Author: An Na
Reading Level: Junior High
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin)
Edition: Hardcover (Galley), 2006
Mina’s story is told with such quiet power by An Na that it’s almost unbearable to read. So much stuff is laid on the shoulders of this one child: her mother’s expectations, family secrets, lies, her sister’s wellbeing… It is almost unrealistic. But it does feel real — her relationships with all people in her life, from the former childhood friend to the new boyfriend, from her helpless sister to her dominating mother, all ring true. Suna’s story is not as fleshed out, although she is given her own chapters — they are all quite dream-like, which I believe is An Na’s intention, and yet, I’m left with a sense of dissatisfaction at the incompleteness of her story, especially toward the end.