Weekend Reads Spotlight #2



Themes: Immigration, Chinese-American, Coming of Age, Adoption
Genre: Contemporary, literary fiction, Adult      Rating: 5/5

Hello fellow booklovers! I hope you’ve managed to finish the week strong. The weekend is finally here and what better way to start but with a #weekendread .

This summer heat wave is particularly grueling on my side with bouts of rain but I’m ok with it… I’ll take any excuse to cozy up inside.

For this weekend, the bookish spotlight goes to The Leavers by Lisa Ko.  I had a chance to finish by both the audiobook and ebook version. I love the convenience of both formats and Emily Woo Zeller is one of my favorite narrators. Despite my growing list of ‘To Dos’, this book was hard to put down.

So heres a short synopsis….


Polly (Peilan) Guo is an undocumented Chinese Immigrant who travelled from China to New York in hopes of creating a better future for herself and her son, Deming Guo. By dealing with loan sharks and working in harsh conditions, Polly slowly learns life’s harshest lessons. While owing about $50,000 to loan sharks and taking risks, they continue to beat the odds and learn the importance of community. As she begins to settle into this life and discuss new opportunities with her new family, she learns that not everyone was on the same page. Ending on a sour note, she never thought that the next few days would turn out to be the last time she’d see them.

With unanswered questions, 11 year- old Deming Guo is force to grow up and live with the  decisions made by people he loved most. Dealing with the loss of his mother and the feelings of betrayal from loved ones, Deming Guo accounts his life as a Chinese-American adoptee struggling to fit in both his Chinese background and American upbringing. Battling genetics, addictions, and other growing pains to find and discover his identity and loyalty.

Given the political climate, especially with immigration, Lisa Ko’s ‘The Leavers’ is the perfect novel to learn the struggles some families face everyday dealing with the process; having to make decisions that forces them to sacrifice themselves and their family.

Ko takes readers on an overseas tour from rural China, to the streets of Bronx, to upstate New York, and modern day China.

I loved the writing and the way Ko details the intensity of each person’s emotions and interactions with each other. This novel is told in both Deming’s and Polly’s perspective, but every side conversation highlights significant events and roles. Can’t give you anymore details, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

This book will definitely raise questions and start discussions.

Happy Reading Booklovers.


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