Author: Justina Chen Headley
Release Date: April 2007
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodreads Rating: 3.65 stars
Review: Patty Ho is a snarky hapa (half-Asian, half-white) teenager who struggles with her mixed heritage. Her domineering mother wants her to be a perfect Taiwanese girl, while she wants to be white like the father she's never known. When she goes off to California for math camp, what seems to be torture at first soon turns into an opportunity for freedom to find herself. The only problem? Nothing goes the way it should.
I'll just come out and say it: I loved this book. Probably one of the aspects I enjoyed the most was how much I could relate to it. Like Patty, I'm also hapa so I understand a lot of the issues she dealt with because of being biracial. I've often found myself wanting to lean towards one side or the other (when I was little, I wanted to be full white, and now I frequently wish I was full Asian), and that's something Patty struggled with as well. Reading NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH was such a deeper experience since I had such a strong connection to it.
But even apart from that, I adored it anyway. Although it clearly deals with a variety of difficult issues, the book is packed to the sides with humor. Patty is sarcastic and amusing, making observations on her life with such hilarious honesty that I often ended up grinning while reading this. I didn't get the opportunity to read it all in one sitting, but if I had the time, I certainly would've devoured this in a handful of hours.
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH was an endlessly entertaining read with a variety of tough issues explored. I loved being able to relate to Patty so much, but also appreciated that Justina Chen Headley went beyond the multicultural problems and explored universal struggles of self-discovery. This is a book that absolutely anyone can read and enjoy. I would recommend this to everyone, and consider it one of my favorite books. This will definitely appear on my Best of 2011 list!