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Wait for Me by An Na

Wait for Me

by An Na

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Trigger warning for Rape

MIna is in her senior year of high school. She's worked too hard to build an image that her mother can be proud of for it to crumble to pieces because of a boy that she refuses to allow to seduce her. All her mother wants is for her to apply to Harvard and get a good job so she won't have to marry a poor man that runs a dry cleaning business, like her father. Unfortunately for Mina, her grades are so pitiful that she probably couldn't go to a University. To get away from under her mother's thumb she had recruited the help of a boy that she knew her mother would approve of and who would do anything she wanted him to do because of how he felt for her. When things went too far, Mina had to resort to other ways and start stealing from her family's business to save up for a time when she could move away. She feels guilty at the thought of leaving her almost deaf little sister Suna but she has dreams that can't be followed under her strict Korean mother's gaze.

Suna sees a Mexican boy with a beautiful moon scar that finds employment in her family's dry cleaning business and watches as he and her sister look at each other with an intensity that makes her feel things she had never felt before.

The writing was so good I kept reading because I was moved by the great descriptions. The plot itself was kind of a letdown. After reading the author's note at the end I can totally tell it was because she wasn't really sure what kind of story she wanted to write after her debut novel that apparently was a big hit (I'm looking to read that one soon). This book was a little all over the place with a touch of family themes, finding oneself, following your dreams, ableism, racism among POCs, it was a little too much with no real impact for any of them. I felt like none of these things got resolved or that Mina actually learned anything from them because the ending was so vague and open-ended I felt empty after finishing. ( )
  Jessika.C | Apr 1, 2018 |
Mina's life is complicated when her life is trapped in a life of her mother's expectation to care for her younger deaf sister, Suna. In addition, she deals with internalizing problems and confusions and lies about what she wants in life. When her parent hires Ysrael to work at the dry cleaners, Mina's life begin to open up when Ysrael's frankness and honesty begins to unravel her web of complication and lies.

After finishing the book, I really felt emotional about the way in which racism and prejudice exist from a different cultural aspect. It's not the black and white people racism but the Asian and Hispanic. And it's amazing especially learning about the Asian culture and their common norms. One of it is Asian are seen as highly intelligent and are associate with good grades in academic performance. This is a contrast since Mina doesn't meet her mother's high expectation for education and life due to the lies she makes up to her mother. Even the romantic relationship is restrictive when comes to Asians. Mina is forbidden to love and date Ysrael because he's not Asian. Speaking from experience, my parents are often picky and prejudice when it comes to me hanging with certain group of people because of their skin color. It's really sad as I am reading this book because the racism still exists within the Asian culture too although not prevalent in America since racism between blacks and whites are common due to a dark history. I really enjoy this book because it teaches me to stand up and fight for my decisions to make choices I want to make as a person. ( )
1 vote jhcao20 | Apr 26, 2016 |
Read by Kim Mai Guest
Mina is trapped in a life of her mother's high expectations, caring for her deaf sister, and coping with her own confusion and lies about what it is she wants in her life. While outwardly she appears to be the good daughter, she has secretly been skimming money from the family business and with the help of a classmate, doctoring her grades. When her parents hire Ysrael to work at the dry cleaners, his simple honesty and openness forces Mina to face the lies in her life just as she finds herself falling in love with him.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. I chose to read this book because I didn’t know the author and the reviews on the back such as “mesmerizing…at times wrenching, at times triumphant and consistently absorbing… Fluid, lyrical language…” caught my attention. When I began to read the book, I was confused on what was going on because there wasn’t a lot of background knowledge explicitly stated. It was also hard to get involved with the book and the characters until the plot started to thicken when Ysrael was introduced into the story. The inner conflict of Mina was the main concept of the storyline, but I personally would have liked to hear from Apa’s perspective as well as more from Suna. However, once the story picked up I really enjoyed it and had a hard time putting the book down! It was a classic teen angst love story but it was interesting to see the cultural aspect integrated into the story as well. I feel that only older students (high school) should read this book because of the inappropriate content such as the sexual innuendos, public displays of affection and explicit language.
Also, the ending of this book is not clear whatsoever. It states that “Suna runs forward without a glance, without a thought. To the car rounding the curve of the freeway off-ramp. The road slick with oil and rain. She pumps her arms and wills herself into the light. Suna steps off the curb.” From this statement and the rest of the book (few pages) the author is not explicit in what actually happened to Suna and Mina. I feel that this “conflict” definitely needs to be resolved for the reader’s sake so they aren’t wondering and trying to interpret such a dramatic and horrific event on their own. ( )
  srogel1 | Apr 20, 2015 |
I liked this book because it was about racism but for the first time, that I've read, it wasn't black and white people. It was interesting to see racism with another culture. Mina is a high school student who is trapped in her lies. Her mother believes she has good grades and that she is headed to Harvard. This is far from true but Mina is too afraid to let down her mother's high standards. Most Asians are seen as very intelligent and always making good grades so this is a contrast. Mina also has a hearing impaired sister named Suna. Every chapter switches between the two sisters and the difference is evident. Mina has longer, more developed chapters while Suna's chapters are a little hard to understand and short. Ysrael is a Mexican who Mina falls in love with which is forbidden because he's not Asian. This book is good for high-schools because it is given from two different views which is quite intriguing. ( )
  ArielDean | Feb 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142409189, Paperback)

Mina is the perfect daughter. Bound for Harvard, she’s Honor Society president and a straight-A student, even as she works at her family’s dry-cleaning store and helps care for her hearingimpaired little sister. On the outside, Mina does everything right. On the inside, Mina knows the truth. Her life is a lie. Then, the summer before her senior year, Mina meets someone to whom she cannot lie. Ysrael, a young migrant worker who dreams of becoming a musician, comes to work for her family, and asks Mina the one question that scares her the most. What does she want?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As her senior year in high school approaches, Mina yearns to find her own path in life but working at the family business, taking care of her little sister, and dealing with her mother's impossible expectations are as stifling as the southern California heat, until she falls in love with a man who offers a way out.… (more)

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