Bitter Melon

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1678 0
Bitter Melon
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
December 28, 2010
ISBN
1606841262
Buy This Book
      
Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants? It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this companion to the award-winning Izzy Gizmo, Izzy Gizmo...
The Welcome Wagon
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Cubby Hill, someone new is someone to celebrate!In a...
Once Upon a Crime: Batman Tales
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Gotham City is filled with stories--of heroes and of villains,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With Joanie Stone's colorful illustrations and Allison Crotzer Kimmel's inspirational...
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The high price of perfection is one 'Perfect' Parker Fadley...
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
An action-packed and heartwarming story of a dog in the...
Bo the Brave
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A feisty little girl learns who the real monsters are...
Double Trouble!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mischief is multiplied when twins are around! ...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the...
The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team: (The Derby Daredevils Book #1)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and...
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first title in a new series featuring a lovable,...
Nina Soni: Sister Fixer
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second title in a humorous series featuring a charming,...
The Alchemist's Shadow (Watch Hollow #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Having defeated the Garr, a vicious tree monster who lived...
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The...
Helen Keller: The World at Her Fingertips
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Helen Keller was a baby, she became sick and...
King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery....

Latest Member Reviews

Jo & Laurie
 
3.3
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
2.3
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
 
4.3
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
Layoverland
 
5.0
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."
Summer and July
 
5.0
"'Summer and July' by Paul Mosier is a beautifully written story perfect for summer reading. Readers will find themselves immersed..."
A Wicked Magic
 
4.0
"Friends Dan and Liss find a Black book of magic and try a spell. Only the spell goes terribly..."
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
"SCARLET ODYSSEY is a high fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Men are often raised to be..."
Tigers, Not Daughters
 
5.0
"TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
4.0
"The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last..."
when you were everything
 
4.3
"WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk is a YA Contemporary novel told in two timelines, “then” and “now.” The..."
Path of Night (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #3)
 
5.0
"PATH OF NIGHT is another great installment of the books based on the Netflix show, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. This..."
Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars, #2)
 
5.0
"UNRAVEL THE DUSK is an enchanting sequel and finale to a unique YA fantasy. Maia is a tailor who dreamed..."
Sisters of Sword and Song
 
4.3
"SISTERS OF SWORD AND SONG is an enchanting and lush YA fantasy. The story follows two sisters, Halcyon and Evadne,..."
Straight On Till Morning: A Twisted Tale #8
 
3.7
"Straight on Till Morning is part of “A Twisted Tale” series, a multi author series of fairytale retellings created by..."
Faith Taking Flight
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Faith Herbert has a secret. She can fly. When she runs into her fangirl crush Dakota, star of the..."
Honor Bound (The Honors, #2)
 
5.0
"HONOR BOUND is an electrifying and thrilling YA sci-fi sequel. Zara, Beatriz, and Nadim are on the run from an..."
Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1)
 
4.7
"HONOR AMONG THIEVES is an engaging YA sci-fi that takes place in a world where humanity has been introduced to..."