ARC Review: ‘American Panda’

Hi! I requested this book because I saw a recommendation via one of my favorite authors, Kerri Maniscalco: and I’m glad I did!


Title: American Panda

Author: Gloria Chao

Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5 stars

Pub date: February 6th, 2018


This book follows Mei, who is a Taiwanese-American teen who travels into the world of college at MIT. She deals with forms of anxiety/OCD and the trials and tribulations of her own love life as well as her family struggles. These all form together to make a lovely contemporary that is an #ownvoices novel which moved me from tears to laughter.


I found this book to be incredibly similar to When Dimple Met Rishi, in relation to the diversity and how the family was presented in relation to culture. I really loved how connected I felt and how much I learned about the culture through the story. I also liked how there were translations and little voicemails before each chapter that led into what the chapter would be about. Mei is a believable character and she is incredibly smart, truly astounding as she skipped a grade. The love story in this book relates back to her brother and how he was estranged because of his choice of wife, and it shows how important family is. I loved Mei’s love story and how it played into the story, much like Dimple in that sense as well. The focus on her fear of germs was also interesting to me and I am very into mental health issues in young adult literature and the journey was portrayed well.


I can’t cite any specific dislikes but it wasn’t a 5-star read for me. I thought it was written well and I enjoyed the read. Like my previous review, I think that it was a short book and it was quite easy to read. It was a feel-good novel as well which is something I needed after the stress in my life lately!


I would suggest this to #ownvoices readers as well as those who enjoyed Dimple because it’s very similar!


Happy reading! ~ Taylor


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: ‘American Panda’”

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