nina's Reviews > Nothing But the Truth

Nothing But the Truth by Justina Chen
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liked it
bookshelves: asian-authors, fiction
Recommended for: hapas, 2nd gen asians

This is a coming of age book of a girl who never felt like she belonged due to her mixed race heritage. The book begins and ends with the main character, Patty, writing a 'Truth Essay' for her English teacher and exploring, through summer math camp, new friends, and geometric proofs, who she is.

I am still debating whether the book was doing more harm than good by proliferating certain stereotypes (broken English, math skills, Asian/hapa exoticism)...

The overall theme, which is that no one fits into one single category easily, is sometimes overstated, but I enjoyed the book anyway. Author Headley, who was inspired to write the book for her hapa children, leave no loose ends in the story.

Favorite part: when Patty realizes her worth in her family

Pros: Taiwanese cultural references - I've never seen meoe (rice porridge) appear in a non-cookbook before!

Cons: some cringe-worthy descriptions of "hot" guys, tries too hard to be witty at times (not that I should knock lovers of the parenthetical comment...)
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
September 24, 2007 – Shelved
September 24, 2007 – Shelved as: asian-authors
September 24, 2007 – Shelved as: fiction

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Hallie The 'hapa exoticism' bothered me too, and I haven't seen many people mention that. Was it supposed to be okay as it was an Asian girl who voiced the opinion openly? It also seemed a bit of a stretch that Patty managed to get into the highly competitive math camp despite her best efforts to dumb down in math. But as you say, many good things in the book too.


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