It’s freshman year for Kris Xu. But those annual fantasies of remaking himself from the quiet Chinese kid with the voice that is “Jackie Chan cumbersome” are dashed when the usual indignities resume: bullying, racism, and underestimation. Even his best friend and secret crush, Naomi—the only other Chinese student—seems to be pulling away. Then two things happen: he stumbles into an audition for the school musical and finds the glorious voice he thought he left in China, and other students start showing up dead. Although it has the plot outline of a thriller, this semifinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest has the careful language and fine observations of a book with much more on its mind. Wrapped up ever more tightly in the plot is Kris’ sense of racial and emotional identity, and his battle with self-loathing begins to test his reliability as a narrator. Even his name is a feint; those who know him call him Xing—but who really knows him? There are a handful of suspects to the increasingly grisly crimes, and though the ultimate revelations are a tad rushed, they contain enough heartbreaking truths to deliver a significant punch. Sad, elegant, and creepy, this is a deft debut.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Starred Review from Booklist!
I've known about this for awhile, but today it went public so I can share this great news with you. Crossing received a Starred Review from Booklist! As I've been telling some people, before I felt lucky to get published, but now I feel legit. Surprisingly, Booklist put it under the Adult category as opposed to the Young Adult category. Anyway, here's the review:
Posted by Andrew Fukuda at 7:07 AM