We’re taking a huge leap, about 150 pages, which holds a HUGE amount of drama – and some good old fashion tension (partly of the sexual kind).
|Book’s Publish Date||11/1/2016|
|Genre||Romance, Drama, Young Adult|
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The Good Times: Natasha, Samuel, Daniel, The Waitress, Jeremy, Hannah
Before we dive into the drama, let’s talk about the good times. Take Jeremy and Hannah spending time together, falling in love, and us learning they eventually have children. How about Samuel’s big performance of Raisin In The Sun? The production which, long ago, inspired him to take acting seriously and head to New York? Where, the night before his DUI, he finally got to play the role and perhaps not to a sold out audience, in a big theater, but it was one of the few times the dream was real? That’s something right?
But what sometimes is good for others is a sour note personally. Take the Koreatown waitress at the norebang. Seeing an interracial romance hurts her. Her son, a Korean, decides to date a white girl, commit to her, and his parents think an ultimatum will drive them apart. However, all that does is force her son’s hand and not speak to them for a year. Then when asked to their wedding, a chance to reconcile, again the boy was rejected. Now the waitress keeps tabs on Facebook, seeing her only son raise a family without her involvement.
Which is all to say that Daniel could be on the same path. It becomes clear, once alone in a dark room, the two singing to one another, there is that X factor. The kind of chemistry which makes making out and panting into what could have turned to sex if the two didn’t have some form of control over themselves. However, while all good things don’t have to come to a end, there has to be a period made so they can become a memory.
The Fallout: Daniel, Natasha, Patricia, Samuel, Jeremy
Memories. It’s funny how many a person can have and yet only a handful can be triggered. Taking things back to Samuel and Patricia, Samuel has a whole lot of memories. Also, he has a lot of regrets because of the decisions creating the type of memories which are mostly sordid. Leading to him believing, if not Natasha believing, he regrets having a family. Perhaps thinking they have long held him back and his dreams are not only bigger than theirs, but more important.
As for why a man would think or say this? Well, when your ego can’t cope with the things you’ve done, what is the easy way to handle what has and is happening? Pass the blame. So it’s Patricia’s fault, maybe Natasha’s for becoming someone unfamiliar, and maybe the world’s?
Likely, Jeremy’s kids feel the same way after their father left. Maybe they blame him, blame Hannah, or anyone but themselves for the dysfunctional relationships they end up in. It’s hard to say since they don’t get their own chapter or segment. We just hear how their parents divorcing was likely the beginning of a rough road that never became smooth.
Which, for a bit, seems like the path Natasha and Daniel will end up on. For once she reveals her immigration status, things blow up. All that kissing, Daniel’s talk of love, it blows up when it is realized they are more so having a day long tryst, than truly beginning a love affair. One that Daniel rearranged his life for, perhaps was ready to throw everything away for, only to learn that Natasha would have to be gone before the day ended.
And while all this happens, you better believe Natasha isn’t just taking a tongue lashing from Daniel. She reminds him it was his persistence that let things go on so long. His need for love and passion that got his feelings so caught up. She may have a part in this, yes, but she did forewarn him not to fall in love with her. However, at this point, for her, she realizes he isn’t mad because he was falling in love but he saw her as someone who could maybe make a decision for him. If not be the one who saved him from this path his family set him on that he doesn’t want. A responsibility she has no desire to take up.
Seeking Reconciliation: Charlie, Daniel, Dae, Natasha, Jeremy, Hannah, Rob
Despite eventually getting married, it seemed for a moment things with Jeremy and Hannah would end the same day they came together. Which, if they did much earlier, maybe Natasha’s immigration status would have led to positive news. But, let’s not jump ahead.
When Natasha’s afternoon appointment with Jeremy happened, he seemed hopeful. He believes he can get her voluntary removal reversed, the one her father did on the family’s behalf, and with hope comes options, and the need for answers. The first being answers from Rob on why he cheated on Natasha. His answer: He couldn’t choose between her and Kelly – that’s it. And with that things get put into perspective for Natasha. Rob couldn’t bring himself to choose her over another girl, despite the time they spent with one another. Daniel, a fairly new person to her life, chose her even when it meant possibly alienating his own family. With that in mind, a decision is made to reconcile with Daniel despite how things ended.
On the flip side, Daniel is back at his family’s store and of course Charlie has to pick with him. Leading to Daniel plainly asking why is Charlie this way towards him. The answer: He’s like their parents. All he is, is Korean and being that Charlie feels that sense of being “other” has held him back, it makes feeling alone in that probably frustrating. Which leads to Daniel pitying Charlie for while he gets it, he also finds it sad how much his brother hates himself. That triggers Charlie to make the only comeback he can by bringing up Natasha and hinting that he was about to call her the N-word – leading to the brothers fighting and Daniel ending things by hitting Charlie in the testicles.
Thus causing Dae to get involved and us getting to understand why he has been presented as if he holds an iron fist on Daniel’s life which he needs help escaping. To make a long story short, Dae grew up poor, barely getting by with a family crab fishing business. One which, with him being the oldest of three, he was expected to take over. However, being poor and unhappy was slowly taking him down like a disease, so he left the country.
In his mind, not exposing his kids to what he went through protected them from what he sees as a contagion. But, with hearing Daniel talk about maybe not becoming a doctor, not going to Yale, he pulls the same thing the waitress did. Well, to a lesser extent. He’ll cut Daniel off but seemingly won’t kick him out of the family and the house. A risk Daniel is willing to take.
Leading to, what likely will be a split screen moment in the upcoming movie (Get Tickets) as Daniel heads to the lawyer’s office for Natasha and she heads to Dae’s story for Daniel. Which, unfortunately for her, causes her to encounter Charlie but between presenting the idea her being with Daniel means entertainment for him, or wanting to be nice, he gives Natasha his brother’s number.
But We’ve Come So Far: Daniel, Natasha, Jeremy, Joe
With that done, Daniel waits for Natasha and finds out his put off Yale interview is with Attorney Fitzgerald. Which may seem like a good thing, considering how it makes it seem fate had a backup plan, but only for a little bit. Probably because, like Joe, the security guard, while Natasha and Daniel thought now they could make plans, really have hope, then the truth comes out.
You see, with Jeremy spending all day with his paralegal, he never spoke to the immigration judge and thus Natasha’s situation didn’t change. Something which is revealed to Daniel after he makes it clear, by being late, his attitude, and what he says, he really doesn’t want to go to Yale. Jeremy’s response? Well, considering how early he got married, the responsibilities he took on, he figures better for Daniel to screw up now than later. Not to imply he condones the path he is tempted to take, but he gets it.
But while Daniel feels increasingly free from his father’s formerly imposed fate, that doesn’t change Natasha’s being set right back to having to leave. So while Daniel can’t change that, he at least wants to be the one that tells her. That is, rather than the man who likely put his libido before Natasha – something we learn but not Daniel.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love you back.
— Natasha (152)
It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.
— Natasha (158)
I love this part of getting to know someone. How every new piece of information, every new expression, seems magical.
— Daniel (159)
Kissing is just another way of talking except without the words.
— Natasha (182)
[…] one of the things I like most about New York City […] it deflects any attempts you make to lie to yourself.
— Natasha (184)
You can’t persuade someone to love you.
— Daniel (189)
The thing about falling is you don’t have any control on your way down.
— Daniel (193)
My heart’s been on my sleeve all day, and it’s pretty bruised by now.
— Daniel (193)
Maybe it’s better to end things this way. Better to have a tragic and sudden end than to have a long, drawn-out one where we realize that we’re just too different, and that love alone is not enough to bind us.
— Daniel (195)
Growing up and seeing your parents’ flaws is like losing your religion.
— Natasha (215 – 216)
I wanted him to know that I […] could dish it out and not just take it,
— Daniel (222)
It would be so nice to let someone else take over this burden for a little while.
— Natasha (233)
I’m looking to get overwhelmed by love and meant-to-be and destiny si that the decisions about my future will be out of my hands.
— Daniel (235)
My father is shaped by the memory of things I will never know.
— Daniel (237)
Sometimes your world shakes so hard, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone else isn’t feeling it too.
— Natasha (240)
We think we want all the time in the world with the people we love, but maybe what we need is the opposite. Just a finite amount of time, so we still think the other person is interesting.
— Natasha (241)
People in love want everyone else to be in love.
— Daniel (250)
[…] the smile on my face needs to be measured in miles instead of inches.
— Natasha (259)
Touching him is order and chaos, like being assembled and disassembled at the same time.
— Natasha (261)
God is the connection of the very best parts of us.
— Daniel (272)
I could stay here forever interrupting our talking with kissing, interrupting our kissing with talking.
I think I knew our relationship wasn’t going to last. I was just trying to convince him I was worth it.
— Daniel (278)
Do you think it’s funny that […] our favorite memories are about the people we like the least now?
— Daniel (278)
The trouble with getting your hopes too far up is: it’s a long way down.
— Natasha (286)
Hot & Bothered
I’m not sure how many of you may have read Everything, Everything but let me tell you that Nicola Yoon knows how to write intimacy. Mind you, even when sex isn’t involved. Just reading about Daniel and Natasha making out makes you need a church fan. Especially since Yoon makes it easy to visualize these two grabbing onto each other and making out like saliva was the cure to all their worries.
But, there of course are the cute moments too. Omitted from the summary above is them ending up on the roof of Fitzgerald’s building and just talking. Kissing a bit, but not like when it seems they were in the prelude of clothes coming off. Thus giving us a nice balance between the passion of youth and the simplicity of having someone there who may not get it, but wants to support you despite that.
Understanding Why Some Don’t Encourage Race Mixing
While of course I don’t condone racism, there is always the need to question if there is something beyond that. For just the idea that someone doesn’t like me because of skin tone, and the assumed culture that brings with that sounds ridiculous. So to hear the waitress’ take helps you understand her take and maybe Dae’s to a point.
For both of them, they recognize their culture is other in America. Unlike various European cultures, and various Black cultures, their cultures are treated as foreign and blocked off in a way. Thus creating people like Charlie who feel like outsiders since people find little to no reason to learn and adapt to them, so you have to put in the full effort to learn and adapt to their culture. Leading to, as seen with Charlie, them rejecting their people.
Which, if you love your culture, just can’t accept the poverty of your home nation, has to be incredibly frustrating. The way you cook, talk, your traditions, all wiped out because you decided to give your child a better life and now they either look down on you or reject all that comprises who you are. So it makes sense in a way why the waitress and Dae would want someone Korean for their kids. It means reinforcing the culture, not letting it be abandoned to seem more American, and feeling like, no matter where or how far your kids may go, they bring a piece of you with them. Rather than barely thanking you for your sacrifices and leaving you like a high school ex.
How Daniel and Natasha Reconcile
Grand gestures of love are kind of played out. After all, it has evolved into trying to reform the perception of the person who was an ass rather than be a proper apology. So for Natasha and Daniel to go to each other, recognize their piece, and there be an apology from both, you have to appreciate that. Plus, big picture, neither one said or did anything which would require something huge. Daniel didn’t call Natasha a b**** and while Natasha did call out Daniel trying to use her for an out, she wasn’t lying.
So their fight being presented as a bump more than a huge, life-altering thing helped keep them both rooted in some form of normal. Particularly how they found each other for in having Natasha go to Harlem, and face Daniel’s family, it made you realize what they have will likely never be convenient. They have to work at it and it isn’t just Daniel willing to do so now, Natasha is invested as well.
The Possibility Of, Not A Unhappy Ending But A Good Beginning For Someone Else
There are roughly 40 or so pages after this one and right now the fate of Natasha and Daniel is up in the air. Yet, one of the positive ways to spend this maybe not having a happy ending is that they did present a precedent for what love can be. When it comes to Natasha, after having a boyfriend like Rob, she can now know when a guy is truly into her, choosing her, and how she can know her heart is really in it versus who just enjoying the attention. If not allowing the relationship to happen because she has the time.
Then with Daniel, it takes him down a notch. He is this big time romantic with an almost love conquers everything mindset but thanks to Natasha, he may realize when he needs to pump his breaks. If not recognize when someone really isn’t into him and he is persevering for a dead cause.
Which, yes, would be a bittersweet lesson, but sometimes people don’t come into your life to be there forever but just to teach you how to appreciate and work with someone who is meant to be.
The Moms Get The Short End Of The Stick
Min and Patricia barely get to have their own chapters. Min seemingly got that one single chapter early on and Patricia? I can’t recall if her story didn’t just get absorbed into Samuel’s each and every time. Which I guess was supposed to be offset by the waitress talking, but it does seem weird how men dominate the narrative and they get to be fleshed out, even if they are a minor role, but only Natasha gets multiple chances to tell her side of things.
On The Fence
Samuel Compared To Dae
While Samuel’s chapters are longer and more frequent than Dae’s, it does feel like we aren’t allowed to see him as complicated as Dae is. Which is a shame since they are both immigrants, men who brought their families to the US for a better life, but while Dae is aided by his wife and the waitress, and even the history of Koreans in the haircare business, Samuel doesn’t get the same development. He is just this selfish ass man who ruined Natasha’s life and seems almost petty about it.
Master Book List
|Book Title||Author||Synopsis||Status||Rating||Book Information|
|Where She Went||Gayle Forman||The follow-up to If I Stay flips things and brings us to Adam’s point of view years after Mia’s accident, and we learn what happened to our favorite musicians from two opposite worlds.||Finished||Positive (Buy)|
|Redefining Realness (Chapter by Chapter Review)||Janet Mock||Finished|
|Everything, Everything||Nicola Yoon||Everything, Everything is similar to Recovery Road in terms of format. It is setup like a diary, though unlike Recovery Road it has pictures, and each would be chapter is short. However, with a movie coming up this August, starring Amandla Stenberg and Anika Noni Rose, you know I couldn’t resist. Though, let me tell you, this is by no means the best YA novel I’ve ever read.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)||Collected Quotes|
|Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda||Becky Albertalli||Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is worth putting on a pedestal for more than its gay lead, but how it handles the drama of his nearly perfect life.||Finished||Positive (Buy)|| |
|Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat||Ms. Pat||Rabbit can be seen as the story behinds the jokes. Ms. Pat stripping away the punch lines and solely getting to the facts.||Finished||Positive (Buy)|| |
|The Hate U Give is the type of book which could prevent many from ever having the ability to say, “I don’t like to read.”||Finished||Positive (Buy) | Recommended|| |
|While the level of detail in descriptions and family history can be overwhelming, once you get into Crazy Rich Asians, you’re hooked.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|| |
|Leah on the Offbeat fills in a lot of the gaps and questions about Simon’s best friend Leah, as well as bring readers some bi-sexual representation.||Finished||Positive (Buy)|| |
|In a rather raw, uncensored, and deeply personal autobiography, Wendy Williams pretty much gives you everything but certain names, exact dates, and pictures.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood almost seems like a gathering of all of Trevor Noah’s standup specials about his childhood, jokes and all, placed into a book.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|Finished||Mixed (Borrow)||Collected Quotes|
|Finished||Mixed (Borrow)||Collected Quotes|
|You Better Work! Well, for most of RuPaul’s life that is just what he did. Whether is was working on a signature look, how to perfect his hair, makeup, or tuck, or climbing the stairs to stardom, working is all he did. All the while battling a few addictions, failures, and being grossly misunderstood at times.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)||Collected Quotes|
|Eleanor & Park is a cute romance novel, which doesn’t have much in the way of over the top situations, and creates a simple, and possibly authentic, romance.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|Finished||Character Guide |
Buy From Amazon
|A father learns to adapt, as he has before, to a family member, in this case, his daughter, dealing with a mental illness and it being so close to home.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|If FreeForm ever decides to do mini-series, A Pain Less Ordinary by L.V. Pires should be one of their first adaptations in the format.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|Finished||Positive (Buy) | Recommended|
|Peace From Broken Pieces is part biography/ part self-help book, and is very much like putting a puzzle together. You have to be in a certain mind frame to really focus on it, and the process can be both frustrating and therapeutic, yet satisfying once it is all over and things become clear.||Finished||Positive (Buy) | Recommended||Collected Quote(s)|
|From her childhood to her adult years, Diane Guerrero takes us through the highs of her family being a cohesive unit, to one by one them being deported and her being forced to rely on friends, her parents, and a boyfriend, to be her main support system.||Finished||Positive (Buy)||Collected Quote(s)|
|While Set For Life does have a formula which gets old, as you realize it is but the first in a series, it makes you appreciate the foundation laid down.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
|Finished||Positive (Buy) | Recommended|
|Blake Nelson||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)||Collected Quotes|
|So Much I Want To Tell You: Letters To My Little Sister, is the type of memoir/advice book those without an older sibling, or aren’t close to theirs, may want to look into. Especially if you wanted an older sister.||Finished||Mixed (Borrow)|
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