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Inconvenient Daughter

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  110 reviews
A vibrant and provocative debut novel that dispels myths surrounding transracial adoption.

Rowan Kelly knows she’s lucky. After all, if she hadn’t been adopted, she could have spent her days in a rice paddy, or a windowless warehouse assembling iPhones—they make iPhones in Korea, right? Either way, slowly dying of boredom on Long Island is surely better than the alternative
...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Akashic Books / Kaylie Jones Books
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a debut novel by Lauren J. Sharkey, loosely based on her own experience being adopted by white parents from South Korea as a wee one. It includes a lot of typical parent-child situations, but often magnified by a feeling of loss or rejection that follow her into college and beyond.

TW for dating violence that comes up pretty suddenly and I definitely wasn't expecting the turn it took. The premise behind the violence is that Rowan is setting "out to prove that she can be someone’s first c
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Jess
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Never has a book resonated with me quite like this one.

Like the protagonist Rowan (and the author, Sharkey), I was adopted as an infant by a Catholic family in New York State. (Theirs, Irish Catholic on Long Island; mine, Italian Catholic in Rochester.) We were “raised to be white,” which is a sentence I spent a while trying to articulate recently. While Rowan’s path is not my own, I see in her story an alternate reality. 

I saw so many parts of myself in this book. For POC and Korean transraci
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Sheena
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
I went into this not knowing what this was about and let me just say.. this book broke my heart. I finished this in one day because I was nervous what would become of Rowan and needed to know. I wasn't expecting this to be so sad and heart breaking. Rowan struggles with her adoption and feeling like she's never good enough. She went through so much pain physically and emotionally and she REALLY didn't deserve that. I just wanted to reach through the book and give her a hug and protect. I do thin ...more
Dewi
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This novel tells the story of a transracially adopted girl, coming to terms with a sense of belonging and being enough. Sharkey manages to beautifully integrate her own experiences into the story of Rowan, and her relationships with others, especially her adoptive mother.

The book jumps in time from the here and now to Rowan's past, which I really liked since what is happening to her now
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Mara
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Man, this book broke my heart! An ‘Inconvenient Daughter’ is told in first person in a stream of consciousness style. The protagonist, Rowan Kelly, details important events in her life that have lead up to her being in a hospital following a traumatic encounter. She was adopted from Korea as a baby by white parents in Long Island, New York. The story follows her emotional struggles with being surrendered for adoption and increasing tension with her mother, whom she views as controlling. Rowan’s ...more
Jenna
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Inconvenient Daughter is a beautifully written book which keeps the reader engaged until the end.

The story follows Rowan, an adopted Korean girl to caucasian American parents. Rowan struggles with identity, family dynamics and the feeling of belonging, causing great problems with her self esteem.

The author takes on some delicate issues such as infertility and adoption to controlling rela
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Rachel H.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful read. This is the book to read if you are stuck at home. Sharkey weaves a masterful tale about what it's like to be an outsider in your own life. ...more
Shae
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Publisher Synopsis: Rowan Kelly knows she’s lucky. After all, if she hadn’t been adopted, she could have spent her days in a rice paddy, or a windowless warehouse assembling iPhones–they make iPhones in Korea, right? Either way, slowly dying of boredom on Long Island is surely better than the alternative. But as she matures, she realizes that she’ll never know if she has her mother’s eyes, or if she’d be in America at all had her adoptive parents been able to conceive.

Rowan sets out to prove tha
...more
Mary Ma
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. I finished it within 48 hours of receiving it from NetGalley.

This book is about a young woman navigating growing up as a transracially adopted child and struggling to find acceptance, love and belonging. A lot of it is extremely relatable because deep down, even if it’s just a little bit, sometimes we all feel like we are not enough and we are all craving to belong. Today people are more easily connected than ever, but also more isolated than ever.

I especially found the pr
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Joanna
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book grabbed my attention as my husband born in Korea was adopted by a white couple. He too has struggled with what it means to be Asian and/or American.
In a society where it is easy to feel left out, I think the author’s writings reflect the issues of belonging, of what family really means and who and who isn’t really American.
I would have enjoyed this even more if the writing didn’t feel so disconnected in its timeline. However, the story eventually finds its pace.
In all, a thoughtful r
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Melanie
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gail
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I got this book in Net Galley and was intrigued by the subject of an adopted child in a family of a different race. The story is about Rowan Kelly, who was adopted at 3 months old from Korea. Rowan grows up on Long Island with her Caucasian parents and an adopted brother also from Korea.

Rowan seems to be a typical kid, defiant at times and eager to lead her own life her own way. There is never any indication that her parents didn't love her or care for here, yet her behavior looks very much lik
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Sarka
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
TW: Domestic abuse/Sexual assault/Drug use

This book definitely had a haunting quality to it. We follow the main character Rowan who struggles heavily with her identity and finding her place in the world. Her Korean mother gave her up when she was just a newborn which meant she has been adopted by a middle-class American family not long after. Rowan faces problems as any teenager with navigating relationships and discovering who she is. This is all made extra harder for her because of adoption, c
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Laura
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay this book BROKE my heart.

The story jumps back and forth in time, connecting different moments to various points in Rowen’s life and really gives you an inner insight into her thoughts and feelings. It’s written in a way that is very fast paced and makes you need to know where the story is going next. The complex relationship between Rowen and her mum is both touching and heartbreaking and I found myself rooting for their relationship from beginning to end, especially knowing some of the ex
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Carol
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarything, 2020
Wow, this review is a hard one to write. First, I want to say that the author has a lot of promise, her writing held my attention all the way through. Please keep writing. However, I want to caution anyone who has a depressive disorder like me to skip this one. The writing is raw, honest and scary.
It seemed like the author was a story of two parts.

Part One, a baby is born in South Korea to a single mother and given up to a place for adoption. A couple adopted her brother, Aidan who had white an
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Christine
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is a beautifully written piece of work that greatly goes into the depths of some of the struggles transracial adoptees face—identity, grief/loss, belonging, struggles with adoptive parents, etc. As an adoptee myself, when reading this book, there were so many times I could relate to the vivid images Sharkey describes through Rowan, the main character.

Readers should take caref
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Kyra | Scales And Tales
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Thanks to Kaylie Jones/Akashic Books and NetGalley for the ARC!

I found myself reading this as if it were a fictional memoir- and it was a good one. See my full review at my blog.
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DublinSue
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was an accomplished and well-paced debut that kept me interested until the end. I liked the structure and the time jumps between present day and filling in the character's back story. The author takes on some very big issues ranging from identity, belonging and self esteem to infertility, adoption and family relationships to abuse and control, all of which are dealt with in a sensit
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Lauren
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A very promising first novel. The pacing felt a bit rushed in the end, and I was hoping for a bit more redemptive ending too. But the storytelling was compelling.
Brandy McGlaughlin
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow... there are so few words I can use to describe the raw intensity of this book. Filled with emotions and a poignant story line, this book left me wanting so much more and yet, satisfied with the story I had read. Full of heartbreak and joy, this is a book that woman everywhere should read, if only to realize that we all have an inner voice doubting ourselves, and Lauren J. Sharkey described that inner voice with such honest passion and brought forth tears I didn’t know I had to shed.
Kaitlin Barnes
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

WOW. This book is tough to read at times, but it is fabulously written! I loved the way the book was organized, flipping back and forth between Rowan's present and her upbringing. Definitely a powerful read.
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Rah
Jun 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book .im sad to say this book wasn’t it at all for me as it was very hard for me to get into it

This book might be amazing to other people depending on the genre you like so you can definitely give it a try
Montgomery Pierce
Inconvenient Daughter was an interesting book, insightful in unexpected ways. While arguably frenetic in its structure (the transitions between past and present could be unclear at times) Lauren Sharkey's writing draws a compelling connection between the feeling of not belonging and the ways in which someone might desperately seek it out--even in negative places.

Rowan is the quintessential young girl trying to find that belonging, first in white parents who are in general loving but lacking in
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Courtney Stuart
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sold as general fiction or the fandangle New Adult title that books staring young people are now lugged with, this is a story that cannot decide if it’s a story about an adopted child trying to make peace with her perceived rejection by her birth mother and the troubled relationship she has with the mother who adopted her; if it’s about domestic abuse, or a young teenage girl growing into adulthood, or a woman desperately trying to find acceptance or love in unacceptable ways or any and all of t ...more
Bee
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Inconvenient Daughter Thank you NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book to review.

"Rowan Kelly knows she's lucky. After all, if she hadn't been adopted, she could have spent her days in a rice paddy, or a windowless warehouse assembling iPhones--they make iPhones in Korea, right? As she matures, she realizes that she'll never know if she has her mother's eyes, or if she'd be in America at all had her adoptive parents been able to conceive. Rowan sets out to prove that
...more
Jade  @theelderbooks
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Inconvenient Daughter is about transracial adoption, having your sens of belonging questioned, building your identity while growing up. I really find that topic interesting, and this type of book, even when they're fiction like it's the case here can really help some readers with their own similar questions and issues. This is almost a self-help book.

Although I thought the book would be a linear piece of fiction following Rowan on her journey through self-discovery, but it was not exactly that.
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Susanne
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
Thank you to the author, Kaylie Jones Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was interested to dive into the topic of transracial adoption through this story - but I found this to be more a cathartic recounting of adolescent rebellion than anything else. Yes, the protagonist, named Rowan after a recently deceased relative of her adoptive parents, is adopted, and thus grows up feeling unwanted (by her birth mother) and also feeling less favored by her adoptive mother as
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Ali
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Inconvenient Daughter by Lauren J Sharkey follows Rowan Kelly as she struggles with relationships and self-worth after being adopted from Korea by an Irish/American family at three months old.
We see Rowan's first day of pre-school where she learns 'special' just means 'different'. We watch her rebellious streak grow through adolescence and high school, and feel each word spoken in anger between Rowan and her mother, the usual mother/daughter fighting exacerbated with every shouted "you're not m
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Aisha
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This started off so well but ended up being disappointing.

I have read a few memoirs on transracial adoption so I was really excited to see the issues it can raise explored in fiction, but this didn’t quite do that for me.

Rowan is adopted and so grows up feeling unwanted. This leads to her internalising negative messages about her worth and value. All this makes sense and I can imagine is pretty common among adoptees.

However Rowan as a teenager starts to act out and it spirals alarmingly to whe
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Lauren
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. I can’t think of any other books I have read which look at the experience of children who are a different race to their parents. I also thought that I would relate to Rowan's experience with men.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book follows Rowan, who was adopted from Korea by white parents. It follows her life as a child through to adulthood as she tries to grap
...more
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