Joanna Ho, New York Times bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, has written an exquisite, heart-rending debut young adult novel that will inspire all to speak truth to power.
Maybelline Chen isn’t the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can’t come up with one specific reason for why she's proud of her only daughter. May’s beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May's world is shattered.
In the aftermath, racist accusations are hurled against May's parents for putting too much “pressure” on him. May’s father tells her to keep her head down. Instead, May challenges these ugly stereotypes through her writing. Yet the consequences of speaking out run much deeper than anyone could foresee. Who gets to tell our stories, and who gets silenced? It’s up to May to take back the narrative.
Joanna Ho masterfully explores timely themes of mental health, racism, and classism.
"An ornately carved window into the core of shared humanity. Read and re-read. Then read it again." —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
"Powerful and piercing, filled with truth, love, and a heroine who takes back the narrative." —Abigail Hing Wen, New York Times bestselling author of Loveboat, Taipei
“A held-breath of a novel that finds courage amidst brokenness, and holds a candle to the dark.” —Stacey Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Downstairs Girl
“Ho confronts racism with care and nuance, capturing the complexities of grief and growth. A poignant call to action.” —Randy Ribay, National Book Award finalist for Patron Saints of Nothing
Joanna Ho is passionate about equity in books and education. She has been an English teacher, a dean, and a teacher professional development mastermind. She is currently the vice principal of a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures, and dance parties with her kids make Joanna’s eyes crinkle into crescent moons. Her books for young readers include Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. Visit her at www.joannahowrites.com and @JoannaHoWrites.