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American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda

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"At 17, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth - that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

"But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?"

American Panda is a feel-good story that also raises very important points. It's the perfect book to read whenever you feel down, as it’s one of those books that is guaranteed to perk you up.

Mei is an engaging and sweet character who perfectly matched the warm fuzzy feeling the book gave me. Her romance with Darren is adorable.

American Panda is a cute contemporary which is diverse, brilliant and simply lovely.