Megan's Reviews > Kimchi & Calamari

Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
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's review
Feb 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: courier, 2010, fiction, teen, kid
Read from February 12 to 16, 2010

This is a warm and genuinely funny book, in a sweet kind of way. As a 14-year-old child who was born in Korea and adopted by an Italian-American family, Joseph is reaching the age when he's starting to have questions about his heritage and who he really is. Joseph's reactions to various events in his quest to find his "real" family are genuine and believable: he initially thinks his parents are trying to hide it from him, or that they just don't care, but slowly grows to understand that they do love him, and they're a bit lost, too.

While some of the dialogue was a bit hard to swallow - the kids' way of speaking in particular seemed a little off - the kids' actions are genuine. I really liked Joseph's twin sisters, his friends and his love interests. In particular, I thought the relationships were handled really well. Nothing was too big or important; it was just 14-year-olds going through life. Sometimes they made mistakes, but those, too, were honest mistakes. For example, when Joseph gets into trouble regarding an essay project for school, he doesn't embark on some silly, adventurous plan to sneak into the school after hours and get the essay back or any of the other things that are common in kids' literature. What he does do is wholly realistic.

I also liked the introduction of some Korean history into the book. Korean history is often not really touched upon in history classes in the US and it was nice for that information to be seamlessly blended into the narrative.

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