The Compulsive Reader: Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Syrah Chen, daughter of the famous billionaire Ethan Cheng, has everything she could possibly want, except for a family that pays attention to her, friends that aren't after her for her money or her name, and a boyfriend who only wants a free ride. And now, thanks to a torn ACL, she can't even do the one thing that she loves: snowboard. With her family's expectations closing in heavily, and Syrah's only true friend pulling away from her thanks to his insecure girlfriend, Syrah will have to learn what truly matters to her in order to heal her broken heart and discover what she's meant to do next.

Girl Overboard is an amazing and powerful book. Justina Chen Headley has a talent for creating characters that seem so trapped within their lives that you can't help but sympathize with them every step of their tough, challenging journey, but then be jubilant when they overcome their obstacles. Syrah is such a character. Though she may seem like the stereotypical rich girl on the outside, she's a person full of heart and feeling, and her dreams extend beyond what her family has envisioned for her. But through their constant clashes, she is actually forced to learn from her father (ironically, through his book, The Ethan Cheng Way), in order to see her entire family in a completely different light and find the Syrah Cheng Way of things at the same time.

Chen's book is also wonderfully detailed, and provides such a fascinating glimpse of the mix of two cultures. This book is about more than just snowboarding and healing, but also about connections between people, separated by cultures and circumstances beyond their control. The many layers in Girl Overboard will help readers realize the true meaning of acceptance, family, and wealth, and illustrate that you don't have to be the star of what you love in order to have a rich, fulfilling life—you just have to find your unique way to make a difference. This novel is fascinating, important, and smart, and will leave you thinking.

Cover Comments: I really like this cover! The blue and the pink really stand out, and it looks edgy and modern. The font is great, it too seems to yell, "Look at me!" There is a repeated pattern of circles throughout the spine, back cover, and inside of the book that loosely ties in with the snow on the cover that is really cool as well.

Review copy purchased.


Liviania said...

This is the only Justina Chen Headley I still need to read. It's good to hear that it's as awesome as her other novels.

hcmurdoch said...

I am pleased so see someone else review this book since I really liked it a lot!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Hi. I noticed you mentioned your review copy was purchased. Did you know about the FTC making an issue of this? If not, check out the post on my blog.

Lynnette Labelle

Erin said...

I had not heard of this book until just now. It looks greeat, thanks for reviewing. :]

Meg said...

I'm so obsessed with Headley's North Of Beautiful that I can't believe I haven't read this one yet! It sounds awesome. She's such a talented writer, and you're right -- you can't help but feel for and sympathize with her characters.

AnimeGirl said...

Isn't the book amazing?
I read it a few weeks ago and I could have kicked myself it too so long for me to read!

Now I need to check her other books.


Krista/Tower of Books said...

Your review has convinced me to add this to my wishlist. :D