American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapp...

Details American Panda

TitleAmerican Panda
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherSimon Pulse
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Reviews American Panda

  • Lola Reviewer
    This should have been a winner. Mei, the main character, is Taiwanese-American. She is a college student. I could probably count on one hand the number of YA novels with college settings that are published every year.The culture is great. Every chapter introduces the reader to a new characteristic of the Chinese culture. Some, however, are not well explained, such as why certain numbers are considered bad luck, but most are fairly straight-forwar...
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    releasing Feb 6th! And a boost to a five, because I can't look at myself anymore for giving this a four. “You don’t even know what Ying-Na is doing. Everything you hear is a rumor. For all you know, she could be a neurosurgeon married to a billionare tech god.” Or maybe she’s struggling but happy. I kept this thought to myself since my mom wouldn’t understand the value of that life. What a lovely, lovely surprise. American Panda is own...
  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    Rating: 4.5 starsI listened to this on audio and would certainly recommend! I really enjoyed the narrator, and adored the story and our characters.
  • Heather 'Bookables'
    3/5A cute, adorable diverse read!!!Will feature it very soon in a mashup review!!
  • Amy Leigh
    I loved this! It's well-written and engaging. I couldn't put it down! There are some laugh out loud moments and times you wish you could reach in and give Mei a hug or a high five. (Not that she would like that.)Mei is a Taiwanese-American seventeen year old who is starting her freshman year at MIT. She tries so hard to appease her very traditional parents while her mother constantly speaks negatively about her. She hides her Japanese crush turne...
  • Fafa's Book Corner
    Omg this was so good! Going to be rereading this when it comes out.
  • Angelica
    I loved this so much I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It was equal parts funny and earnest, heartwarming and heartbreaking and it was so good!I laughed so hard while reading this book. And no, I don’t mean awkward little smiles and little huffs of air. No. I actually laughed out loud the entire time. I was reading it between class breaks at school and I keep getting weird looks from people as I tried to contain my laughter. And the way...
  • alexandra
    this is the first book that made me feel like my asian-american-ness is seen. forever grateful. full review to come.
  • Romie
    Dearest Reader,I wrote American Panda because it was the book I needed in high school and the book I needed when I decided to put my dental career aside to try writing, which I had no experience in.This is also a book I would have needed in high school or during my three years of pre-med school. People can say all they want, but reading a book and being able to relate to it is probably one of the best feelings ever; I am but one Asian kid among m...
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Cedric: friendship goals. For more info on this challenge, click here. 🌟 This is ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET from a Taiwanese perspective. Seriously. Seriously. I have waded through disappointing YA all year - and finally, finally, I have read one that was the ground-breaking, emotionally moving experience that I w...
  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...17-year-old Mei should be in high school, but skipping a grade was all part of her parent's plan for her to go to MIT become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, and produce a litter of babies. When she reconnects with her brother, Xing, the truth she's carefully constructed starts to waver and the truth leaks out: she hates germs, falls asleep in biology lectures, and has a crush...
  • Tatiana
    I wish the author made an attempt to think bigger and be more creative. A lot of the plot is too familiar and predictable (it's mostly the Asian-tiger-parents-pushing-for-med-school scenario) and the romance, while sweet, is kind of bland and not memorable. Overall it gave me a feeling of a very rookie novel.Chao captured the voice of a nagging/threatening/pleading tiger mom very well though. Just reading conversations with this "mom" gave me anx...
  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    Very, very cute and quite funny too!
  • CW (Read Think Ponder)
    This Kiwi-Panda has mixed feelings about American Panda.On one hand:- I didn't find myself in this book, though many others did and I'm thankful for that. Nonetheless, I appreciated American Panda's narrative, its honesty and its vulnerability. - There were some truly tender moments that made me shed a tear, particularly the stuff that were related to her family. - I enjoyed Chao's unapologetic and seamless integration of Taiwanese culture into t...
  • Mel Anie
    This was so funny and better than good, although expectations of some people annoyed me. Motto to this book: Always remember to chase happiness and don't give up on your dreams. American Panda turned out to be an awesome contemporary YA book. It was far better than I thought knocking down all my expectations. This book emanated such warmth which is so hard to find in book and which I adore so much. All that warmth is entwined with Mei self-di...
  • Shenwei
    it's rare to find a book where I can read along and be like "it me" and yell because the references are so familiar and this is one of them. *cries in ownvoices*the cover image makes the story seem a bit lighter than you might expect since it gets really heavy at some points with the family drama, I felt like I was being punched in the gut. :'(I feel like I need to make a playlist for this book now.
  • Kerri
    this had me laughing, crying, and craving dumplings more than i already do. official blurb to come soon, but for now? you totally need to add this to your pre-order lists. one of my favorite reads of the year.
  • Chloe Yeung
    LOVE THIS SO MUCH! 我很愛這本書喔 (。♥‿♥。)1. IT'S SO, SO RELATABLE. I'm Chinese, and I could really relate to some of the family stuff Mei had to deal with. My parents are not as traditional as Mei's, BUT - I'M REALLY FAMILIAR WITH A LOT OF STUFF IN THIS BOOK AND IT FEELS GOOD, YA KNOW?Stinky tofu! It's one of my favorite Chinese street foods and although it stinks, it tastes so delicious *drools* (Sadly, Mei doesn't like stinky t...
    I really appreciate the way that AMERICAN PANDA was a book that featured a ton of things I love (cute romance, college anecdotes, self-growth and discovery) AND centered around a Taiwanese-American character. While not quite the same as my own experiences as Filipino-American, there were certain similarities in attitude and expectation that really felt relatable to me and I appreciated that so much. And I really just liked Mei and was rooting fro...
  • Janani
    Just. So. Good. Keep an eye out for this in Feb 2018. Full review to come.UPDATE: First published at The Shrinkette.Thanks so much to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Plot: Seventeen-year old Mei is a freshman at MIT, thanks to skipping fourth grade- all part of her parents’ master plan. This plan also includes Mei becoming a doctor, marrying a Taiwanese boy selected by her parents, and have ...
  • Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
    DDR, dumplings, the struggles of dealing with traditional Asian parents and their expectations of perfectly mannered children - I'm pretty sure this is the book of my heart. American Panda is surprisingly refreshing because it actually gets the pressure and all consuming hold that traditional Asian parents can have on your kids, including the ultimatums and cultural expectations that they heap upon you.Full review to come.
  • Acqua
    4.5 stars.American Panda is one of the best YA contemporaries I've ever read.It was as compulsively readable as it was multifaceted: it's a coming-of-age story, it's about coming to terms with your heritage, about the way traditions can change with immigration and time, about intergenerational miscommunication, about unlearning internalized biases, and it's also a cute romance. And none of these aspects was neglected.This book follows Mei, a 17-y...
  • Lisa Maxwell
    How do I love this book? Oh let me count the ways.1. Killer voice. KILLER. I love Mei. I love her humor and the sharp, uniqueness of her voice. 2. It was so filled with page-turning tension, I couldn't put it down. Was up until 2 finishing it. 3. Chao NAILS that feeling that any teen has of wanting to be the person their parents planned on them being and wanting to be the person they are/need to be. She gets the guilt and shame and yearning so, s...
  • alice (arctic books)
    God, this was so amazing. This is one of my favorite books ever now. Do yourself a favor and preorder this immediately.
  • Rachel Solomon
    AMERICAN PANDA floored me with its nonstop humor and fresh voice, and then it sneakily broke my heart. Protagonist Mei's Taiwanese parents want her to become a doctor, but she pictures a different future for herself, perhaps one involving her love of dance. I've never seen a parent-child culture clash portrayed in quite this way; Mei clearly loves her mother and respects her culture, but she also aches for her independence.I also LOVED that this ...
  • Scrill
    Mei is 17 and starting at MIT to become a doctor that she has always wanted to be her parents have pushed her to do. While struggling with the fact that she is a legitimate germaphobe going through premed she starts to discover that maybe everything that her parents think is the best for her just might not be exactly what she wants for her life. Like starting a dance studio, or *shock* dating a non Chinese boy.The StoryAs a Filipino American I am...
  • Brooke
    3.5 stars A fun & substantial tale of a Taiwanese-American teenager trying to carve her own path in the world, regardless of her parent's wishes. I liked this. I thought it would be more fluffy, so I was pleasantly surprised. Mei is a relatable character who is torn between two worlds. Her parents want her to become a doctor, whereas Mei's heart is in dance, but she doesn't want to be disowned from her family like her older brother was. AMERICAN ...
  • Amy
    I love this type of book. I am the biggest sucker for coming of age/YA/Asian culture commentary. But I think I hated this one.I don't want to. I am tempted to add a star...or even half a excuse myself for rating it so low. That feels like cheating though. I probably should have just not finished this one, that way I wouldn't have had time to work myself up into such a stew. The more I read, the more annoyed I got. Some pros? I did like ...