It was extremely confusing to me why Mandarin bothered to suddenly befriend Grace and even toss her secrets. I also didn't understand why Grace wanted to be like Mandarin. Sure, she was rebellious and didn't need to conform to the standards of others, and she was beautiful, she didn't care what others thought of her. To a certain extent, yes, but Grace is pretty much of a boring character. She didn't really have it in her to be rebellious and frankly? Who wants to turn beautiful only to be hated by the judgmental (but also quite justified) town?

Another thing I didn't like was the pageant-loving mother. While I enjoyed reading about Grace and her younger sister, I just felt like yelling at her mother and going "Get over it already! She was like SIX, and you're sulking about that NOW?" I didn't understand her mother's motivation behind all of the pageants other than some kind of weird obsession with no basis. This also slowed down the entire speed of the story incredibly and at the end, looking back at the plot, all I could say is that Mandarin doesn't seem much of a friend to Grace, and I couldn't see anything growth in Grace, making it pointless, and rather excruciatingly slow. Sorry for my harshness. There's so much potential in the story, but it was delayed by the short chapters and the lack of plot. Perhaps my opinion defer from most, because the lowest I've yet seen is 3 stars.

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