50 Books by Authors of Color: Book 35
Title: Roots and Wings
Author: Many Ly
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all my readers! For some unknown reason I decided that a day off from work meant that I should start watching Degrassi Junior High instead of finishing up reading Flygirl by Sherri Smith. Which I promise will be finished and posted about soon. I’m also working on A Mercy by Toni Morrison and Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisen (which is fantastic). Anyways, while watching Degrassi Junior High I was reintroduced to everyone’s favorite disorganized Cambodian, Yick Yu. My reintroduction reminded me that I had requested Roots and Wings from the library and that I should probably read it.
So I did, and let me just say, that Yick Yu is way more awesome than Grace (See, I was totally going somewhere with that). Grace is fourteen and Cambodian living in Pennsylvania in a community completely devoid of other Cambodians except for her mother and grandmother. Grace does not know who her father is or why he and her mother are not together, all she knows is that he is from the same Cambodian community in St. Petersburg, Florida. After her grandmother dies unexpectedly Grace and her mother Chandra decide to visit St. Petersburg to give Grace’s grandmother a proper Cambodian funeral.
As you can expect, shenanigans occur. Actually, shenanigans would have been great, instead Grace whines for two-hundred and sixty-two pages. No I’m serious. Even though her mother says it at least two times, Grace doesn’t seem to get that the world doesn’t revolve around her. I get it, I understand the desire to want to know who your father is, but Grace displays her desire to know by whining.
The rest of the book is filled with whiny adults. The adults in St. Petersburg whining about how Americanized their children have become. One of the only redeeming portions of this book is a story told by Oum/Grandmother Palla (who is an older lady in the St. Petersburg community) survived in Cambodia with Grace’s grandmother, and the story of how Grace’s grandmother got a scar on her face.
I’m going to leave you with a bit more Degrassi awesomeness because this book was just that annoying.
Overall Rating: 1/5