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Summary

Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times best-selling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma.

They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. But Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course when her debate coach starts working with her privately.

As they steer their own distinct paths, Dani and Claire keep crashing into one another, setting a course that will change their lives forever.  

©2020 Kelly Yang (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • F. D. English
  • 13-10-20

This book had way too many swear words

I would not recommend this book to young people. Or any adults who are offended by the f word.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Licelot
  • 17-08-20

Powerful but frustrating

The material is very powerful and the story but I found myself being so frustrated with the two main characters. I wanted so much for them to bridge class gap between them, stop assuming and support one another. Also while this book has LGBTQ characters I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as an LGBTQ book considering that the 2 LGBTQ characters are mainly in the background.

4 people found this helpful

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  • HuangChu
  • 12-06-20

Empathy, Honesty, Complexity, Hope

This is a novel about two young women first, and the flawed world they live in second. I appreciated that the author made me care about the characters long before sending them into the important issues that the book is concerned with. I was able to completely empathize with their decisions and reactions because I was invested in them well before the world came crashing down on them.

I appreciated the honesty of the character portrayals. These are two believable young women and they aren't flawless. Nonetheless, when they do or say things that are unkind or self-involved or self-deluding, I felt for them. I recognized those behaviors. I remembered what it was to be a teenager trying to find my place.

Finally, I appreciated the complexity of the portrayals of all the characters. The author makes it clear that Asian-Americans are not a monolith. There is vast diversity of opinion and differences (cultural, generational, socio-economic, and just plain personal) within the "community", including over sexual harassment. The portrayal of the debates among Asian-Americans was realistic and rang true.

Finally, I applauded the book's notion of what "winning" looks like. Winning meant speaking the truth. Not "my truth", not "a truth", but the simple, unassailable truth that "no means no". In a world of fake news and a seeming worship of the idea that truth is subjective, the reminder that such a fundamental thing is not subject to debate gives me hope.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Julia Wooten
  • 30-05-20

Incredibly moving

I couldn't put out down. Kelly Yang is such a talented writer. She sucked me in with great characters and poignant themes. This is such an important book to read; I'm recommending it to all my friends!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Coleman Fam
  • 03-09-21

This was a truly amazing story and I had the greatest time enjoying it.

This book gave me hope that even if there isn’t always justice there are people fighting for reconstruction of today’s society normals of down playing sexual assault. Plus it read well and was very enticing.

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  • Jessica
  • 13-08-21

Worth the credit

I cared and liked both of the characters , and the narrations for both girls were great - the situation needs to be talked about more. Until I read their. Book I never heard of parachute kids so it was great knowing this knowledge

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  • Julienne Blevins
  • 16-06-21

The impression of the Filipino accent and poor pronunciation of Filipino words almost ruined my attention

Filipino accent is terrible but the story is engaging. I like the switch between chapters for the two main characters

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  • yellabeauty
  • 02-06-21

Definitely a must listen!!!

This book was really good. It does hit some sensitive topics. I loved that it’s not something I would normally pick up to read but learning about “parachute” students was really interesting. Please read this!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-11-20

Loved it!

Excellent take on the #metoo movement! I love Kelly's work. Can't wait to see what is next for her.

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  • Lily Z
  • 25-08-20

A perfect novel

Must read for literally anyone, any age. So beautifully painful and poignant, yet entertaining and captivating throughout. Best book of 2020 by far!