How to make your Korean parents happy1 Get a perfect score on the SATs2 Get into HarvardYalePrinceton3 Don't talk to boysPatti's parents expect nothing less than the best from their Korean American daughter Everything she does affects her chances of getting into an Ivy League school So winning assistant concertmaster in her All State violin competition and earning less than 2300 on her SATs is simply not good enoughBut Patti's discovering that there's to life than the Ivy League To start with there's Cute Trumpet Guy He's funny he's talented and he looks exactly like the lead singer of Patti's favorite band Then of course there's her love of the violin Not to mention cool rock concerts And anyway what if Patti doesn't want to go to HarvardYalePrinceton after all?Paula Yoo scores big in her hilarious debut novel about an overachiever who longs to fit in and strives to stand out The pressure is onBoys will distract you from your studies

10 thoughts on “Good Enough

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    As an Asian American I'm always on the lookout for books either written by Asian Americans or featuring Asian Americans as protagonists or better still fulfilling both categories I picked up Good Enough by Paula Yoo because it fulfilled both categories and was in the YA genre For some reason publishers think Asian teens don't exist but somehow emerge as fully formed adults Amy Tan Maxine Hong Kingston Jhumpa Lahiri these are all critically acclaimed Asian authors who are known for writing about the adult Asian American experienceI grew up in a school where Asians were a minority but not by much Approximately 40% of my town's residents were Asian mostly Indian and Chinese with one or two other national origins mixed in and my high school was named 1 school in New Jersey and had many other honors Some of my classmates exhausted the curricula at school and took courses at Princeton I graduated in the top ten of my high school class which is no easy feat The top students including myself were almost exclusively Asian But we were still teenagers and we had interests like music anime art sports politics etc and loved just hanging out with one another We never considered ourselves too different from our white classmates since there were popular Asians cheerleader and jock Asians as well as nerdy Asians and every type of person in betweenThat's why this book was so disappointing It enforced a model minority trope without giving the main character Patti Yoon a realistic life or perspective Her parents are basically caricatures of Asian parents I had the strictest parents of my group of friends and they weren't nearly as obsessive about my life at least in high school now it's another story The obsession with her SATs is unhealthy I don't recall myself or any of my classmates who got into the vaunted 2300 club ever studying that hard for the SATs we knew that it would only test some basic problem solving information and vocabulary we already built BY READING not memorizing random words and using them out of context Patti talks about studying and liking the material but she never seems truly engaged by itI also am weirded out by how little of modern pop culture that Patti understands My friends and I all had EXTENSIVE music collections and watched plenty of TV probably to the detriment of our sleep schedule X and if asked we could rattle off songs by many punk classic rock and metal bands we loved I can't imagine a single teenager Asian or not who DOESN'T know The Clash or doesn't realize that classical can be combined with rock Hell my group in high school was obsessed with Bond the female string quartet and I was part of a woodwind choir that did a bunch of jazz songsI found Patti's relationship with Ben surprising but realistic I'm glad that view spoilershe didn't end up with Ben and that instead he dated Stephanie the popularmean white girl hide spoiler