Book Review: Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

Lucy and Linh
Author: Alice Pung
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Released: September 6th, 2016
Review Source: Knopf Books for Young Readers

A literary Mean Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat that follows Lucy as she tries to balance her life at home surrounded by her Chinese immigrant family, with her life at a pretentious private school.

Lucy and Linh is a story written in letter style in which Lucy is writing to a friend named Linh. In her letter, or letters, she writes about their childhood and what growing up in their neighborhood was like before she begins writing about her new life at a new very prestigious school that she received a scholarship to attend. Lucy and her family emigrated from Vietnam to Stanley, Australia when she was very young and so she does not remember living there much at all. Her mother works for minimal pay sewing clothes and her father works at a carpet factory. Which is to say that her family is by no means wealthy but indeed very hard working. When Lucy receives the scholarship everyone is very shocked, including Lucy. Once her new life begins at Laurinda, the all-girl school, Lucy’s life really begins to change.

Without getting too much into spoiler-y territory, Lucy befriends three girls who are very rich and therefore very popular. With them as an influence Lucy takes on some of their less than desirable snobby traits and begins resenting her parents, their imperfect English amongst other things. This book is about her journey to discovering who she is, what her values are and the true qualities that make a person whole. It’s about not letting others expectations outline and manipulate who you should be.

On a whole, this was a very enjoyable read that I was not expecting to like so much but some of those major things that Lucy deals with in regards to her home life with parents who did not speak English perfectly, who often needed help speaking to people because someone could not understand their heavy accents or the parents needed clarification with something, is something I myself experienced growing up with my Mexican parents. Great and easy read, I definitely think this is going to be a book I go back to and reread every now and then.

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