Laura's Reviews > Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
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Dec 20, 2011

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bookshelves: 2012
Read from February 21 to 22, 2012

Although I completely devoured this book in 2 days some people would ask why I only gave it three stars. The reason being, France's relationship with Derek was unrealistic. The smart, good looking, white male would never leave his beautiful girlfriend for the plain Asian girl, nor would he have the patience to stay with her. I felt no chemistry between the two and thought of it as a stereotypical high school relationship. I also felt the ending to be bittersweet. Even though France's mom deserved what she got in the end I still pitied her. It just goes to show filial piety is very well engraved in my well being. I felt a great connection with this book. I was so attached to it because of my own Asian American background. I've always felt I could never amount to my mother's expectations, whether it be grades, my weight, or looks. I really appreciated that Cara Chow made Frances a little chubbier.

"So how do you know when you're a winner? Easy. It's when good is not good enough."

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Quotes Laura Liked

Cara Chow
“That's the first time I've ever heard the idea of unconditional love outside the context of religion. In theology class, I always hear about God's love, about his loving us even though we're sinners. But the idea that real live parents could be unconditionally loving is completely foreign... How can anyone be loved not for what they do but for who they are? Isn't who you are defined by what you do?”
Cara Chow, Bitter Melon

Cara Chow
“So how do you know when you're a winner? Easy. It's when good is not good enough.”
Cara Chow, Bitter Melon

Cara Chow
“When I look back, my greatest accomplishment in high school has nothing to do with competition and winning. I learned to use my own judgement and not to follow others blindly. I learned to judge myself based on my own standards. I learned to find my own voice. I learned to speak my own truth. I have nothing to show for these achievements, no grades, no medals, trophies, or diploma. Yet these are the achievements that can't be taken away by loss, failure, or misunderstanding.”
Cara Chow, Bitter Melon

Cara Chow
“It is like choosing whether to cut off one's right hand or one's left hand. It is like having to decide whether to save your drowning mother, knowing that you may both drown, or swimming to shore alone, knowing that you can only save yourself. If that is your dilemma, which way is right? Which way would you choose?”
Cara Chow, Bitter Melon


Reading Progress

02/21 page 156
50.0% "it sucks that I have to put this book down because of homework D:"
10/11 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by S (new) - added it

S I disagree. Based on his own family background, he saw himself in Frances. And there was no mention as to the actual reason he broke up with Diane. As he is an intellectual, it is understandable that he was looking for a girlfriend with substance.


Laura This situation may have been possible if the two were adults but they were merely teenagers. And the fact that the reason why he broke up with Diane was never explained made it feel abrupt and incomplete. There was no real closure. I thought of Frances as just a rebound girl.


Blueberrybush Many teenagers are mature enough to value intelligence over appearance, too, you know. Don't underestimate them. Just because they are teenagers doesn't mean that they cannot have a relationship in which intelligence is valued.


Bookworm3 I have to say something but even if you are pretty in the outside it doesn't mean you will be in the inside. Frances may not look as pretty as Diane, but it doesn't mean love can't happen between her and Derek.Love can happen unexpected and complicated. But I do agree that I am glad Cara Chow made Frances chubbier! :)


Laura The way it was executed didn't make it seem realistic. Therefore, I didn't find the relationship believable. Is it possible for two teens like Frances and Derek to be together? It's possible, but not likely. I'm a teenager and I've never witnessed anything close to this happening at my school. Also if Derek valued intelligence so much he would have dated someone a little smarter before he met Frances.


YourBitchCalled You know what Laura, it doesn't matter what race, religion, sex, sexuality, or personality. Love is love


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