May 9, 2009
By Anonymous

Imagine meeting someone of the opposite sex who is perfect for you. He or she shares your biggest interest, has an amazing personality, treats you with compassion and is incredibly attractive to boot. Now imagine that person liking you back and asking you out. Okay…everything's perfect, right? Now imagine having to say no to them because of what your family might say.
You've just imagined the life of Sue Hua and Andy Suzuki from the book Mismatch by Lensey Namioka. Sue's family is Chinese American and Andy's is Japanese American. Sue's grandmother survived the horrific Japanese bombing of China in the 1930's and still has terrible stories to tell about the “Japanese monsters.” Her parents feel nearly the same way. Andy's dad believes the Chinese are “backward” and even “a dirty people.” And to make things even more confusing, a school trip to Tokyo is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Will Sue and Andy ever get to be together? Will they tell their parents, and how will they react?

Mrs. Namioka weaves together details of her own inter-cultural marriage with sweet bursts of teen romance and honest admittance of prejudices. Add this to a very entertaining description of Japan and you get a sensitive, soulful love story with Eastern flair and family truths. I would recommend Mismatch to anyone looking for a summer read that balances fluff and substance. Mismatch was the perfect book match for me.

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