I wanted to love this book, I did.
I chose it because my own children are bi-racial and I just wanted to hear someone else’s story as I often wonder if they will struggle with racial identity at all.
Sil Lai’s story is unique. She was raised to believe that she was 1/2 Chinese and 1/2 white American, though she was darker than everyone in her family and always had her doubts. Her mom left the family when she was young, leaving her and 2 siblings with their dad. She later learns that dad is actually her stepfather in a drunken fit of his where he tells her that she is “one of them” (them being black people). Turns out that her mom had an affair just before she married her dad and they kept that information from her until later in life.
You can hear her wanting to belong when she’s young, she’s got some anger, which could all stem from her mom leaving and her drunk/angry step dad and her identity crisis of being darker than everyone else. She drops people faster than you can blink whether it’s her stepmom, her friends, or her whole family (she picks up and moves across country at one point).
In New York she struggles to fit in and make ends meet. She learns to use her looks to get some of the things that she wants and at some points her memoirs become a tabloid story. She has a “thing” with Eddie Murphy and the narrative seemed more like “look who I got to make out with” more than anything else. I kept just wanting her to get it together, it was really frustrating.
I am not sure if some of her stories truly correlate to other interracial children as she had a difficult life. This just reads as a “girl in crisis” book. She drinks too much. Parties too hard. Has to learn some things the very hard way. It wasn’t my favorite read, but it was interesting to read her stories. It wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, but still, you root for her, want her to do the right thing, and you want her to win.