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Posted March 25, 2012
I don't normally read YA but completely enjoyed this book - a good read full of teen angst, drama, complex family dynamics, love, and loss. I was thrown back to my teen years and deeply felt Sang's pain, joy, hopeful wishes and embarrassments as my own!
We catch up with teenage girl Sang heading into a swirling upside down summer of the unknown. Sang's summer holds a confusing weave of crushes, new friends, arch enemies, family problems, and humiliations. Sang's pivotal summer just may be the place where she finds her sea legs and swims, instead of sinking. A place where she may finally find herself. And YA Author Lamba gives us a delightful, bittersweet tale to follow - with a heroine we ache and cheer for.
Lamba certainly piles on the heavy, complex family dynamics in Sang's life, making it even more difficult for her to wade through on top of her regular teen issues. Lamba also knows how to vividly draw her readers into a painful teen world where the smallest mortifications can snowball into larger problems. And a world where embarrassment lurks in every encounter, waiting to happen.
Lamba gives us the black and white world of a teen. We witness how a teen's peers can have the power to shoot down a young girl with a few words. It's all or nothing. A world where every day is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Yet, Lamba leads Sang down the path to finding her own balance in this rigid world. A world where sparks between a boy can signal true love or not and we, the reader, seethe with death wishes for Sang's arch enemy!
You champion for Sang, as she often searches for the very thing that is in front of her all the time. As Sang learns the true meaning of family and friendship, she also discovers that while you don't always get what you want you may get what you need from the very forces you think are transpiring against you - the ones who love you.
Get ready to be teary-eyed at the end of this sweet coming-of-age book by a wonderful YA author. If I had a teen daughter I would want her to read this.
Posted January 3, 2012
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers Favorite
"Over My Head" is a clean, innocent story of a high school girl experimenting with love. Sang's father is trying to raise his daughter in the strict fashion his culture demands, but Sang reacts in typical teenage fashion: she rebels. When she becomes infatuated with her swimming instructor, a 20 year old college student, she is convinced that what she feels is love. Cameron, the college student, is just having fun with his summer romance; but Sang's friend Dalton is serious about his feelings for her. Sang finally realizes that she is already blessed with good friends and a caring family. Not only is Sang's father under the pressure of keeping his daughter true to her innocence, he is also dealing with a life and death situation over which he has no control. His brother is undergoing an expensive bone marrow transplant, putting Sang's family in serious financial turmoil because they believe that all family members are responsible for the welfare of the others. Sang's younger sister takes an active interest in raising funds to help pay for her uncle's surgery. This becomes touchingly humorous when she organizes multiple yard sales and freezer pop sales. The entire story revolves around Sang overcoming her fear of water by learning how to swim.
I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to any one of my junior high students. The strong multicultural theme demonstrates the existence and the need of tolerance and acceptance that exist in current YA literature. Another common theme in this story is the idea of overcoming a fear and making good decisions in a difficult life. I really liked this book!
Posted June 30, 2011
OVER MY HEAD offers a jaunty teen journey, with young adult characters who are diverse, colorful, and well realized. Lamba's heroines are always bright, upstanding young ladies, fighting against feeling like the outsider and hoping for real love. Her YA audience will relate to the protagonist's realistic suburban/small-town life and many of her quandaries, including plenty of romantic intrigue. Will it be the college stud for Sang or her old softy of a high-school buddy? Who's real, who's not? Lamba's clean, tight prose is a breeze to read. This one again illustrates the challenges of living in a multicultural family. And though her heroines may sometimes lose faith amidst all the challenges, they always regain it. Read, and see this author finish with a nice twist of ambiguity!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.