Monday, April 21, 2014

For Today I Am A Boy by Kim Fu

5 Star

Peter Huang and his sisters—elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant—grow up in a house of many secrets, then escape the confines of small-town Ontario and spread from Montreal to California to Berlin. Peter’s own journey is obstructed by playground bullies, masochistic lovers, Christian ex-gays, and the ever-present shadow of his Chinese father.

At birth, Peter had been given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, powerful king. The exalted only son in the middle of three daughters, Peter was the one who would finally embody his immigrant father's ideal of power and masculinity. But Peter has different dreams: he is certain he is a girl.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I honestly loved absolutely everything about this book. I couldn't put it down and was truly surprised that this was a debut novel. Everything about For Today I Am A Boy resonated with me in a very deep way despite obviously not having a life situation anything like the main character's and that really proved the power of this author's written word.

The story was heartbreaking and yet also such a triumph at the same time. I couldn't help but cheer for the main character, Peter, and wish all his dreams and desires would come true. I felt like his inner conflict and hopes were so powerfully captured in their description that I could feel how he was feeling.

This author stunned me with the absolutely fantastic way she gripped me and made me want to continue reading long into the night, searching for the next details eagerly. Every little part of the book, every nuance, every word was just so perfectly executed. I finished this book a couple weeks ago but haven't stopped thinking about it since.

I believe part of the power was that Kim Fu has a large part of this book set in Montreal, where I live, and without over-describing it, she was able to capture the heartbeat of the city in a very realistic way.
My heart broke for the Huang children and all of their struggles and difficulties. The story made me care very much about them and I felt like I was able to watch them grow up and become who they were meant to be. 

This was definitely one of my favourite books of this year and though we are not very far into 2014, I am pretty sure that it will remain one of the top reads for me.

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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