Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 9 Up-Asian-American Albert Kim, 16, is extraordinarily successful at cultivating his status as "intentional loser." Having chosen against academic summer camp, he takes a cleaning job at a nearby inn. His coworker, popular and beautiful Mia, has recently ended her long-term relationship with lacrosse team star Ryan and is using her job as a distraction. Although communication between Albert and Mia is initially strained, their sleazy supervisor's rejected advances toward Mia and his attempt to fire her draw the teens together. Their newfound friendship turns to romance before summer's end, but Albert's social status at school puts a strain on the relationship. When Ryan is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, Mia's constant support for him and his near-canonization make things even more difficult. Yoo deftly describes the charged emotions created when a popular community member is stricken by illness or injury; a candlelight vigil, fundraiser, and walkathon are poignant, comic, and unnerving. Although suburban high school life is expertly captured, the abrupt insertion of '80s and '90s pop-culture references detracts from the narrative. Mia might be a little too good to be true, but Albert is a funny, fascinating, and infuriating character. Laugh-out-loud moments and painfully realistic scenes of student life will hold readers' attention.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 9 Up-Asian-American Albert Kim, 16, is extraordinarily successful at cultivating his status as "intentional loser." Having chosen against academic summer camp, he takes a cleaning job at a nearby inn. His coworker, popular and beautiful Mia, has recently ended her long-term relationship with lacrosse team star Ryan and is using her job as a distraction. Although communication between Albert and Mia is initially strained, their sleazy supervisor's rejected advances toward Mia and his attempt to fire her draw the teens together. Their newfound friendship turns to romance before summer's end, but Albert's social status at school puts a strain on the relationship. When Ryan is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, Mia's constant support for him and his near-canonization make things even more difficult. Yoo deftly describes the charged emotions created when a popular community member is stricken by illness or injury; a candlelight vigil, fundraiser, and walkathon are poignant, comic, and unnerving. Although suburban high school life is expertly captured, the abrupt insertion of '80s and '90s pop-culture references detracts from the narrative. Mia might be a little too good to be true, but Albert is a funny, fascinating, and infuriating character. Laugh-out-loud moments and painfully realistic scenes of student life will hold readers' attention.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.