I Want Candy

I Want Candy

2.73 (226 ratings by Goodreads)
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Fourteen-year-old Candace Ong is wasting away in wonderland--Eggroll Wonderland, the restaurant where her under-Americanized family toils in San Francisco. She loves rock candy and rock music, jelly beans and jelly shoes--and hangs with her best friend Ruby, whose wild life she envies. Candace wants more than another stifling summer stuck in the kitchen. So when a new opportunity arises, she leaps at the chance--even though it means leaving home to experience a tantalizing, dangerous life far beyond the dim sum ho hum. But the waiting world may be a lot more than one brainiac Chinese Lolita can safely handle.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 278 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0060847980
  • 9780060847982

Rating details

226 ratings
2.73 out of 5 stars
5 9% (20)
4 14% (31)
3 37% (84)
2 22% (50)
1 18% (41)

Our customer reviews

Don\'t let the cover\'s pink, white, and red color scheme, or chicklit-ish title, fool you. Kim Wong Keltner\'s I WANT CANDY is not some lighthearted, nostalgic ode to life as a teen in the \'80s. Keltner explores life as experienced by fourteen-year-old Candace, who wants more from life than what the larger culture deems appropriate for someone of Chinese descent. Candace knows the odds of her dream boyfriend, Rick Ocasek from The Cars, driving up next to her as she walks the streets of San Francisco may be slim to none. That doesn\'t stop her from squirreling away every penny she earns and dreaming of the day when she will be more than the Eggroll Girl at the Chinese restaurant run by her family. Candace plays sidekick to \"hot\" girl Ruby (the only other Chinese girl in attendance at Candace\'s private Catholic school), serves as class treasurer, and harbors feelings of general misanthropy, all the while waiting for her life to begin. But when things actually start happening, Candace faces startling truths about herself, her family, and her heritage that she never even imagined. Candace isn\'t necessarily the most likable character, and I spent a great deal of this novel fairly appalled by her behavior, but the contrasts of her personality ring true. Throughout her journey, Candace remains a compelling force, driving the reader to follow her story to its unexpected conclusion. Kim Wong Keltner weaves into the larger narrative underlying themes related to the history of Chinese women in San Francisco, the cultural gap between immigrants and their Americanized offspring, and the contrast of values between the various worlds in which Candace moves. I was especially pleased by the author\'s repeated denunciation of the cultural mindset fetishizing and objectifying Asian girls and women. If you\'re looking for a novel to churn the gears of your mind, I WANT CANDY is definitely one to check out.show more
by TeensReadToo
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