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December 2017: Social Issues > The Leavers by Lisa Ko - 3 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3449 comments This book contains social commentary on immigration, so I believe it fits the category. I rated it a high 3 stars.

Contemporary fiction about a Chinese-American youth abandoned by his mother at age ten, who is adopted by a white couple. Feeling like he doesn’t belong, he longs to find his birth mother. The author provides insight into the heart-wrenching struggles faced by illegal immigrants with American-born children.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I thought it did an excellent job of showing how fear of abandonment can leave a lasting impact on a child’s life as he matures into a young adult (view spoiler) On the other hand, I didn’t feel the book was fully engaging. It jumps around in time and it is not always evident where we are in the timeline. I also thought the adoptive parents could have been more fleshed out – they appeared to be cardboard cut-outs. Since this is a debut, I am sure Ko will evolve in her ability to facilitate a connection with the characters, so I will pick up something from her in the future.

Recommended to those interested in stories centered around immigration, adoption, or Chinese culture. Contains crude language.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6438 comments Hmmm, you and I seem to often agree on books, and I actually own this one so a little disappointed it wasn't better. I'm heartened though that you saw potential in the author's writing. The writing is important to me.

Well, I have it, but I won't be rushing around to get to it (story of my reading life!).


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments I really liked it and I think you (Anita) will like this one. Sorry you didn’t like it more


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6438 comments Jen wrote: "I really liked it and I think you (Anita) will like this one. Sorry you didn’t like it more"

Lol, well that's good news since I own it already! I won't dismiss it too readily as you do know my taste pretty well . . .


message 5: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3449 comments Anita wrote: "Jen wrote: "I really liked it and I think you (Anita) will like this one. Sorry you didn’t like it more"

Lol, well that's good news since I own it already! I won't dismiss it too readily as you do..."


Anita, there are lots of 5 star reviews for this book, so many people loved it. It may also be that I read it at the wrong time. I did like it, though. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


message 6: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I’ve just acquired it too. I need to find out where I stand!


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8538 comments This is on my TBR, so I'd be interested in hearing what others land. Following closely.


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