A review by kdailyreads
Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I found this book hard to rate. I would recommend reading it to others! 

Why I want to give it 4 stars:
- I really appreciate its historical significance as a 90s YA book about a Korean-American teenager, written by a Korean-American author. 
- Its exploration of themes like family expectations, immigration, racism, and coming-of-age
- Ellen and her friend Jessie have such a strong, loyal and loving friendship (the poem!) 
- Mrs. K the teacher (wish there was more of her) 
- Ellen recalling when she found Korean picture books
- Ellen’s talk with her dad at the end 
- The scene with Mike at drive in at the end 

Why I want to give it 3 or 3.5 stars:
- the portrayal of so much underage drinking with little discussion or portrayal of the consequences or pros and cons. It was just accepted as something everyone did, and they did it a lot. I guess that is accurate in a way (that many teenagers just participate in those types of activities without a ton of debate or reflection), but it bothered me because their behavior seemed so reckless. 
- Same with the incident when Ellen and Jessie go to Erie. I didn’t like that the girls basically had little to no discussion of what happened afterwards. 
- The ending was also abrupt. I wish the book had been a bit longer and the ending had been more detailed/timeline of the events at the end of the book had been a bit different to allow for more detail.

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