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Not only is this group precious to my heart, but they also kick tremendous amounts of ass several times throughout the book. I love strong and fierce characters. I love three dimensional characters! Well-rounded personalities are what I want to sink my teeth into when I pick up any book of any genre. This rag-tag group of teens all PoC, all with issues of their own. Admittedly, my faves were Lingyi and Victor. Lingyi is your typical lavender haired hacker with a heart of gold. She's the mom of the group and also, the love of my, excuse me, Iris's life.

Victor is a cocky rick kid who is also plenty mysterious. He keeps his heart hidden but we all now he's just a big old softie.

You're My Kind

You guys know I love the softies. I only docked one star because I felt like the pacing dragged a bit in the middle and the romance between Daiyu and Zhou felt a bit forced. Regardless, the narrative style is very beautiful and to the point, making it a quick read for anyone who picks it up; a good characteristic to have when dealing with YA.

I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of Marie Lu's Legend trilogy. Watch out for Cindy Pon guys, we've got a winner in our mists.


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Mar 11, Shenwei rated it it was amazing Shelves: by-and-about-poc , asian-reads. Originally posted on my blog.

Most Wanted

There were three major reasons I was super excited about this book. The third is that it takes place in Taiwan, where my family is from, and there is basically no Taiwanese representation in Originally posted on my blog. The third is that it takes place in Taiwan, where my family is from, and there is basically no Taiwanese representation in YA, so I was glad that my motherland was finally getting the spotlight in the fiction I love so much. There was a lot pinned on this book, and by and large, Want did not disappoint.

An alternate version of the Taipei I know and love comes to life in this story, familiar in many ways, such as its night markets, karaoke joints, 7-Elevens, and landmarks Taipei included , but also different, having evolved into a near future dystopia where high tech commodities and abject poverty brush against each other in stark juxtaposition. The sights and sounds, smells and tastes give the setting texture and presence. In particular, the descriptions of food will leave you desperate to take a trip to Taiwan to indulge multiple cravings.

Want is a great example of diversity within diversity when it comes to the cast of characters. Although our protagonist, Jason Zhou belongs to the ethnically Han majority, we also have supporting characters who reflect some the increasing ethnic diversity in Taiwan. One is the dapper Victor who works and sends money back to his family in the Philippines, and the other is the pragmatic Arun, who is Indian and comes from a family of brilliant research scientists.

In addition to the ethnic diversity, we have two Asian girls in a relationship: bisexual glasses-wearing hacker girl Lingyi and silent but deadly and athletic Iris. Together, the five of them form the perfect team and supportive family to one another. In order to accomplish their mission, Jason and friends have to break through both physical and social barriers.


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The latter means that Jason must pass as a rich boy to infiltrate Jin Corporation, and this is by far the toughest part of the mission. His disorientation and discomfort and heightened class consciousness while navigating privileged spaces are visceral and tangible and portrayed very well. Jason is a very relatable character for me. His love for books and use of books as escapism resonated with me and show in his references to both Western and Chinese literary classics.

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His struggle to trust others, especially those in the privileged class that treats him as disposable, is familiar to me as well. Also, his desperation to do something to change the toxic system he lives in is basically the story of my life. I empathized with his frustrations, doubts, disgust, and conflicting feelings. Much of the conflict of this story centers on class tensions.

Jason and Daiyu manage, in spite of their differences in class, to gradually find common ground and let down their barriers enough to be vulnerable around and real with each other in key moments. For those who live for it, there is an abundance of unresolved sexual tension that both frustrates and entertains. The story balances the heist with the romance and character arcs, stringing the reader along with a mix of suspense and action.

The final one-third of the book ups the stakes and packs an emotional punch several times over with twists and revelations and a heart-stopping climax. My one minor critique of this book is the mixed treatment of beauty standards. Jul 29, Ava rated it really liked it. Leaning towards 4.

'Wanted': On Women and Female Fugitives in Modern Media

Cindy Pon's newest novel, WANT, is a thrill of a ride through a futuristic Taipei covered in smog with a cast of marginalized characters you cannot help but fall in love with. I want to start this review by saying: I rarely read sci-fi. This is a fast-paced, high-stakes whirlwind of a story set in a vividly imagi This is a fast-paced, high-stakes whirlwind of a story set in a vividly imaginable world of a future in Taipei where citizens are dying left and right because of the ecological problems.

The characters of WANT are carefully built to be real, flawed, and relatable, and you'll fall in love with each and every one of them. Jason Zhou, the protagonist, is a well-crafted and just plain awesome character, but so are the side characters: Victor, Arun, Iris, Lingmi, and Daiyu. Their relationships and interactions feel real and are done so perfectly, and you can imagine yourself being friends with them. My one small quibble with the book is that the writing feels awkward in a few places, but this is a tiny factor that barely lessened my enjoyment of the story.


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  7. I want everyone, no matter your usual genre preferences, to pick up WANT. You won't be disappointed. There's no overthrowing a government. There's no chosen one. There's no faction. It's a very real, very plausible, and a very fun book, if I do say so myself. Which, I admit, is a very strange thing to say about a book where our future looks bleak and rather gross, but combined with the characters and the action—yeah, this book is definitely fun. There's so much going on in this novel.

    At it you can find this review and others over on my blog! It has come to a point where many people, mostly the upper class, have to wear protective and expensive suits to keep from breathing in the toxic air that hangs above them like a persistent cloud. Those who can't afford the suits are destined to live a short, sickly life. The government refuses to pass a law that would help the environment and the man behind the expensive suits is part of that reason.

    Product Description

    So enter Jason Zhou and his ragtag group of friends, who aren't really ragtag. They're dedicated to each other and their cause and they'll see it to its end.

    Common Sense says

    I loved their tenacity and, more importantly, their camaraderie. It's so easy putting friends in a book but to truly showcase that sort of bond? It's difficult but Cindy Pon does it so well! Okay so another thing about the book. The mission? Take down the big boss man. Which is easier said than done. The plan has a LOT at stake and from the very get-go, you're thrown into a kidnapping.

    That's right. Never say I didn't warn you this book is wild.