Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1713
Coming of Age story
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Frances' whole life has been mapped out for her. She needs to get good grades, go to Berkeley and become a doctor so she can help her mother. Frances has never questioned this until the one day she ends up in a speech class instead of calculus.

Frances knows she should drop the class but she finds she's a natural at debate and public speaking. Ms. Taylor, her speech teacher, encourages Frances to continue in the class. Frances ends up hiding this from her mother, fearing her reaction. She also ends up questioning what she wants out of life. Frances knows she should be the obedient daughter. Her mother has sacrificed so much for her education. Is it wrong to want something else out of life?

I really enjoyed this coming of age story of a young Asian teen who fights against cultural expectations of obedience and trying to fulfill her own dreams. This incredible, touching story is sure to inspire readers.

Frances finds her voice in debate and public speaking. Along the way she gains some friends like her speech teacher Ms. Taylor and Derek a fellow debate student. She also learns to stand up for what she wants which can be very hard. I know about the whole parent trying to use fear and other tactics to keep their child at home. Frances is told she's the only family her mother has and what would she do without her? I was told that I was the emotional strength for my mother when I tried to apply to an out of state private university. I wish I had the strength and courage that Frances had. At the end Frances arcs as a character as she gains the inner strength to question what she wants.

What I really love about this story is how the author shows us a teen who isn't the one dimensional 'good' girl but one that is multi-layered with struggles, confusion, and conflict on finding her own way while challenging the rules she'd be taught from an early age. Even her mother, who comes across as a tiger mother, is shown that she's only following what had been taught her. Though she pushes Frances to achieve almost impossible goals, she seriously thinks she's helping her daughter. Frances' friend Theresa also shows she's more than just a friendly face.

Once again another Egmont winner. Frances is a true heroine for those who struggle to find themselves amidst expectations others have for them.
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