Since You Asked… by Maurene Goo

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When Holly Kim, copyeditor for her high school newspaper, accidentally submits an article full of her honest opinions about her high school, she gets her own column instead of punishment. Holly rants and raves about what bothers her and tries to find balance between being known for speaking her mind, keeping her Korean family’s values, and trying to survive high school.

I had really high hopes for this book!

I thought the cover and title were cute. I loved the premise. Scholastic Inc. published it. It had all the great makings of a great read.

Yeah, not so much.

The characters were all, well, caricatures. They were all annoying and over the top. All of the dialogue felt forced or unnecessary. Holly Kim, the main character is barely likeable. The book reads like someone in middle school wrote it. I am honestly surprised it was published.

I kept reading, hoping it would get better, but it never did. I thought, when Holly got to write her own column, that I was in for some insightful or poignant observations about life in high school or being Korean-American. No. When she got a tip-off that the student government might be rigging the homecoming court election, I thought she would use journalism to expose her school’s underground politics. No. I thought there might be some swoon-worthy moments with her secret admirer. No. I thought that when Holly suffered through her Korean family’s unique Christmas traditions, she’d find value in family or her culture. No.

The plot lines are never developed.

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Goo tries too hard to be funny and tongue-in-cheek. From this book, I seriously doubt her chops as a writer, especially one in the YA genre.

Overall, I found the book a huge disappointment and a real struggle to read.

*Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book

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