Kirsty Stanley's Reviews > Chinglish

Chinglish by Sue Cheung
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really liked it

Told in diary format over the years 1984 - 1987 this initially reminded me of Adrian Mole. I also got a blast from the past with some of the references. Who else remembers Wimpy?
Jo Kwan and her family move to Coventry and run and live above a Chinese takeaway 🥡 (hence my picture - like I needed an excuse to order tasty food - thankfully no chicken’s feet in my order tho!).
Through the character of Jo, Sue Cheung tells her own semi-autobiographical story of growing up in 80s England and finding herself caught between two cultures.
Having seen the film Blinded by the Light recently I got the same vibes, that conflict that teens find between who their families want them to be and who they are.
Although there are moments of humour, Chinglish tackled more serious subjects than I had anticipated and it balances the two well by showing us how Jo’s perspective changes as she grows up.
Every character in the story is complex and flawed and you can sense their realness. Each is both loveable and annoying in equal measure.
Sue also illustrates the book with doodles that definitely add to the experience - poor Billy 🐐.
An authentic 80s teen voice which can’t help but tell the good, the bad and the occasionally mundane. I’d be interested to read more about Jo/Sue’s life, and also maybe from younger sister Bonny’s perspective. I feel like some themes had space for further development - or that the stories started between characters weren’t complete.

Gifted a copy for the purposes of an honest review
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Reading Progress

September 10, 2019 – Started Reading
September 11, 2019 – Shelved
September 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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