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CRASH LANDING by Charmaine Anne Li Kirkus Star


by Charmaine Anne Li

Pub Date: April 16th, 2024
ISBN: 9781773218410
Publisher: Annick Press

Skateboarding brings 17-year-olds Jay Wong and Ash Chan together in Vancouver.

It’s Labor Day, 2010. While she’s struggling to land a kickflip, Jay meets Ash, a talented skater who gives her some pointers. Jay learns that Ash is new in town, and that she’s going to be attending the same high school. They also bond over being Cantonese—and suddenly, Jay’s excited about senior year starting. At home, her mom and dad don’t understand her creative ambitions; her younger sister, a future doctor, is the star of the family. Jay and Ash become fast friends at school, and their romantic chemistry develops as they explore parts of the city that Jay’s parents want her to avoid. Jay begins filming and editing videos of Ash performing skateboard tricks, which opens doors for both of them: Jay builds a portfolio for art school using what she makes, and Ash is able to enter a competition after showcasing her skills on YouTube. Ash introduces Jay to a world of pushing boundaries and partying in which they find love and chaos. Candid discussions of the model minority myth and the challenges that their predominantly Asian circle of friends face deepen this layered novel. Surrounded by a richly developed supporting cast, Jay and Ash are caught oscillating between conforming to their parents’ expectations and rebelling because of them. Portraying their fears and desires with illustrative detail, Li delivers an impressive debut.

A vivid, exhilarating ride.

(note on language and culture) (Fiction. 14-18)