TITLE: American Born Chinese
AUTHOR: Gene Luen Yang
RATING: 4.5 / 5
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Self-acceptance is the key in these intertwining stories about Chinese American boys.
This was a very pleasant surprisingly enjoyable read. It’s a coming of age story that I’m sure anyone can identify with because part of growing up is accepting yourself, and it’s a hard lesson. I’m 20 and I still don’t have it completely figured out (not that I should because I’m 20… I think)
What’s interesting about this graphic novel is that when I started reading it I had no idea of where it was going, but once you do see where it’s heading, it’s incredible and amazingly well crafted. I think that’s what I loved most, it’s a very well told story. Which makes me wonder how Gene Luen Yang was able to put it all in 200 pages. It never feels rushed and everything makes sense.
The characters weren’t exactly super fun or quirky, but you can tell they come from a personal place in Yang’s life, and that somehow made it even more enjoyable to read. Personally, I think I’ve been missing the teen drama from books and tv shows, because I enjoyed every bit of the drama in this comic. I loved seeing how Jin reacted being around his crush and getting embarrassed by different things.
The art style reminds me of the older Scooby Doo cartoons. With that said, it doesn’t look amazing (even with glossy paper), but it feels right for the book. The drawing style looks outdated, but the story is told as a memory. It’s like that type of story parents tell you of what it was like growing up and the very important life lesson they learned.
The more I think about American Born Chinese, the more I love it. I can’t find something that completely irks me or wrong about it. Just go read it!