The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang

“The people of the world could be divided into two groups: those who used all of their chances, and those who stood still through opportunity after opportunity, waiting for a moment that would never be perfect.”

So I have been trying to give myself some reading direction this year and I definitely want to make sure I am reading more books by women and especially more diverse books.  It’s easy to get in the white male dominated arena of lit but I think given the current political climate, reading outside our natural inclination is a good place to start.

The Wang family has to go on a road trip after Charles Wang, self made millionaire, loses his shirt in a bad business deal made on too much emotion.  He packs up his wife and two children, Grace and Andrew, and leaves LA to head to upstate New York to move in with his oldest daughter Saina.  The chapters are each told from the perspective of different family members and honestly, I really liked each chapter.  Sometimes that set up leads to skipping over some chapters if you aren’t into one of the characters but I was equally invested.  Saina was my favorite character overall, I felt like I could understand her POV more as we are around the same age and I felt like I got her.  This book could have easily fallen into some of the typical traps that can happen in a broken family road trip story but it stays away from that and it really is a straight forward look at each character and their attempt to find their own way.

I saw there was some criticism about the fact that the Chinese is not translated throughout the book so there are times you may not fully understand what is being said.  I did not have an issue with that, I felt like it added to the genuine nature of the book.  So for those of you who have seen this one on Instagram and floating around from Book of the Month Club, run around and snag a copy!  It’s a great read!

 

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