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Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything any kid could possibly desire, right down to a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboards. But most of what glitters in her life is fool's gold. Her half-siblings hate her, her best friend Adrian's girlfriend is ruining their friendship, and her own so-called boyfriend is after her for her father's name. When her broken heart results in a snowboarding accident that exiles her from the mountains--the one place where she feels free and accepted for who she is, not what she has--Syrah must rehab both her busted-up knee, and her broken heart, and learn that she's worth her weight in real gold.
Posted February 27, 2012
If nothing else, the Chengs know how to save face. So to everyone else, Syrah Cheng's life looks like a dream come true. Her father is a billionaire, her mother is beautiful and always buying her fancy clothes (and custom-designed snowboarding gear). Between that and the mansion and private jet, it really seems like Syrah has it all. But . . .
The worst part of having it all is having to deal with it all--the good, the bad, and the just plain weird.
Syrah knows better than most that appearances can be deceiving. She almost never sees her parents, her half-siblings hate her, and it turns out real friends are not that easy to find when you can buy everything else. What Syrah doesn't know is how to change any of that, especially when she's been deceiving herself for so long.
Girl Overboard (2007) is Justina Chen Headley's second novel (following Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies) from 2006). The writing here is snappy and really moves the text along, so much so that the story very quickly demanded my full attention to better catch the nuances of Syrah's narration. The writing here is also grittier than a lot of books I have read lately. Syrah's loneliness and depression are so tangible in the early stages of the book that, at times, reading it was painful.
After years of being a loner with a one-track mind for snowboarding, Syrah's snowboarding accident and resulting knee injury force her to look at her entire life in a new light. If one bad accident can leave Syrah terrified of her chilly home away from home, what else has Syrah misinterpreted? It turns out the answer is a lot.
This book deals with many themes in addition to snowboarding and overcoming a really scary injury (partly inspired by the author's own bogus wipeout). A first-generation American herself, Syrah's family still bears the scars of their past in China during the Cultural Revolution.The story also provides an interesting commentary on the cost of keeping up appearances and friendship. At its core though, Girl Overboard is about a girl who has found herself adrift and, while trying to get her own bearings, realizes she can help those around her at the same time.
In this novel Headley spends a lot of time in Syrah's head, partly because the book is narrated in the first person, but also because Syrah is a solitary creature--especially after her Accident. For this reason, Headley is really able to trace Syrah's growth as a character. At the beginning of the novel Syrah is lonely, sad, and desperate for a way out of her life. But as the story progresses, Syrah learns that before you can ask for help you have to think you deserve it. In fact, you have to think you deserve it all because if you don't who will?
In short, Girl Overboard is the latest example of what a CLW book should be not just because Syrah Cheng is an awesome, strong girl but because this book details how she became that girl.
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Posted February 6, 2014
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Posted February 2, 2013
This book started very slowly, I only made it to page 30 when I had to stop reading because I was so board. The book had too long explications and they story took to long to start.h
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Posted January 3, 2012
I love this book. Even North of beautiful. Such a great book. Hope she write moree. She alos lives in Seattle Washington which is awesome and i can find out if she has other books cuz she lives in washington and shes not that far!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2011
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Posted July 13, 2011
Anyways I personally love this book. It made me realize how much I take for granted, so many kids are stuck in the hospital and I am free to do what I want with my parents permission(: After I read this I was inspired to go help out in hospitals, to know I am maybe, just maybe, am making a child happy makes me feel so exstatic. I would encourage others to read this book. It brought me to tears and I give it a 10+ though it talks mostly about snowboarding, which I do not mind. Highly recommend. Thanks for reading. -MVM(: And remember do not take things for granted and you can always find a way to get inspired and help out!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2010
I found this book to be very good. I like how its a story about a rich girl who doesn't fit in. Normally if your rich, your popular, but this wasn't the case. I happen to be an Olympic freak, so it was interesting to read a more sporty romance. The whole plot was about a girl who's dad is super rich. All she wants to do though, is not take over the family business, but be a professional snow boarder. This book is the perfect read if you like romance, and sports.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2009
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I remember when I began reading this book, I was so frustrated at the main character because I wish she just said more. But then I realized what a good book it was that I was really frustrated just like the main character. I felt her emotions, struggles, and wanted to change things but felt helpless to do it too.
I felt really inspired and strong after reading this book.
Posted June 20, 2009
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This was a wonderful book and a fast read. The writing was easy to read, i finished it within a few nights. The storyline really makes you rethink your friendships and relationships with your family. An Excellent choice!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I started reading this book yesterday and it was absolutely amazing...I absolutley loved it...I tried to convince myself to not read it too fast cuz then I would have nothing left to read..but the book was just too hard to put down...In the beginning Syrah starts out lost trying to find herself and when you find out why she had that accident I almost felt like crying and I had to close the book for a second...But then i got a hold of myslef and said this book is too good to stop reading it...so now im done with it and i saw that noone has written a review so i thought why not...This book is absolutely awesome and I recommend it to anyone who is going through a hard time right now...I loved this book and learned alot of new things..I like how there were some phrases written in spanish and some in mandarin...This book is absolutely awesome and i love it..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2009
Posted October 30, 2008
If you are looking for a rags-to-riches story, don't pick up GIRL OVERBOARD. On the other hand, if you are looking for a story about a rich girl struggling to be a normal, well-adjusted girl, than this one is for you. <BR/><BR/>Syrah Cheng is the daughter of privilege. Her father, Ethan Cheng, made the cell phone what it is today. Her mother, Betty Cheng, is the queen of charity fundraising, and demands only the best. Unfortunately, all the splendor and wealth surrounding Syrah leave her feeling uncomfortable and unloved. <BR/><BR/>Syrah's dream is to become a sponsored pro-snowboarder; however, a recent life-threatening accident has sidelined her with a bum knee. Her doctor says she is ready to resume normal activities and even some cautious snowboarding, but her globe-trotting parents have forbidden her participation in the only activity that makes her life worthwhile. She fills her days with school and manga drawings of a superheroine snowboarder named Shiraz. <BR/><BR/>Not being able to snowboard is only the beginning of trouble for Syrah. Her best friend, Age, has a new girlfriend who doesn't believe there is room in their relationship for Syrah. Bao-mu, Syrah's dedicated nanny, has announced that she is leaving to go help her granddaughter with her new baby. And to top it all off, Ethan Cheng has announced his retirement and his intention to move the family to Hong Kong. <BR/><BR/>There is never a dull moment in GIRL OVERBOARD. Syrah may seem about to give up on her dream, but she finds a way to combine her love of snowboarding with what she discovers are her many other assets, to help a new friend in need, and make her family proud of her. Author Justina Chen Headley shows her readers what truly lies beneath the glittery surface of a girl who has it all, but learns that family, friendship, and love can surprise us all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2008
I absolutly loved this book. It was in my school library and I read it.Not I want to buy it for me at home to read over and over again.It's one of those books that you can read over and over again and never get tired of it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2008
this book was very different than some of the other things i've read--its not your normal YA girl book, not at all. it was something more real than that stuff. hey, i ain't putting down any of the other books, this one was just more outstanding. i also like the way you could feel the danger and the action underneath the words. anyone who loves the exciting world, read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2007
Girl Overboard starts off interestingly and only picks up from there. I was immediately hooked and wanted to learn more about Syrah and her life. Syrah's journey to finding herself and accepting herself is very touching. I was rooting her on the whole way. Headley delivers a great message through her novel. The message that you are perfect just the way you are and one person really can make a big difference. I highly recommend this novel!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.