Five Thing About... Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

This is essentially a book about identity and coming-of-age. How do our relationships with others impact us? Are our decisions our own? How can we reconcile cultural pressures with individuality? 

The pacing of the book was a bit inconsistent- there were parts that had me captivated and others that were much slower. The narrative itself seems to have an identity crisis itself, between whether it was more character or plot driven, leaving me unable to really sink my teeth into it. 

I did appreciate the narrative structure- the author was clearly taking risks with having two different narrators (one third, one first) and the text moving around in time. 

Many of the conflicts lacked the depth they could have, and some felt a bit anticlimactic. The ending “twist,” if you want to call it that, also didn’t quite pack the punch I think the author intended it to have. 

I love books that take place near where I live- this one is set for a big chunk in Southern California, so I enjoyed being familiar with places they mentioned. There’s also quite a bit in NYC and some in Asia, as well. 

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