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Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out. Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course. Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.


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Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out. Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course. Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.

30 review for Parachutes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I wondered how the pitch "Speak meets Gossip Girl" would work but indeed, that's a great meets pitch. Dani is a poor girl, living with her mom in East Covina, California, where she works as a cleaner for a company that contracts with many of her wealthy classmates' families. Her school is known for hosting "parachutes," or Chinese students sent by their wealthy families to America to get an edge in their education. There's money to be had in hosting these students, so Dani's mother decides to ho I wondered how the pitch "Speak meets Gossip Girl" would work but indeed, that's a great meets pitch. Dani is a poor girl, living with her mom in East Covina, California, where she works as a cleaner for a company that contracts with many of her wealthy classmates' families. Her school is known for hosting "parachutes," or Chinese students sent by their wealthy families to America to get an edge in their education. There's money to be had in hosting these students, so Dani's mother decides to host one in their home. Enter Claire, who comes from extreme wealth and privilege in Shanghai. She's not interested in going to school in America, but her parents give her no choice. When she arrives, she's quickly taken in by other Chinese students in the same position as her. She also finds herself falling for a boy named Jay, who is said to be tough to get with and who, she later discovers, has connections to the entire foreign exchange program. Their relationship is not good, nor is the fact Claire is beginning to fall for another boy named Zach...who happens to be Dani's crush, making what was a budding friendship between the two housemates more complicated. Dani is killer at speech and debate, but with so much going on in her life, it's getting a little harder to invest fully, despite her passion and the knowledge that it's her ticket to Yale. So when her coach offers private lessons, she's game. That is, until he begins making passes at her and ignores all of her pleas for him to stop. This is a book about how young women navigate the #metoo era, living with experiences that fill them with tremendous terror about speaking up and out. But what makes this book especially sing is the fact both characters are girls of color and come from very different social classes. Claire is Chinese, while Dani is Filipina. Claire has access to wealth and privilege. Dani has to keep secret that she has a job cleaning houses. These intersections matter, and yet, both girls experience sexual harassment and assault in very similar -- and different -- ways, which puts them in a place where they are no longer what their backgrounds are. They're victims. Smart, well-developed, and an essential book for YA readers.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    I honestly don't know what to rate this. My first instinct is to give it five starts. It covers so so much: privilege from wealth, parents ignoring their children and foisting bad ideas onto them about sexuality and womanhood, familial expectations, cultural differences, racism, infighting between groups of the same "race," poverty, classism, the racism Asian people face in general (I think there's the idea that Asian people don't face racism, especially rich ones like Claire, but the author sho I honestly don't know what to rate this. My first instinct is to give it five starts. It covers so so much: privilege from wealth, parents ignoring their children and foisting bad ideas onto them about sexuality and womanhood, familial expectations, cultural differences, racism, infighting between groups of the same "race," poverty, classism, the racism Asian people face in general (I think there's the idea that Asian people don't face racism, especially rich ones like Claire, but the author shows tons of micro aggressions they both face on a regular basis), the way young women are treated by young men, and then rape culture and sexual assault. It was a lot. The book is very big. The first half I enjoyed a lot and the second half felt much heavier to me and harder to get through. That doesn't mean that it decreased in value! There were just a lot more tough topics coming out. I really appreciate seeing both girls' points of view and how things were different for them. But by the second half, I was super frustrated with both of them for different reasons. I also liked seeing how the author planted seeds that grew into something later in the book. One thing she did really well was balancing so many different characters and none of them ever really felt secondary. The friend groups felt important and dignified. I struggle with that so I was impressed. I also loved the way Dani and Claire gradually came together, but felt bad because of major things that they had to reckon with. I've written two books that explore sexual assault in some way, so I kept thinking about how this book came across to me and how mine might come across to others (kind of selfish, I know.) This felt overwhelming, but I think... it was supposed to. I also think this is really, truly the type of YA book that deserves the fancy awards and to be put on reading lists. There's so much to dissect. My main criticism was that the characters acted like adults, especially toward the second half. And I wasn't sure if this was a deliberate choice (like a statement on how these girls are forced to grow up) or what, but it kept throwing me off. But overall, really fantastic YA debut. I'll be thinking about it for a long time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5/ 5 stars Parachutes is a Young Adult book that I would describe as YA contemporary realistic fiction. The book follows two teenage girls. Claire is 17 and from Shanghai, China. She is rich and comes from a very privileged family. The second girl is Dani (17). She lives in East Covina, California with a single mom. She is on the debate team, she is a scholarship student, and after school she works as a maid. Both are 1st person POVs. These start out as two distinct stories. But then they overlap 4.5/ 5 stars Parachutes is a Young Adult book that I would describe as YA contemporary realistic fiction. The book follows two teenage girls. Claire is 17 and from Shanghai, China. She is rich and comes from a very privileged family. The second girl is Dani (17). She lives in East Covina, California with a single mom. She is on the debate team, she is a scholarship student, and after school she works as a maid. Both are 1st person POVs. These start out as two distinct stories. But then they overlap a bit. I found this book to be very interesting. To be honest I didn't even know that parachuting was a thing. It involves privileged families from another country (in this case China) sending their kids to the US (alone) to study. This was a really powerful and important YA story. The book focuses on many issues that are relevant to high school and college-aged students today. There are warnings at the beginning of the book because two of the topics are sexual harassment and sexual assault. I maybe wouldn't recommend this book for a young teen. But this book is not graphic. And I think that this book tells two important stories. There is some romance in this book. But it is woven in between the more important issues that the author focuses on. I was invested in both girls' stories. I was fascinated by Dani and her debating team. And I was really interested in Claire and the fact that she was sent to the US alone to study. Also, it was very interesting to read the author's note and see how her own experiences mirrored some of what was in the story. This was such a moving and emotional story. I really enjoyed it. I really loved this book. My only issue was that the ending was too abrupt. I would have liked another chapter, some resolution or an epilogue. The story just needed more. I needed more. Thanks to edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for allowing me to read this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    "Claire looks away. I recognize the hesitation on her face, even though she's different from me. She has a parachute. But what I've realized this year is even if you're born with one, things can happen that can cut holes in yours." "Girl, justice is something that Americans invented to sell movies." "As she starts the car, I put my feet up on the dash. Two girls from opposite sides of the earth, emerging from the ashes, stronger." 5 stars. Apart from one minor issue I have with it, Parachutes "Claire looks away. I recognize the hesitation on her face, even though she's different from me. She has a parachute. But what I've realized this year is even if you're born with one, things can happen that can cut holes in yours." "Girl, justice is something that Americans invented to sell movies." "As she starts the car, I put my feet up on the dash. Two girls from opposite sides of the earth, emerging from the ashes, stronger." 5 stars. Apart from one minor issue I have with it, Parachutes is a masterpiece of a novel that examines culture, wealth inequality, and the way institutions of power meant to “help” people are in need of reform. There are certain books that even within the first one hundred pages, you just know it's going to be a five-star one: this book was one of those. It's hard for me to put into words why this book is so compelling as when I first picked it up, I only intended to get a hundred pages in and stop for the night; I ended up starting and finishing this book in one sitting. One of the most central devices in this novel is the use of contrast or juxtaposition. This book continuously juxtaposes opposites, whether it'd be Dani and Claire's opposite POV's, how personal this book feels even when discussing broad injustices within the American judicial system, and even the subject matter being discussed with the absurd opulence at display throughout the story. This is very purposeful on Yang's part, as I think a lot of my enjoyment of this novel came from it. Additionally, is in this continuous comparison of two opposite elements that I think the novel gains its greatest strength: the ability to make people empathize and understand something which they may otherwise view as cold statistics or just 'yet another news story.' This is true of the primary theme of sexual violence, but also of subjects such as wealth inequality, schools functioning as capitalist profit machines rather than actually educating their students, and more. Parchutes does one of the best things a story can do: show that the line between personal and political has always been blurred, especially for minorities existing within a system actively built against them. This story feels so personal because of the strong characterization of our two protagonists: Dani and Claire are both opposite characters, the former a young Filipina woman who wishes to get into Yale so she can provide for her mother while the latter is a wealthy Chinese young woman who becomes an international student (a "parachute") and ends up staying at Dani's house. The two come from opposite worlds and at first, don't get along at all. In fact, for the majority of the novel they dislike more than like one another. But it is because of this that when the two of them finally start opening up and supporting one another truly that it is so satisfying. The two find solace in one another as a result of (view spoiler)[Dani being inappropriately touched by a man who she trusted in a position of power over her and Claire being raped by the young heir to a ridiculously wealthy family in China. (hide spoiler)] Sexual assault, after being swept under a rug for so long, has finally become a hot button issue: survivors are coming forward en masse, finally feeling comfortable enough to share their truth. Dani and Claire's stories may be fictional, but they mirror not just one but hundreds of stories that have and haven't been told. Kelly Yang discusses this in both her author's note and a thread on twitter that I actually read before reading this, but this is a very personal story for her as she herself was in a very similar situation where she was sexually assaulted and the system failed her. As such it made that scene where (view spoiler)[Claire had to sit in the same room as the boy who assaulted her, watch as she was discredited for simply speaking the facts of what happened, and have bits and pieces of her humanity torn away for the sake of upholding the boy's reputation feel twice as awful (hide spoiler)] as I was aware that Yang was in that almost exact same situation. I do have one very minor complaint about the story: (view spoiler)[the fact that Claire still got with Zach, the guy that Dani was interested in. I get that after all Claire has been through, she deserves a loving partner but.... it felt kind of weird to me? I can't exactly say why but maybe it's because of the way the dynamic between Dani, Claire, and Zach played out left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. (hide spoiler)] But at the end of the day, that portion of the story was minor at best and the ending overall is something I really, really enjoyed. While it might not be as cathartic as some readers would like, I found the note it ended on both realistic and hopeful enough that it fit perfectly with the story. Overall, I would say that while I can't say I enjoyed this book, I love and appreciate how it casts light on such a relevant topic with women of color at its center. I haven't seen many people talk about this book and I think that's such a disservice to it. This is for sure making my favorite books of 2020 list and I think if you read it, it may make yours. I eagerly await Kelly Yang's next book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ❆Rushna❆

    A great read, especially with its relevance to current society

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Raathi Chota Kelly Yang has taken a shot at a young adult novel and brought readers to tears in this gripping story involving wealth, immigrant, relationships, and trauma. Parachutes is a lengthy novel but it deals with many important topics faced in our society today, so it’s a breeze to read. For Yang’s first YA novel, it’s beautifully written. Readers are so invested in the story, we don’t realise until later that there’s only been one non-Asia Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Raathi Chota Kelly Yang has taken a shot at a young adult novel and brought readers to tears in this gripping story involving wealth, immigrant, relationships, and trauma. Parachutes is a lengthy novel but it deals with many important topics faced in our society today, so it’s a breeze to read. For Yang’s first YA novel, it’s beautifully written. Readers are so invested in the story, we don’t realise until later that there’s only been one non-Asian (major) character. That’s how Yang crafted the story so well. We’re driven by their experiences more than their appearances. The story begins with Claire’s luxurious life in Shanghai, China. Everything might seem perfect for the wealthy girl, but up close there’s pressure. It’s all about status and reputation teenagers are put on for the family. Claire understands this well, but still wants to speak her mind. She wants to be different! She wants to break the system of pleasing adults and going with what her gut is feeling. It’s not possible in China. Too much at risk. It’s admirable to read the pros and cons to being wealthy. Thinking it’s all good but people on the outside don’t realise how pressurising and fake it can all be. The only way Claire can have a normal life is moving to America. Still, there’s pressure since stereotypes of America are brought in and who Claire might become. That’s where we’re brought into Dani’s life. The total opposite from Claire. They’re both smart but have totally different personalities and way of living. Dani has dreams and aspirations. She wants to get into Yale with her top grades and credit of being on the debate team. She also works hard outside of school. She’s a maid along with her mother and best friend, Ming. She lives in a small villa with her mother, with no complaints until Claire arrives and Dani’s mother hosts her. Two girls under the same roof are bound to stir up trouble. Claire finds her parachutes of popular girls while Dani keeps her distance. Everything Claire does, Dani finds fault with it. It’s understandable when someone invades your home and has high expectations. It doesn’t help that Dani’s mother treats Claire like royalty. Yet Dani has bigger things at hand. Her debate teacher favourites her with a nickname and soon offers her private coaching. All seems well in Dani’s eyes until he gets too friendly. Shocked by someone she thought she could trust, Dani doesn’t know what to do. It affects her more than she realises. When she calls him out on it through email, things only get worse since he plays the victim. Torn between whether to speak up with her debate senses kicking in or brush it off, Dani doesn’t know who to turn to for guidance. Claire’s life begins to crumble when she learns the difficulties of her parents relationship. It doesn’t help when her father blinds her with money. She doesn’t take anymore of it and finds solitude with Jay. Another wealthy kid who seems too perfect. When Claire and Jay date, things are okay at the start but Jay becomes suspicious throughout the story. What once were Dani’s and Claire’s perfect lives, begins to crumble around them—they only have the voice of themselves to make things right. What made this book more realistic to today’s society was that when they did speak up about harassment, no one listened or believed them. I don’t want to give too much away since I highly recommend this book! At times Dani and Claire did or reacted to things in the way that wasn’t favourable, but them coming together in the end and finally finding something they share—that they can both fight for, is empowering. The ending to Parachutes doesn’t give much closure but that’s what makes it even more realistic! So many cases of sexual harassment and assault today are still left unanswered, opened while the victims are left to fend for themselves. At least they have people around them supporting them. In other sub-plots, Claire’s parents are more understanding to what she wants and who she is. Dani finally finds her debating voice to speak on a matter that she can relate to the most. Her speech wasn’t based off facts, rather experience. That’s what made it so moving. It’s that moment in the book readers waited for. It’s that moment where Claire begins to realise she isn’t alone and that she isn’t as different to Dani at all. They didn’t bond well throughout the book but in the end, when they came together and spoke up, that was enough closure for readers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ikram

    full review can be found on my blog! Claire and Dani came from different backgrounds which caused them to become each other’s polar opposite. Since the very beginning, I just know Kelly Yang wouldn’t pull the queen bee & sidekick trope—and I’m grateful for it! Often, the queen bee & sidekick trope erases one character and makes them less meaningful. This is not the case of Claire and Dani, because they have their own story to tell and they’re equally important. Dani De La Cruz is a scholarship stu full review can be found on my blog! Claire and Dani came from different backgrounds which caused them to become each other’s polar opposite. Since the very beginning, I just know Kelly Yang wouldn’t pull the queen bee & sidekick trope—and I’m grateful for it! Often, the queen bee & sidekick trope erases one character and makes them less meaningful. This is not the case of Claire and Dani, because they have their own story to tell and they’re equally important. Dani De La Cruz is a scholarship student living with her mother in East Covina, California, where she is a part of her school’s debate team and has a big dream to be the first woman in her family to attend university. After school, she works as a maid for her wealthy classmates’ families. Dani is really impressive with her speech and debate, often getting praise from her coach. I adore Dani’s principle and ambition to get into Yale; to always try upholding justice. Claire Wang comes from a wealthy and privileged family in Shanghai, China. When she arrives as a new parachute in her school, Claire is instantly drawn into a “Crazy Rich Asians” crowd. Here, we get to explore Claire’s personality and character more. Despite the stereotype of rich people often buying their success rather than achieving it, Claire is working very hard to get a good grade. She is against cheating and corruption—even when her parents encourage her to do so. With the amount of issues Kelly Yang brought to her book, she’s done a great job for not making her readers feel like she shove everything down our throats. Let me tell you something; there are a lot of issues going on in Parachutes that I know high school and college aged readers can relate to. These issues, however, are often overlooked by adults because they normalize them and expect us to do the same—and they will be explored more below. But, before I start, I’m going to list the trigger warnings for Parachutes: rape, sexual harassment, pedophilia, racism and discrimination. 17 May 2020: Kelly Yang, being amazing & brave author, singlehandedly raise awareness about issues adults in every country often ignore. It is hard to read this book, not gonna lie, but I want to personally thank Kelly Yang for using her voice to write this story. RTC!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen

    content warnings: (view spoiler)[on-page non explicit rape, sexual harassment, victim-blaming, teacher/student (one-sided), voyeurism, public sex, grooming, body-shaming, slut-shaming, misogynistic language, infidelity, classism, racism & colorism, Orientalism/yellow fever, mention of miscarriages, parent with substance addiction, controlling behavior (in relationship), (hide spoiler)] rep: (view spoiler)[Filipina-American MC [Dani], Chinese MC [Claire], Filipina immigrant secondary character [D content warnings: (view spoiler)[on-page non explicit rape, sexual harassment, victim-blaming, teacher/student (one-sided), voyeurism, public sex, grooming, body-shaming, slut-shaming, misogynistic language, infidelity, classism, racism & colorism, Orientalism/yellow fever, mention of miscarriages, parent with substance addiction, controlling behavior (in relationship), (hide spoiler)] rep: (view spoiler)[Filipina-American MC [Dani], Chinese MC [Claire], Filipina immigrant secondary character [Dani's mom], lesbian Chinese secondary characters [Ming & Florence], established secondary F/F relationship, diverse minor characters (hide spoiler)] tl;dr The themes and rep are great; I personally found the execution lacking, but though it's not for me I sincerely hope this book will resonate with others. I really wanted to like this more since it engages thoughtfully with issues of privilege and rape culture, in part based on the author's own experiences (!!!). But in a nutshell, and at risk of sounding callous, I just had so much trouble sympathizing with any of the characters and the pacing felt awkward. The latter first, because my feelings here are more straightforward. Basically the plot seemed to comprise a lot of whining about privilege, through naive and self-absorbed lenses — until the last quarter or so, when (dun dun dun) Very Bad Things Happen. Because of the pacing, there wasn't space for much development or exploration of the conflict/consequences of the climax (aka the part that felt like the whole point of the story), just quick resolution and cheesy platitudes. It probably doesn't help that the prose involves a lot of telling instead of showing, particularly regarding feelings. Chapters open with "I'm so happy that [whatever happened previously]" and similar phrases, which to be felt contrived rather than stream-of-consciousness. There's a lot of recapping what's already happened and how characters feel/react/are thinking of reacting. With regards to the former: given the plot, I honestly feel bad even expressing that I actively dislike every single member of the cast except (view spoiler)[Ming and Dani's mom, they're unproblematic sweethearts (hide spoiler)] . Obviously a victim doesn't and shouldn't have to be perfect to be believed or to be blameless, but I got the impression that we were meant to like Dani and Claire, and I ... couldn't. In short, I always have trouble empathizing with characters who can't be bothered even trying to empathize with others. Part of the reason I didn't DNF was that I hoped to see significant character growth — but if it happens, it's dramatic and squeezed in at the end. In more detail: They repeatedly make selfish decisions and snap judgments, blow hot and cold towards each other and their alleged friends/love interests and their parents, and seem genuinely surprised that their actions have consequences. They gossip behind people's backs, judge everyone else by their own values and priorities and life experiences. What really got me is that both Dani and Claire somehow (view spoiler)[make the fact that their friend didn't come out to them a reason to feel hurt: making the situation about themselves, disregarding their very valid reasons for staying closeted (hide spoiler)] . So as stated in the tl;dr, I don't want to totally dismiss how much this book may mean to other readers. It just really didn't work for me. >> Buddy read with Soph! (Thanks for being my vent buddy as always.) ----------- CONVERSION : 5.53 / 15 = 2 stars Prose: 4 / 10 Characters & Relationships: 3 / 10 Emotional Impact: 1 / 10 Development / Flow: 3 / 10 Setting: 5 / 10 Diversity & Social Themes: 4 / 5 Originality / Trope Execution: 2 / 5 Memorability: 1 / 5

  9. 5 out of 5

    maya

    *3.75 stars tw sexual assault this is the kind of book to leave a huge impact on the reader. it's impossible to stay unaffected when reading these girls' stories. parachutes touches upon so many relevant topics (racism, classism, sexual assault, etc.) in a way that is both educating and real and i angry-cried way too many times. what i really didn't like was the writing; the characters weren't that distinctive from each other and the dialogue was just.. cringy sometimes, but it was something you *3.75 stars tw sexual assault this is the kind of book to leave a huge impact on the reader. it's impossible to stay unaffected when reading these girls' stories. parachutes touches upon so many relevant topics (racism, classism, sexual assault, etc.) in a way that is both educating and real and i angry-cried way too many times. what i really didn't like was the writing; the characters weren't that distinctive from each other and the dialogue was just.. cringy sometimes, but it was something you could usually easily overlook.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Wow. High school for sure. HIGHLY recommended. Had to buy it bc none of my local libraries had it yet and the hold list on SORA was 10 weeks! Will donate to my local library.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    3.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Rape, sexual advances from teacher towards student, racism, detailed sexual content, drinking, school rape culture covered up by administration, class discrimination. (hide spoiler)] This book is told in first person alternating narrative. It features two teenage girls from vastly different backgrounds. Their worlds collide when Clare becomes a boarder in Dani's home as a way to provide some much needed extra income for Dani and her mother. Clare's wealthy background e 3.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Rape, sexual advances from teacher towards student, racism, detailed sexual content, drinking, school rape culture covered up by administration, class discrimination. (hide spoiler)] This book is told in first person alternating narrative. It features two teenage girls from vastly different backgrounds. Their worlds collide when Clare becomes a boarder in Dani's home as a way to provide some much needed extra income for Dani and her mother. Clare's wealthy background elevates her to someone with instant status in the school, a ready made group of friends, and of course a boyfriend. Dani dreams of going to Yale and knows her only chance is through winning a debating competition where she will be competing against wealthy kids who will buy their way to success. In the story both Dani and Clare suffer from traumatic experiences which I think were well written and felt raw and real. However shocking it is to the Reader I think the responses of authority figures in the book is sadly a pretty accurate account of how many of these situations play out in real life. I didn't connect with the relationships in the story or even the main characters if I am being honest because I felt they weren't written with any warmth (if that makes any sense). Perhaps it will be a better explanation if I say I didn't get any 'feels' from them. The only relationship I was invested in was between Dani and her mother. The strength and determination of the girls to be heard was the highlight of the book for me and I did appreciate the unity shown in the final pages. Despite not feeling moved by this book as I have by other similar stories, I know it is an important one so that elevated the rating for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    A wholly original and triumphant feminist manifesto ~ I hesitate to say too much here because I went into it without knowing the main theme besides that of Chinese students studying in the US and I think my reading experience was better for it because I wasn’t constantly waiting for it. However, scroll down for the content warning - these are also printed in the front of the book. Oh, and can I say that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a successful pivot from MG to (MATURE!) YA from an author A wholly original and triumphant feminist manifesto ~ I hesitate to say too much here because I went into it without knowing the main theme besides that of Chinese students studying in the US and I think my reading experience was better for it because I wasn’t constantly waiting for it. However, scroll down for the content warning - these are also printed in the front of the book. Oh, and can I say that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a successful pivot from MG to (MATURE!) YA from an author maybe ever? Brava, Kelly Yang - that was masterful! CW: continued sexual harassment and rape

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    JAIL. rtc

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    Oooh, this is gonna involve #MeToo so I'm definitely here for it Oooh, this is gonna involve #MeToo so I'm definitely here for it

  15. 5 out of 5

    nadinne ♬

    "Do you really want your name synonymous to rape?!" Claire, Chinese and rich, got rape by her ex boyfriend. Dani, Filipina, sexually harassed by her debate coach. Some people doesn't know what it feels to get sexually harassed or rape. I think that's the reason why some victims doesn't want to open up about their experience because they're some people who make them feel like they are damaged goods after everything that happened to them. Some people wanted them to just move on. NEVER EVER BLAME THE "Do you really want your name synonymous to rape?!" Claire, Chinese and rich, got rape by her ex boyfriend. Dani, Filipina, sexually harassed by her debate coach. Some people doesn't know what it feels to get sexually harassed or rape. I think that's the reason why some victims doesn't want to open up about their experience because they're some people who make them feel like they are damaged goods after everything that happened to them. Some people wanted them to just move on. NEVER EVER BLAME THE VICTIMS. Remember, [rape] it can happen to anyone, even the strongest, loudest of us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Kelly Yang is a masterful storyteller. I already knew that from reading "Front Desk," but this time the content is most definitely PG-13. Despite covering some very weighty issues including racism, sexual assault, harassment, and class discrimination; there is an underlying "Crazy Rich Asians" vibe that adds to the readability. Told from the perspective of a "parachute" named Claire and Dani, daughter of a Filipino immigrant; the narrative takes some unexpected twists and turns to uncover hypocr Kelly Yang is a masterful storyteller. I already knew that from reading "Front Desk," but this time the content is most definitely PG-13. Despite covering some very weighty issues including racism, sexual assault, harassment, and class discrimination; there is an underlying "Crazy Rich Asians" vibe that adds to the readability. Told from the perspective of a "parachute" named Claire and Dani, daughter of a Filipino immigrant; the narrative takes some unexpected twists and turns to uncover hypocrisy and the roots of systemic injustice. I was disappointed at the lack of redeemable male characters, but decided that might add a "White Knight" trope that would detract from Yang's vision. I predict this will be an award winner for Yang just as "Front Desk" has been. She writes stories that contain her own struggles in a way that draws us into her world and gives us new understanding. Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    faith ✨

    this book walked so anna k could run this book walked so anna k could run

  18. 4 out of 5

    Holly Rose

    have you ever heard the term "context is everything"? i would like everyone to remember that while i review this because this is what i immediately started reading after finishing "a little life" by hanya yanagihara; so my emotions had been so drained before reading this that i think it is ON ME for not reacting more sympathetically to this novel--i just wanted to get that disclaimer out before continuing this review and so you would understand the headspace i was in while reading. this book deal have you ever heard the term "context is everything"? i would like everyone to remember that while i review this because this is what i immediately started reading after finishing "a little life" by hanya yanagihara; so my emotions had been so drained before reading this that i think it is ON ME for not reacting more sympathetically to this novel--i just wanted to get that disclaimer out before continuing this review and so you would understand the headspace i was in while reading. this book deals with similar topics of sexual harassment and rape but obviously toned down since this is a young adult novel. this follows two characters from vastly different backgrounds: claire from a wealthy family in shanghai who gets sent to america to attend high school and dani a mixed filipino girl from california who is from a low income household and attending the same high school but on an academic scholarship. this book deals with a lot. i will commend kelly yang for being ambitious in trying to cover a TON about the experience of chinese "parachutes" living in america while also covering dani's experience of being a low income person of color around the wealth of her fellow classmates ALONG WITH sexual harassment, rape, internalized homophobia (with the minor characters), classism, xenophobia, the list does indeed go on. however, i think kelly yang should have scaled back and focused on dealing with just a few topics since this is indeed such a short book (despite being 85(?) chapters with the chapters being like 5 pages at most). because the chapters were so short and the main plot of the story really only happened in the last 30ish chapters, i felt that the climax was sped through and a little rushed. i think some of those heavier topics and events that occur should have happened earlier so we could see these characters really dealing with whats going on rather than just being like this happens so now this happens and now here we are doing this. i would have liked more of the character's thought process before being shown their actions. i also did not fully understand character motivation throughout this story, like sometimes i would just be reading what a character was doing and be completely dumbfounded on why they were doing this. HOWEVER, while i realize the beginning of this review makes it sound like i did not really like this book. i actually very much enjoyed the fact that kelly yang wrote this story. its been a while since i've seen a contemporary ya author take on SO MUCH in a story, so i really appreciated that. another thing i liked was that the two perspectives were different enough that i never got confused as to who was talking, which happens to me all the time with dual perspective stories. i really liked the characters that surrounded our two leads as well: ming, florence, zach, jess, nancy. although i wish we would have seen more of them, but, like i said earlier, i felt the book was doing a lot so maybe that was for the best. TLDR, i really enjoyed this book overall, but i just felt like the plot towards the end was very fast and focused on the external pressures of what was going on and i would have liked to see inside the characters heads more during this portion of the story because i felt that could have had some interesting commentary on what was going on. i also felt that the author really went for it in feeling like she had to tackle every single problem that could occur to "parachutes" when i feel like she could have only focused on a few and spent more energy on the main plot of the story. this book was very fast paced and a super quick read (i read it in only 3 sittings) and very different from what i've seen in young adult contemporary recently. i cannot wait to see what kelly yang writes next! (ps the author note crushed me; i have the utmost respect and admiration for kelly yang)

  19. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Sexual harassent, rape, racism Parachutes is a book about opposite worlds. Two girls who are so alike, but couldn't have grown up more different, struggling with trying to figure out who they are, their family situation, and love. They are asked how much they are willing to pay for freedom. For the life that they want. It's a book that tackles issues of racism, sexual assault, spe (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Sexual harassent, rape, racism Parachutes is a book about opposite worlds. Two girls who are so alike, but couldn't have grown up more different, struggling with trying to figure out who they are, their family situation, and love. They are asked how much they are willing to pay for freedom. For the life that they want. It's a book that tackles issues of racism, sexual assault, speaking up, and a culture that tries to silence girls. All while being inextricably linked with privilege, money, and corruption. Yang allows both Claire, a rich parachute from Shanghai, and Dani, a poor Fillipino girl struggling with her future, to be complex, flawed, and human. While Parachutes has plenty of action, it is propelled by its characters. Whether that be Claire's struggle with her family pressure, Dani's confrontation with corruption, or even Ming, a lesbian scholarship student from China. Parachutes is complex, tackling issues of racism and the dangers that these girls face on all avenues. While I am not an ownvoices reader for these identities, I could deeply identify with Dani's principles when confronted with corruption, as well as the challenges Claire faces from both her fellow Asians in the US and the non-POC characters - not being accepted by either. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    This sounds like a YA version of Crazy Rich Asians and I'm here for it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tilly

    4.5 stars TW: Rape, sexual assault, bad parenting, drugs and alcohol abuse, bullying and racism. I started reading Parachutes with no expectations and found I could not put it down. I read it in a day and that shows how important this book is. I firstly want to say well done to the fact that even in my ARC copy, before I got to the first page there was a very clear page for trigger warnings. More writers and publishers need to do this. This story is of 2 asian girls that live vastly different lives 4.5 stars TW: Rape, sexual assault, bad parenting, drugs and alcohol abuse, bullying and racism. I started reading Parachutes with no expectations and found I could not put it down. I read it in a day and that shows how important this book is. I firstly want to say well done to the fact that even in my ARC copy, before I got to the first page there was a very clear page for trigger warnings. More writers and publishers need to do this. This story is of 2 asian girls that live vastly different lives but find themselves in the same house and school. Claire, a rich and priviledged Chinese "parachute" has been sent to a school in the US and stays with her host family that is Dani and her mum who need the money to pay their bills. The storyline follows both points of view as Dani and Claire live their own lives in and out of school. It shows the huge differences in how they see the world and live due to their differing social and economic status. Despite this they unknowingly find themselves in similar situations. I won't say any more as do not want to spoil the plot. What I will say is that it is an incredibly emotional, inspiring and important storyline, it is very well written and a definite must read. To Kelly Yang. I read your author's note and I cried. Please know that you now have many more people that know your story, believe you and stand beside you. Thank you for this book. Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    Wonderful! This book touches on so many things - it brings light to the unfair system that supports racism, wealth inequality, and lack of access to education for many people. It serves as a window or mirror for the racist words and actions faced by many Asian people in the U.S. AND, it shows a brutally honest portrayal of two teenagers reckoning with sexual harassment and misconduct from someone in a position of power, which is heartbreaking to read. However, I knew that Kelly Yang would delive Wonderful! This book touches on so many things - it brings light to the unfair system that supports racism, wealth inequality, and lack of access to education for many people. It serves as a window or mirror for the racist words and actions faced by many Asian people in the U.S. AND, it shows a brutally honest portrayal of two teenagers reckoning with sexual harassment and misconduct from someone in a position of power, which is heartbreaking to read. However, I knew that Kelly Yang would deliver a powerful, uplifting ending, and she didn't disappoint!

  23. 4 out of 5

    sophie b

    i just read kelly yang’s story on twitter and wow...i cannot wait to read this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    love, tappkalina

    interview with the author Sounds really promising! interview with the author Sounds really promising!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ameema Saeed

    Wow. Heartfelt, strong, raw, and powerful, this book absolutely blew me away. A smart, thoughtfully written story about immigration, circumstance, power, privilege, friendship, and isolation, Parachutes took my breath away. Yang is an incredible writer, and she painted a painful, and all too real picture of sexual assault, and the ways power, privilege, & structural opposition play their roles in silencing & dismissing survivors, and brushing incidents under the rug. I admired the complexity of D Wow. Heartfelt, strong, raw, and powerful, this book absolutely blew me away. A smart, thoughtfully written story about immigration, circumstance, power, privilege, friendship, and isolation, Parachutes took my breath away. Yang is an incredible writer, and she painted a painful, and all too real picture of sexual assault, and the ways power, privilege, & structural opposition play their roles in silencing & dismissing survivors, and brushing incidents under the rug. I admired the complexity of Dani, Claire, and all of Yang’s nuance in writing smart, believable, and unforgettable characters. Dani and Claire were strong and bold in different ways - and both were remarkable women, and memorable characters. This book was a hard read because of its content - I cried, I raged, and I sympathized. I also accidentally read my ebook until my phone died! This is the kind of book that once you finish it - you just want to find every other person who has read it, and talk to them about what they thought about the book! Smart, vulnerable, and unfortunately all too relevant in the #MeToo era - this book shined a light on sexual assault (especially in schools) in a really thoughtful way - with all of the sharp edges, dark corners, and harsh realities To have read this book during Sexual Assault Awareness Month felt right. I can only imagine that this will be a book that will continue to drive conversation, learning, & hopefully change, as more and more people continue to read it. I received a digital advanced reading copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest feedback.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    This is not written by the same kind of Kelly Yang who wrote Front Desk. Wow! Raw and edgy are words that I'd use to describe this book. Two perspectives, the haves and the have nots, are told in the alternating voices of Claire (a parachute from China) and Dani (Claire's host in America). A good friend of mine commented that THUG tried to tackle all kinds of issues important to Black Americans, and I feel like this book does the same thing for Asian Americans and teenage girls, really: we have t This is not written by the same kind of Kelly Yang who wrote Front Desk. Wow! Raw and edgy are words that I'd use to describe this book. Two perspectives, the haves and the have nots, are told in the alternating voices of Claire (a parachute from China) and Dani (Claire's host in America). A good friend of mine commented that THUG tried to tackle all kinds of issues important to Black Americans, and I feel like this book does the same thing for Asian Americans and teenage girls, really: we have teacher-to-student sexual harassment, host-dad-to-teenage-girl creepiness, prejudice against Asian Americans, teenage-boyfriend-against girlfriend-violence-and-rape, closeted-lesbians-with-disapproving-parents, Chinese teenagers driving Lamborghinis and living completely on their own in the US... I could keep going! What we didn't have in this story were any parental figures with integrity (except maybe the substitute English teacher). Even Dani's mom was too busy working and trying to make ends meet to even notice that her exchange student wasn't actually sleeping under her roof for weeks at a time. This book was just too all over the place to really sink into and enjoy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dang it. I really, really wanted to love this book. I mean, Asian representation plus feminism with a dash of classic frenemy drama? That sounds like a killer combination. And for the most part, I did enjoy reading it. However, I just felt like some elements of the story really hindered the plot. Plot Parachutes is told from the perspectives of seventeen-year-olds Claire and Dani. Claire is a “parachute,” a teenager who’s been dropped off in the U.S. by themselves to study abroad. Dani is an i Dang it. I really, really wanted to love this book. I mean, Asian representation plus feminism with a dash of classic frenemy drama? That sounds like a killer combination. And for the most part, I did enjoy reading it. However, I just felt like some elements of the story really hindered the plot. Plot Parachutes is told from the perspectives of seventeen-year-olds Claire and Dani. Claire is a “parachute,” a teenager who’s been dropped off in the U.S. by themselves to study abroad. Dani is an impoverished girl enrolled in a prestigious high school in LA. Their paths collide when Claire goes to live with Dani’s family and starts attending her school. Then, well, you’ll have to read to find out... Romance So...I’m not gonna sugarcoat my thoughts on this aspect of the book. I hated it. It just felt so pointless. I hated both the love interests from the beginning, and my feelings toward them only soured as the story progressed. Jay was an abusive control-freak with a pretty face, and because I knew this was a #MeToo book before I began reading, I was fearing for Claire the entire way through. Zach, on the other hand, was just so bland. I can’t name a single personality trait when I think of him, because he didn’t have a personality. I felt no chemistry between either of the male love interests and Claire, especially Zach. And it made me a little nauseous to be reading about Claire and Zach developing feelings for each other when Dani’s chapters were interspersed throughout. To put it simply, I wish the Zach-Dani-Claire love triangle wasn’t in this book. It really weighed down my reading experience and detracted from the story itself. There should have been more pages dedicated to the relationship between Claire and Dani instead of having them pitted against each other over some guy (who could just as easily be replaced with a stale goldfish and I wouldn’t know the difference). Doesn’t that kind of defeat the whole purpose of the book? Message If I were to rate this book on the message alone, it would undoubtedly receive five stars. This is such an important story for young adults to read, especially during this time. The author covers so many heavy topics in this book, ranging from xenophobia to sexual assault (with many others, of course, but I felt that these were the two main overarching themes). Of course, all of these topics are sensitive and nuanced, but the author did a phenomenal job with portraying the trauma that both Dani and Claire experienced. Characters  Dani She was undoubtedly my favorite. I loved her leavelheadedness and found her to be a very sympathetic character. Furthermore, I felt like her reactions to the situations she found herself in were realistic and understandable. She didn’t deserve to be friendzoned by Zach - she was way out of his league! Although I was satisfied with the way her story tied up, I wish we got to see more of her. Claire Although I liked that Claire shed light on what it’s like to be a parachute and how daunting it is to live in a new country without any friends or family members, it took me longer to warm up to her. For the first quarter of the book, she read to me like an entitled rich girl without a spine. Of course, as we slowly got to understand her more, I began to feel more sympathy for her. Out of the two narrators, she was the one with the biggest character arc. She started off incredibly naive, but toward the end, she finally grew a spine! I just wish that it hadn’t taken me nearly half the book to fully connect with her. Claire’s Mother I loved her character development. At the beginning of the book, she was so shallow and materialistic. However, she proved to be much more complex than I first thought (you’ll see why), and I really appreciate that the author fleshed her out and gave her the complexity she lacked at the start of the novel. Jay Ugh. He deserves to rot in a jail cell. Zach Meh. He was the most one-dimensional character in this book. It just felt like he was there to add more drama to the story. Thoughts  Although Parachutes was nearly 500 pages long, I read it almost all in one sitting. For me, the writing - though a bit too simplistic at times - was very easy to read. I couldn’t seem to tear my eyes away from the pages. Overall, although I didn’t love everything about this book, I do appreciate what the author was trying to do, and I loved the message that she conveyed. The author's note at the end of the book made me more emotional than I felt for the majority of the story. Personal opinions aside, I'm glad that Yang was able to tell her story—not everyone is. CW: rape (non-graphic), sexual assault, xenophobia, racism

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’m overwhelmed and still processing. Kelly Yang is an amazing and intelligent storyteller who does not shy away from difficult topics. Claire is a parachute, a rich Asian (Chinese in her case) student whose parents ship her abroad to live in a stranger’s house and attend an elite prep school in the U.S. Dani is Claire’s host-family “sister.” She’s an academic and debate star, and a full-scholarship student who hopes Claire’s rent can help her overworked mother make ends meet. The girls’ relation I’m overwhelmed and still processing. Kelly Yang is an amazing and intelligent storyteller who does not shy away from difficult topics. Claire is a parachute, a rich Asian (Chinese in her case) student whose parents ship her abroad to live in a stranger’s house and attend an elite prep school in the U.S. Dani is Claire’s host-family “sister.” She’s an academic and debate star, and a full-scholarship student who hopes Claire’s rent can help her overworked mother make ends meet. The girls’ relationship is complicated and varied. Both have things they admire and envy about each other, each have to navigate through the cliques and racism within their school, and both girls privately deal with being sexually assaulted. The shame, fear, and anger the girls experience while seeking justice and autonomy is heart-wrenching and completely believable. Yang has written openly about being preyed upon and sexually assaulted as an 18-year-old, and I am grateful that she has shared her story and that she wrote this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sasha Zatz

    Parachutes by Kelly Yang is an absolutely wonderful book that immediately gripped me and wouldn’t let me go. It’s a powerful story of two girls who have more in common than they think that discusses sexual assault, racism and privilege. I am just so wowed by this visceral and stunning book. Parachutes is absolutely amazingly written. It is tear-jerking, beautifully emotive, full of personality. It is lyrical yet so easy to read through on and get swept away on. You will completely lose yourself i Parachutes by Kelly Yang is an absolutely wonderful book that immediately gripped me and wouldn’t let me go. It’s a powerful story of two girls who have more in common than they think that discusses sexual assault, racism and privilege. I am just so wowed by this visceral and stunning book. Parachutes is absolutely amazingly written. It is tear-jerking, beautifully emotive, full of personality. It is lyrical yet so easy to read through on and get swept away on. You will completely lose yourself in the story and characters. The two narrators, Claire and Dani are such amazing and loveable characters. They are flawed but they recognise their mistakes and grow from them. They are both so so brave and I loved their budding friendship - their intersecting storylines were absolutely amazing. I am so inspired by Dani and Claire, and also Ming and Florence and Nancy and Bree and even Zach. The entire central cast is built up of such unique and interesting characters that really stood out from the page. Parachutes talks about racism in schools and both inside and outside the Asian community, both the acts of racism that are obvious but also discussing the microaggressions that Asians and people of colour face on the daily, especially immigrants such as the Parachutes in this book. This book also has sexual assault as a very central topic - I thought this was handled and discussed incredibly well - in a raw and painful way, but with so much emotion and importance behind in. Parachutes discusses important subjects but is also about friendship, solidarity and has loads of funny, inspiring and beautiful moments. Kelly Yang is so talented, her prose is gorgeous, her plot incredibly woven, the stakes so emotional and the characters so relatable and loveable. I wish I had more to say but I don’t have enough words to describe this important, powerful, inspiring and moving novel that absolutely blew me away. I really encourage you to pick it up. - woww i have no words, for now i just need to say you NEED this book, it is so important, powerful and raw

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krisha||Bookathon

    This book was complex and so important. It talks about sexism, speaking up and sexual assault while also tackling the subjects of money and the privilege and corruption which comes with it. It was a painful book to read at times but also a hopeful one. Living the story through Dani and Claire who are so different and yet so alike, it’s also focuses on female friendship and family. I will put up a full review soon. TW: sexual assault, on page rape, racism, trauma

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