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Since You Asked...

Since You Asked...

4.5 8
by Maurene Goo

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No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway. Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school's newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine's


No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway. Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school's newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine's Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family's traditional Korean values? In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what's considered "normal" in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one's individuality...or being driven insane.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Goo debuts with a drily funny account of a teenager who feels like an outsider in her high school, family, and society in general. Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the headstrong daughter of Korean immigrants, and she regularly butts heads with her mother, who is forever on her case about keeping her grades up and being a respectful member of the family. Holly is also the copyeditor at the school newspaper, and after she jokingly edits a classmate’s column about the new school year (turning it from sappy to sarcastic), Holly’s version is accidentally printed. Instead of getting in trouble, Holly is offered a monthly column, and her sardonic dispatches give Goo’s novel its structure. Because the story moves so quickly through the school year, the minor dramas surrounding Homecoming, Holly’s family’s Christmas trip to Las Vegas, a secret admirer, and other occasions come and go without making much of an impact. Nonetheless, Goo capably demonstrates the pressures and expectations Holly is under, and that a sense of humor is valuable for dealing with both. Ages 12–up. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (July)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
Holly, a fifteen-year-old Korean-American high school student, shuns the spotlight and popular trappings of teenage life in California. She writes a spin-off of a regular column in the high school newsletter for her personal satisfaction, but "The Weasel Times" accidently finds its way onto every classroom desk at Bay High. Originally intended as a positive, encouraging message at the beginning of a new academic year, the accidental submission is perceived as a mockery of high school, even with some snippets of truth in the accusations. Goo presents Holly as a typical teenager of Asian heritage (a major theme in this story) interacting with her family and her three friends, while a sophomore in Pacific Beach. Unrealistically, the school administration feels it is therapeutic for Holly to write her column, expel some teenage angst, and provide a bit of levity to an otherwise bland school newspaper. While at times Goo seems to want readers to view Holly as a snarky teen who curses and doesn't care about anyone, she also presents the girl as a young lady not so different from any other high school sophomore who eagerly anticipates a better future. The book is a quick read with a lot of activity. Holly's friends Liz, Carrie and David, are individually unique, yet their bond is strong and tight. From covering the Homecoming Court, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Korean style), Valentine's Day, the spring talent show, and a secret escape (to Los Angeles for a party), these four students prove to have very typical teenager concerns. Several undercurrents make this a great study in writing, fodder for class discussions and soul-searching in general. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—Holly Kim, 15, is trying to convince her mother that no one dresses up for the first day of school, only to have her younger sister wander "into the kitchen looking like a 'Back-To-School Cool!' advertisement in a JC Penney catalog." Holly just wants to make it as a Korean girl in an American high school. Blessed with the gift to write, she is the copy editor for the journalism class. While reading a finished story, she alters it with sarcasm and wit, only to have it published by mistake. Her outlandish remarks make her both famous and infamous with the student body. Her gift for words helps her land her own monthly column, which may or may not help her survive mean girls, homecoming, and other high school drama. As she sets out to write these columns, she focuses on Korean and high school culture and traditions, which are mostly centered around holidays. This makes the story line a bit disjointed at times but the editorials she writes and responses from readers seem to hold it together. Any girl who has felt pulled in two different directions because of traditions at home as well as at school will appreciate Holly's struggle.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
Kirkus Reviews
From debut novelist Goo, a school year in the life of an outspoken Korean-American teen. When the school newspaper accidentally publishes sophomore Holly Kim's fake essay mocking most of her fellow students, she fears it's the end of her high school career. Instead, the resulting controversy lands her an ongoing column--an outlet for her strong opinions that she rarely finds at home, where she clashes regularly with her strict mother. Holly's new writing gig also gives her a reason to interact with classmates outside her usual circle of friends, including Matthew Reynolds, a popular jock. It's a shame neither her sarcastic first-person narration nor her newspaper columns, which are interspersed throughout the novel, are witty enough to elevate the predictable plot and stock characters; readers are likely to agree with Holly when she compares herself to a character "out of a bad teen movie from the '90s." The treatment of Holly's ambivalence about her Korean upbringing is also disappointing: Holly's complaints only touch upon the surface of the complex cultural issues in play, and the characterization of her mother relies too much on cheap stereotypes. Look to Paula Yoo's Good Enough (2008) for a funnier, more nuanced treatment of the same topic. All-too-familiar, forgettable fluff. (Fiction. 12-18)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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Meet the Author

Maurene Goo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she navigated her childhood by practicing extreme bossy Lord-dom over her many cousins. She studied communication at the University of California, San Diego, and received a master's degree in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a very old cat. You can visit her online at www.maurenegoo.com.

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Since You Asked- 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a little sad that it has ended. Holly was hilarious, her friends (and her perspective of them ) was freaking funny, and her columns! Its hard not to get into this story. I was expecting the story to go on a little bit more but since it only follows her sophmore year, that would be a little tricky. All in all it was a really good book. Read and laugh along to Hollys manic life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where is pee story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much, I couldnt put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a fun read, made me smile and even got a few out-loud chuckles.  at the end I was whining "I want to know what happens next!"
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'Since You Asked' is a upbeat and fun young adult contemporary novel that follows the exploits of leading lady Holly Kim, a Korean-American sophomore in high school who makes waves during the first week of school when she accidentally submits a snarky article for the school's newspaper. Throughout the book, Holly and her group of friends experience typical teenage problems - including secret admirers, the stuck up popular crowd, and the issues that come from being a second generation American with immigrant parents. This was a truly funny debut novel that also deals with some important issues that most teenagers face. Holly is a great main character. She's funny, smart, witty, and a devoted friend and daughter. She and her friends have to deal with the usual teen problems - teachers, school, homework, snotty girls and jerky jocks; but they also have to deal with their immigrant parents' traditional values. Holly's parents are Korean and although she considers herself an American, her parents try to force traditional Korean traditions and values on her. Holly and her friends find themselves in funny and strange predicaments. Holly accidentally gets her own column in the school's newspaper and the reader gets to read her monthly thoughts along with some "Letters to the Editor" from fellow schoolmates. The plot was really lighthearted with some really funny dialogue and situations that had me literally snickering out loud while reading. The writing shows the author's incredible talent and I found it really surprising that this is her debut novel. The book had a fast pace and conversational tone, which made it a really quick read. This is the perfect summer read for fans of YA fiction and an author that you will definitely want to get on your radar! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is HILARIOUS!  Whether you are 20 years past Holly Kim's life or right there with her in the first year of high school, it pulls you right into the woes and wahoos of Freshman life!  Maurene Goo captures the true essence of what it takes to dance through the halls of popularity, love, friendship, family, and gumption!  And Holly!, well Holly is an inspiration to all the quiet ones, a compatriot to all the loud ones, and a gem to the fictional human race! Go, Goo!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great, fun summer read. What I really love is that the protagonist is relatable--which is seemingly harder and harder to find in YA. Holly, the main character, doesn't have any superpowers, she doesn't come from a picture-perfect family, and she isn't the most popular girl in school. It's so refreshing that she has a point of view on high school crap (yep, she's over it) and is smart and insightful. When she gets a platform to rant publicly (in the form of a column in her school paper), you have to root for her. The book has a lot of hilarious moments, especially with Holly's family, and it'll make you miss being a teenager AND also grateful that those years are over. The ending may leave you wanting a little more closure but to me that says ... a sequel may be in the cards for Goo and Holly? Hope so!
AllBookedUp More than 1 year ago
Better than expected... Maurene Goo's, Since you Asked...was actually better than I had originally anticipated but the ending definitely leaves you wanting more... I will say that it took me till about 1/3 of the way into the book to really get hooked (in fact I remember looking down and noting the point where it really picked up and thinking, "yay!"), but keep with it and you will be rewarded with some really wonderful moments of surprising humor. I know it's so cliche, and we often complain about it, but I really did miss the love interest element. It was sort of there, but very slightly. All in all, this is a great summer read to toss into your beach bag and enjoy a good laugh and look into Holly Kim's Crazy But Lovable Asian-American Family!