Monday, July 14, 2008

Paula Yoo's Good Enough.

Good Enough was quite good! Patti is finishing up her senior year in high school, and her parents have put a lot of pressure on her. Get the concert master position in the All-State orchestra, do really well on the SAT, get into Harvardyaleprinceton, be charming at church, help around the house. Patti has done all of these things for years, and comes to realize that while this makes her parents happy, it isn't doing a whole lot for her.

She meets Ben, otherwise known as Hot Trumpet Guy. She is so enthralled that she muffs her orchestra audition and ends up as assistant concert master. Parents are not pleased. She becomes friends with Ben, and sneaks off to play music with him. Again, parents are not pleased. She eventually does better at the SAT and looks to have the college application thing in hand, but will following her parents' choices of Ivy League schools make her happy? She applies to Juilliard without their knowledge and starts to think about what it is that SHE wants to do with her life.

The descriptions of Patti's interactions with Ben are wonderful and painful at the same time. She can hardly breathe in his presence, and yet knows that while he is being nice to her, he's going to keep dating the cute cheerleader types. The whole relationship is realistically played; they become friends again after Patti tells Ben she likes him, but not for a long time, and not forever. He moves on through her life, and that is the way relationships often evolve.

A big part of this book is the fact that Patti and her parents are Korean. This is evidenced throughout the book (who knew that Koreans were so fond of Spam?), and yet wasn't the driving force behind the book. I wanted to be friends with Patti-- I think we would have gotten along. I was never as smart or as musically talented, but I had many of the same frustrations and delusions. I was glad that things worked out in the end, especially when I read the back flap and suspected that this is a somewhat autobiographical tale.

I can buy this and pass it off as Pink, even though I will be buying it because it's a dead on description of how high school can be, and because I was glad to live through it with Patti.

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