Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)

Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Justina Chen Headley

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Format: Paperback | 241 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 20mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0316011312
  • ISBN 13: 9780316011310
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 535,936

Product description

"Getting her fortune told by a Taiwanese 'belly-button grandmother' (who feels up her navel) instead of attending the spring dance is just one of the joys of being Patty Ho, a covertly snarky 'hapa' (half Asian, half white) struggling with her dual heritage. Patty's domineering mother is determined to make her a good Taiwanese girl. Gangly Patty, no 'China doll, ' longs to be white like her long-gone father...readers will find a compelling narrative, and a spunky, sympathetic heroine. This book should enjoy wide appeal." -VOY

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Author information

Justina Chen grew up near Buffalo, NY and San Francisco. After attending Stanford University she spent time in New York and Sydney, Australia before settling near Seattle, Washington, where she currently lives with her two children. Her first book, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies), was a Book Sense pick, and her second novel, Girl Overboard, won praise from Olympic Gold Medalist and fellow snowboarder Hannah Teter. Her third novel, a gorgeously written story about a teen's quest for beauty, North of Beautiful, was critically acclaimed with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 27 Sep 2010 5

If Patricia "Patty" Yi-Phen Ho had just one wish, she knows exactly what it would be. To be white. Full-out, red-white-and-blue, all-American, totally Caucasian white. Not the half-and-half mixture that she is now, with an overbearing Taiwanese mother and a long-gone Caucasian father. Not an Amazon-tall mishmash of ancestries that leave her looking like an overgrown Asian teenager or a really tanned white one. Just plain old, blend-into-the-crowd white.

When her mom drags her to a fortune-teller who gets her information from your bellybutton rather than a crystal ball, Patty knows she's in trouble. The "you're going to have three children" prediction is a little ludicrous, given the fact she can't even get a boyfriend. But what really freaks her out--not to mention sends her mother into a fit of unintelligible Taiwanese--is the fact that, according to bellybutton lady, Patty is destined to end up with a white guy.

For Patty, that works just fine. For her mother, not so good. If her mom had her way, Patty would never get within twenty feet of a white guy, never mind date one. No, her mom wants what she didn't get herself--a marriage to a nice, respectable, rich Taiwanese doctor. Or, if there are no doctors available, a businessman would be acceptable. Never mind what Patty wants, which at this moment is knowing if the hottest guy at school, Mark Scranton, will ever notice her.

Stunned into yet more lectures about life as a poor Taiwanese girl, Patty's mother decides that this summer, instead of lounging around and possibly getting a part-time job, Patty will attend math camp at Stanford. Since her older brother, Abe, is busy "preparing" for his upcoming attendance at Harvard, he's no help to get her out of this bind. So Patty sets off to camp, resigned to hanging out with geeks.

Except math camp turns out to be not as bad as she'd thought. There's some really good-looking guys there, guys with brains. Like Stu, who blesses her with her first kiss. And might possibly end up breaking her heart. For Patty, this summer could end up teaching her a whole lot more than math. Things like what it's like to really be American, and learning to love who you are. Because there are guys out there who can love a hapa girl for who she is--if she'll just learn to love herself first.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is a great read for anyone who has ever had trouble discovering their identity, or for someone looking to find out how it feels to be different. A real winner!