Sizzling Book Club Pick: Bitter Melon by Cara Chow

Bitter Melon Book Cover If you tuned in to the Book Club Chat last week, you heard me announce that the next pick is Bitter Melon, a YA novel by Cara Chow. It’s probably the very best part of the book club that I get to select books that I’m excited about. This book grabbed my attention because it’s set deep in a particular culture, but the heroine’s experiences are universal and I had a great deal of empathy for her predicaments. Here’s the cover copy:

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants? It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her?

Sizzling Book ClubI found that this book gave me a great deal to think on, especially in the wake of the rather (to put it mildly) controversial essay in the Wall Street Journal about “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.”

Now, this isn’t a straight up romance, but it has some emotional romantic elements. In other words, there is a romance in the novel, but there’s also a war of attraction for the heroine between her own desire for something different while not wanting to openly betray her mother’s expectations – and the romance is part of that struggle.

As usual, if you use SBTBARE at checkout, you will get a 50% eBook Bucks Rebate at, the official sponsor of the Sizzling Book Club. You can also buy a copy at, or Book Depository, or wherever the books in your preferred format are sold. The 50% rebate at AllRomance will be valid from March 1-15, 2011.

Plus! I have the date for the chat already: we’ll be hosting the Sizzling Book Club Chat on Thursday, March 31 at 6pm PST / 9pm EST. Cara Chow will join us at 10pm EST to answer questions and discuss the book with us. Hope to see you then!

I am really looking forward to the book club chat, as I think we will have a LOT to talk about. Happy reading!


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Carrie S says:

    Holy Crap, that’s my birthday!  I can’t think of a better way to spend it.  I’ll be passing out imaginary virtual birthday cake.

  2. 2
    Cara says:

    Sadly, even with the rebate that’s a little too rich for my blood this time around. Not that I ever do more than just lurk, but I usually do purchase the book club picks and play along silently. :)

  3. 3
    Carrie S says:

    Try the library is you have access.  My library had it which made my budget very happy.

  4. 4
    Cara says:

    Well, duh! *shakes head at self* With all this talk of libraries lately, too. I will look into it – maybe it’s a good opportunity to try out the e-lending, if they have it!

  5. 5
    anonymouse says:

    About that article “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” there was a later article released (that I can’t find now, of course -_-) where someone got in contact with the woman who wrote the book the article is an excerpt from. Turns out the book is a story of her comeuppance as a parent.

    Just sayin’.

  6. 6
    joanne says:

    The MOST beautiful YA cover I’ve seen in forever.

  7. 7
    MichelleR says:

    Looks great!

  8. 8
    V says:

    About that “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” article…

    It’s not good to generalize. Just saying. I definitely know some Chinese mothers who do the things she describes in the article, but I also know plenty of others that don’t (mine, for one).

    Also, I’m liking this book. It’s hard to find romance featuring Asian American characters. And it takes place in my hometown of San Francisco!

  9. 9
    Elizabeth says:

    I love this book!  That crazy mother really scared me when I read it.  I can’t wait to follow the conversation

  10. 10
    darlynne says:

    I’m all over the map emotionally after reading Bitter Melon: fascinated, sad, disturbed. I was reminded, in a very good way, of Alice Wu’s movie Saving Face, which I loved. Should be a great discussion.

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