I had to laugh as I looked through some of the other reviews of this book — many of them started off the same way I thought I probably would — something like “This started really slow, but I enjoyed it more as it progressed.” There were also quite a few reviews, at least on the first page, that mentioned reading it because they were reading all of the Printz winners….
NEIBORS (my library’s ebook and audio lending library) had this available as an audiobook. I have to be in the right mood to listen to books, so I ended up saving this one until I had finished several of the other books from the 2002 winners. I did have a hard time wanting to listen at first. The narrator, Young Ju, is only four at the beginning of the book, and I didn’t care for the way the story started, which is unfortunate. If I had been listening purely for pleasure, I probably would have given up. I kept going, though, and the story and Young grew on me. But only up to a certain point — because it ended up being more about a family dealing with domestic violence, than a family learning to navigate the US after coming here from Korea. There were certain threads about immigration or their past that would come and go, characters that would be around at one point, but disappear for years, only to reappear again, suddenly. Where had they been all along? Why weren’t they involved again sooner?
And once we reach the ultimate crisis point — after that, everything is seemingly better in an instant? I was listening to the last part through a pretty intense sinus headache (hoping the story would distract me), so maybe that wasn’t the best listening conditions.
I guess that the fact that this was the 2002 award winner had me hoping for more. No time to dwell, though, I have more books to read.