Book info

Fresh Off The Boat (2005)

Fresh Off the Boat (2005)
Rating
3.39 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0060545402 (ISBN13: 9780060545406)
languge
English
publisher
harpercollins publishers
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Fresh Off The Boat (2005)
Fresh Off The Boat (2005)

About book: FIRST READ: 2011 December (3 stars)I skipped some parts on Melissa de la Cruz's Fresh Off the Boat. The book entertained me a bit and because the narrator was a teenager and mostly talked about, uh, crushes, love (I'm sorry I can no longer remember and when I was reading this I was being crazy over someone) so I was trying not to miss anything. But I still skipped some pages. Heh. SECOND READ: 2014 March 31 - April 2 (5 stars)So I guess I didn't skip some parts before, because after I finished reading the book there were nothing surprising or anything that I didn't remember not reading. Also, I think I didn't thoroughly enjoy the book before because I couldn't feel it. Unlike now that everything I've read just keeps going back to my head and I keep nodding because everything is true.Crushes, boyfriends, popularity--grades, fights with my parents, problems about money---these weren't one of my problems when I was 11. (Though I had crushes and fights with my mom, popularity and boyfriends weren't a big deal because I didn't care, and problems about money weren't my problems before. My grades...well, I don't really mind participating until now.) I was 12 when I first entered high school. It wasn't a good experience. I can enumerate some things that I find worth sharing when I was in first year high school, but mostly I was hardly enjoying. There came a time that I actually craved for some popularity. (Because if you're friends with some seniors, you wouldn't have problems if you're doing good or not; they wouldn't give that look that I used to think was "the look that will scrape your skin.")It's really amazing to find novels like this. Now, I don't really mind about anything as long as I don't fail any of my subjects, and that boys will still be boys: cute--and that they won't go farther than being cute. (SOMETIMES A HANDSOME ONE WILL GIVE YOU A HEART ATTACK, BELIEVE ME. AND IT'S DISTRACTING.)Very heartfelt. Fresh Off the Boat left me a thousand emotions along with the memories of being a high school and a teenager. I am still a high school student and a teenager, yes, but sometimes we need to be reminded that we are. Someday we might just forget that we were once a teenager who never stopped thinking of our wife/husband (e.g.: Tobey Maguire) and having, uh, problems (e.g.: what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to do) and being insecure (we all feel like we aren't good enough and that someone is way better and more deserving). But hopefully, someday we'd realize that we should just not care about everybody's life and how they live to live it, and just be who we are.

This book was a breath of fresh air and so different from the usual YA/NA genre with too much emphasis on sex. Instead, we get a hilarious and refreshing look at an innocent fourteen year old whose family downsizes from high class in the Philippines to working in a cafeteria in the United States and shopping at the Salvation Army.Vicenza has a scholarship to a prestigious all girl's school, but she doesn't fit in and has no friends except for another misfit, a French girl who doesn't care what others think. Vicenza develops a crush on the most popular guy in the school while trying to avoid the boy her parents try to set her up with.What's really funny and stands out is that after each disaster in her life, Vicenza, or V, writes her friend Peaches a tall-tale letter all about how popular she is and how much the guy likes her. It's funny and it's sad at the same time.V's parents try really hard to be upbeat about their circumstances and don't want the children to feel left out, so they buy V a dress for her to go to the annual Soiree and set her up with the son of a family friend. They scrimp and save and shop at the outlets while loading up the family to go to the library every weekend to read free books. Their dream is to win the lottery, and they have good luck charms all of their house. Even though they live in reduced circumstances, they try to be happy.Anywho, I really liked the main character and her friend, and I feel like the high school drama was just right. It wasn't too angsty or dark, and the author didn't load the story up with all sorts of drama and tragedy and sex. The ending was sweet and realistic. All problems were not solved, but all parties had a better understanding and acceptance of their lives and each other.A lot of things that happen in the story remind me of my family, and there are places where I'm laughing because it is so true!
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Reviews
Katrina
Published in 2005, it is painful to read this book in 2014. There are constant pop culture references which are ridiculously dated. A 14-year-old would be lucky to get one or two of the dozens in this book. The incessant mention of Tobey Maguire was just awful. It might be how a 14-year-old thinks, but even when I was that age, I would have recognized it as a poor writing choice.If you can get beyond the references, Vicenza and her family are actually interesting. They make the most of their riches-to-Salvation Army lifestyle and manage to be both very Filipino and American while maintaining optimism.
Jackie
This book wasn’t even close to my radar until I needed an author’s name that started with “de” or “van” for a challenge bonus task. While, I didn’t get the bonus points I did find a hidden gem in this book.The story is told from the perspective of 14 year old Vicenza, a recent Filipina immigrant. Her parents were very wealthy in the Philippines, but after suffering an economic downfall the family was forced to relocate. They chose America, The Land of Big Dreams, with the hopes of having an easy transition, but instead they are faced with a hard, new reality. Faced with a new social economic position, placed at the bottom of the pecking order, dealing with the newness of everything is very tough, but compound that with being thrown into a wealthy high school and the turbulent years of teenage hood and well, I think we can all empathize with Vicenza’s position. I really enjoyed reading this. The writing was surprisingly good. I thought Vicenza’s voice came off as authentic. I found myself laughing and at times even relating to her, even though I know nothing of the Philippines. I also enjoyed the lessons Vicenza learns along the way. I didn’t think it was overly preachy or anything. Overall, this was a quick, fun read. I definitely recommend it and look forward to reading more of de la Cruz’s books. Favorite quote:“It starts at eight, so I thought we could get there at eight-thirty. We can’t get there early- that’s so lame!” I told him. I knew all about this stuff from reading teen novels and watching movies like She’s All That. p.114 (e-book)
Rich in Color
Review copy: library Fresh Off the Boat centers on 14 year-old Vicenza and her struggle to adjust to life after immigrating to America — her struggles seem mostly dominated by her wish to assimilate, be popular, and catch the eye of some cute guy. But, as the book progresses, a story about friendship and family reveals itself. What really got me was the strong depiction of family relationships and friendship. The romantic subplot involving the generic-cute-boy love interest paled in comparison.This book definitely falls more into middle grade territory and is a fun, lighthearted read. At times, it’s difficult to get past the boy-obsessed viewpoint of Vicenza, but once you do, it’s all worth it.Recommendation: Get it soon!Review originally posted at Rich in Color http://richincolor.com/2014/09/mini-r...
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