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Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)…
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Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)

by Justina Chen Headley

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Wow, this was a fast read. A good one, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to be done that quickly. (And I’m normally a quick reader to begin with.)

I did have fun reading this, and it’s a very light read compared to Girl Overboard. Patty’s self-identity crisis is far different from Syrah’s, and I like that this really touches more on cultural identity. Patty’s not only described as being physically awkward, but also emotionally awkward. It makes her feel a little more grounded. I liked that she has trouble relating to her friends and the other kids at her school, and a large part of that is because she’s half-Asian. I liked her budding friendships with Anne and Jasmine, especially since the focus is on more their support for each other. I also really liked how Patty began to open up to her mother, after finding out the truth about her father.

That said, a lot of the book feels underdeveloped. After the revelation about Patty’s father, the rest of the plot clips by at an extremely fast pace. There’s several other plot developments, but they’re only touched on and never given full details. I wanted to know more about why Patty likes making up new words, I wanted more of her relationship with her Aunt Lu, I wanted to see her adjust more to math camp—there’s a lot that really doesn’t get developed. The book feels like it’s the first half of another book, aside from the last chapter. It really could have been a lot longer, and it feels like there’s a lot more to the story here.

It’s not a bad book, as I did enjoy reading it. It just feels like that it’s not as fleshed out.
( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
Justina Headley Chen's Nothing but the Truth and a few white lies was interesting with how the author incorporated two types of races into a stereotypical asian life.
The book really illustrated a fairly typical asian life. In this case it was Taiwanese- based, and the main character, Patty Ho, battled between a very strict taiwanese mother and a missing "gweilo" white father. I liked how the author made the beginning fairly straightforward; Patty was made fun of at school for her unusual race or "colour", but towards the end her life didn't seem so bad and she became more positive with her mother as well.
It's a good book to read, but this is not every asians life.
  evillcandyApple | Nov 9, 2010 |
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

If Patricia "Patty" Yi-Phen Ho had just one wish, she knows exactly what it would be. To be white. Full-out, red-white-and-blue, all-American, totally Caucasian white. Not the half-and-half mixture that she is now, with an overbearing Taiwanese mother and a long-gone Caucasian father. Not an Amazon-tall mishmash of ancestries that leave her looking like an overgrown Asian teenager or a really tanned white one. Just plain old, blend-into-the-crowd white.

When her mom drags her to a fortune-teller who gets her information from your bellybutton rather than a crystal ball, Patty knows she's in trouble. The "you're going to have three children" prediction is a little ludicrous, given the fact she can't even get a boyfriend. But what really freaks her out--not to mention sends her mother into a fit of unintelligible Taiwanese--is the fact that, according to bellybutton lady, Patty is destined to end up with a white guy.

For Patty, that works just fine. For her mother, not so good. If her mom had her way, Patty would never get within twenty feet of a white guy, never mind date one. No, her mom wants what she didn't get herself--a marriage to a nice, respectable, rich Taiwanese doctor. Or, if there are no doctors available, a businessman would be acceptable. Never mind what Patty wants, which at this moment is knowing if the hottest guy at school, Mark Scranton, will ever notice her.

Stunned into yet more lectures about life as a poor Taiwanese girl, Patty's mother decides that this summer, instead of lounging around and possibly getting a part-time job, Patty will attend math camp at Stanford. Since her older brother, Abe, is busy "preparing" for his upcoming attendance at Harvard, he's no help to get her out of this bind. So Patty sets off to camp, resigned to hanging out with geeks.

Except math camp turns out to be not as bad as she'd thought. There's some really good-looking guys there, guys with brains. Like Stu, who blesses her with her first kiss. And might possibly end up breaking her heart. For Patty, this summer could end up teaching her a whole lot more than math. Things like what it's like to really be American, and learning to love who you are. Because there are guys out there who can love a hapa girl for who she is--if she'll just learn to love herself first.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is a great read for anyone who has ever had trouble discovering their identity, or for someone looking to find out how it feels to be different. A real winner! ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
Awesome voice, incredible characters, math geeks ftw!
  booksofcolor | Jul 10, 2009 |
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For Tyler and Sofia,

my hapa kids who are wholly wonderful
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While every other freshman is at the Spring Fling tonight, I have a date with an old lady whose thumb is feeling up my belly button.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316011312, Paperback)

"Getting her fortune told by a Taiwanese 'belly-button grandmother' (who feels up her navel) instead of attending the spring dance is just one of the joys of being Patty Ho, a covertly snarky 'hapa' (half Asian, half white) struggling with her dual heritage. Patty's domineering mother is determined to make her a good Taiwanese girl. Gangly Patty, no 'China doll,' longs to be white like her long-gone father...readers will find a compelling narrative, and a spunky, sympathetic heroine. This book should enjoy wide appeal." -VOYA

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fifteen-year-old Patty Ho, half Taiwanese and half white, feels she never fits in, but when her overly-strict mother ships her off to math camp at Stanford, instead of being miserable, Patty starts to become comfortable with her true self.

» see all 2 descriptions

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