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Brown Boy Nowhere

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Welcome to Nowhere, kid. Life starts here. What’s the problem? Sixteen-year-old Filipino American Angelo Rivera will tell you flat out. Life sucks. He’s been uprooted from his San Diego home to a boring landlocked town in the middle of nowhere. Behind him, ocean waves, his girlfriend, and the biggest skateboarding competition on the California coast. Ahead, flipping burgers Welcome to Nowhere, kid. Life starts here. What’s the problem? Sixteen-year-old Filipino American Angelo Rivera will tell you flat out. Life sucks. He’s been uprooted from his San Diego home to a boring landlocked town in the middle of nowhere. Behind him, ocean waves, his girlfriend, and the biggest skateboarding competition on the California coast. Ahead, flipping burgers at his parents’ new diner and, as the only Asian in his all-white school, being trolled as “brown boy” by small-minded, thick-necked jocks. Resigned to being an outcast, Angelo isn’t alone. Kirsten, a crushable ex-cheerleader and graffiti artist, and Larry, a self-proclaimed invisible band geek, recognize a fellow outsider. Soon enough, Angelo finds himself the leader of their group of misfits. They may be low on the high school food chain, but they’re determined to hold their own. Between shifts at the diner, dodging bullies, and wishing for home, Angelo discovers this might not be nowhere after all. Sharing it can turn it into somewhere in a heartbeat.


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Welcome to Nowhere, kid. Life starts here. What’s the problem? Sixteen-year-old Filipino American Angelo Rivera will tell you flat out. Life sucks. He’s been uprooted from his San Diego home to a boring landlocked town in the middle of nowhere. Behind him, ocean waves, his girlfriend, and the biggest skateboarding competition on the California coast. Ahead, flipping burgers Welcome to Nowhere, kid. Life starts here. What’s the problem? Sixteen-year-old Filipino American Angelo Rivera will tell you flat out. Life sucks. He’s been uprooted from his San Diego home to a boring landlocked town in the middle of nowhere. Behind him, ocean waves, his girlfriend, and the biggest skateboarding competition on the California coast. Ahead, flipping burgers at his parents’ new diner and, as the only Asian in his all-white school, being trolled as “brown boy” by small-minded, thick-necked jocks. Resigned to being an outcast, Angelo isn’t alone. Kirsten, a crushable ex-cheerleader and graffiti artist, and Larry, a self-proclaimed invisible band geek, recognize a fellow outsider. Soon enough, Angelo finds himself the leader of their group of misfits. They may be low on the high school food chain, but they’re determined to hold their own. Between shifts at the diner, dodging bullies, and wishing for home, Angelo discovers this might not be nowhere after all. Sharing it can turn it into somewhere in a heartbeat.

30 review for Brown Boy Nowhere

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Julia B As a Filipino-American myself, reading Brown Boy Nowhere was a relatable and eye-opening experience. It was an emotional read and addressed so many important topics that we as humans face today. Angelo is a character who embodies not just Filipino-Americans, but all other Asian Americans as well. Racism was an ongoing theme throughout this book. The bullies, of course, were nonetheless high school jocks who were the big boys on campus who Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Julia B As a Filipino-American myself, reading Brown Boy Nowhere was a relatable and eye-opening experience. It was an emotional read and addressed so many important topics that we as humans face today. Angelo is a character who embodies not just Filipino-Americans, but all other Asian Americans as well. Racism was an ongoing theme throughout this book. The bullies, of course, were nonetheless high school jocks who were the big boys on campus who are willing to do anything to grab the attention of anyone, even if it means destroying the new guy in town. Hearing the term, “Brown Boy” was both strong and quite triggering at the same. This term alone was relatable to me since Filipinos are often recognised for their darker skin tones, but triggering because of its outstanding racial prevalence. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    Sixteen year old Angelo Rivera had a great life in San Diego. He had good friends, a pretty girlfriend, and was planning to enter a skateboarding competition in the fall. But none of that matters now because his parents' Filipino restaurant went under and they've decided to move to the middle-of-nowhere, Texas to start again. And being the only Filipino kid in a school of white kids isn't easy, especially when no one else skates. Okay, so the plot is nothing new or novel - it's your basic fish ou Sixteen year old Angelo Rivera had a great life in San Diego. He had good friends, a pretty girlfriend, and was planning to enter a skateboarding competition in the fall. But none of that matters now because his parents' Filipino restaurant went under and they've decided to move to the middle-of-nowhere, Texas to start again. And being the only Filipino kid in a school of white kids isn't easy, especially when no one else skates. Okay, so the plot is nothing new or novel - it's your basic fish out of water with a racism twist thrown in. Still, it was a fun read and I really liked the ending - a good ending can make up for a lot of writing sins as far as I'm concerned - and the ending wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be (well, in general, yes, but not specifically). As for the writing, it could have used a little more work. A lot of the white characters are very stereotypical and flat - they're "racist" even when they think they aren't. (It's still a good message, however.) The dialog sometimes sounded a bit off considering this is YA. The author also uses the same phrases repeatedly throughout the book. I started highlighting every time someone 'bit the inside of their cheek' and almost did the same for every time it said something like 'if they think that, they've got another thing coming.' I know a lot of people say "another thing coming" but I always thought it was supposed to be "another think coming." "Thing" makes no sense, whereas saying "if you think [that], you've got another think coming" makes more sense - to me, anyway. Aren't editors supposed to catch things like that? Anyway, I digress... like I said, a good ending makes up for a lot as far as I'm concerned, and I liked the ending. I read a book like this to be entertained, after all, and I certainly thought it was entertaining (I read about the last 3/4 of it all in one day).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    DNF - I made it almost 200 pages through this story, but the dialogue was too painful for me to continue. Also, the characters were gross stereotypes, the plot was slow and dull, and I found myself putting the book aside because I was bored.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I wanted to like it (how many YA novels about Filipino American kids are out there?) but couldn’t make it too far in. The dialogue is incredibly cringe-worthy and the characters seemed really one-dimensional.

  5. 5 out of 5

    C Mccloud

    I get Johnny Tsunami vibes from this story description. I can't wait to read it! I get Johnny Tsunami vibes from this story description. I can't wait to read it!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was quite possibly the worst book I’ve ever forced myself to finish reading. Based on the title and that the author is Filipina-American, I was hoping this novel was going to explore teens navigating through overt racism and/or micro aggressions. What I got instead was cringe-worthy, boomer-trying-to-talk-like-a-zoomer dialogue, wrapped up in a ‘Footloose’-meets-‘90s teen sport movie’ nothing of a story. The jock/bullies called the protagonist “brown boy” a couple of times, then…nothing! Ju This was quite possibly the worst book I’ve ever forced myself to finish reading. Based on the title and that the author is Filipina-American, I was hoping this novel was going to explore teens navigating through overt racism and/or micro aggressions. What I got instead was cringe-worthy, boomer-trying-to-talk-like-a-zoomer dialogue, wrapped up in a ‘Footloose’-meets-‘90s teen sport movie’ nothing of a story. The jock/bullies called the protagonist “brown boy” a couple of times, then…nothing! Just moved on. Even the skateboarding stuff comes across as someone who knows absolutely nothing about skateboarding, and just googled “skateboarding tricks” and clunkily stuck a new skateboard word anywhere they could. And, I’m nitpicking now, but the names of some of the characters and places were so stupid. The town is named Ocean Pointe, even though it’s in the middle of nowhere—har har, so fUnNy! The teenaged friend’s name is Larry—he goes by a name no teenager anywhere goes by because he’s such a socially inept NERD! GeT iT?! Har har! …Ugh! It felt like I was reading a story written by a middle school child. If I could give it negative stars for wasting my time, I would!

  7. 5 out of 5

    caro(lee)na

    I loved this book! I love reading about skating (even though i don’t skate) and found family, and this book had both. with the main character being Filipino American, it dealt a lot with the topic of racism and micro aggressions. i also loved all the characters and how they were all very different from each other but still found friendship with each other

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

    3.5/5.0 - Cute and predictable This was a well written novel and followed a predictable arc with mostly stereotypical characters. Even still, it was an good read with great depictions of Asian family culture. The best part of this book was how it tackled the diversity and racism aspects, more in a teaching style than a blaming style, excellent read for the middle school bunch to expose them to these concepts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hayla

    I really liked how the main character addressed issues with the people in his life (whether friends or bullies) such as casual racism, treating women right, and expressing feelings. That was really refreshing to read in a YA book. What didn’t work for me is how paint-by-numbers the plot was. I predicted EVERYTHING that happened. If you have read literally any YA book, you will be able to as well. The characters are also pretty flat and don’t really experience any growth throughout the story. In I really liked how the main character addressed issues with the people in his life (whether friends or bullies) such as casual racism, treating women right, and expressing feelings. That was really refreshing to read in a YA book. What didn’t work for me is how paint-by-numbers the plot was. I predicted EVERYTHING that happened. If you have read literally any YA book, you will be able to as well. The characters are also pretty flat and don’t really experience any growth throughout the story. In the end, I can only give this one 3⭐️.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Great concept, but the clunky dialogue, lack of description, and undeveloped characters were too much to overcome. The main character will give in to bullies in one scene and lecture someone else in the next scene for the same choice.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eli Johnson

    Stiff and dull dialogue made me give up halfway through as the characters can’t seem to decide if they speak like real teenagers or adults writing an after-school special featuring teenagers

  12. 5 out of 5

    Juju Andalon

    Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I'm all for the representation and thought it kind of fun to read about someone with cultural similarities, but it was a bit... stereotyped? The way characters acted seemed a bit cartoonish and cheesy, and it gave me anime vibes, but not in a good way. I felt like the characterization was accurate, especially culturally, but I still had trouble liking the protagonist. Also, a lot of plot points are brought up but aren't actually addressed. I was Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I'm all for the representation and thought it kind of fun to read about someone with cultural similarities, but it was a bit... stereotyped? The way characters acted seemed a bit cartoonish and cheesy, and it gave me anime vibes, but not in a good way. I felt like the characterization was accurate, especially culturally, but I still had trouble liking the protagonist. Also, a lot of plot points are brought up but aren't actually addressed. I wasn't sure what to expect of this book or its ending (especially the ending), but I felt that it could have been more than what it was. It wasn't a bad read, just one that I have been consistently unsure about

  13. 4 out of 5

    Haylee Perry

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thanks Goodreads for my free copy! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I honestly couldn’t put it down and read half of it at 1am. I love a good story about the “losers” forming their own group and finally feeling like they belong, and that is just what this book is. I loved the pining between Angelo and Kirsten, and I think I smiled through the entire beach scene. My few issues that kept me from giving it 5 stars: 1. I hated the epilogue. It felt like the end of a Disney movie where the narrator chees Thanks Goodreads for my free copy! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I honestly couldn’t put it down and read half of it at 1am. I love a good story about the “losers” forming their own group and finally feeling like they belong, and that is just what this book is. I loved the pining between Angelo and Kirsten, and I think I smiled through the entire beach scene. My few issues that kept me from giving it 5 stars: 1. I hated the epilogue. It felt like the end of a Disney movie where the narrator cheesily wraps up the last few months of their life. Angelo was talking directly to us and it was just weird. 2. The whole book seemed to perpetuate the idea that marginalized people are responsible for teaching about racism. Angelo literally said he was going to keep teaching Grayson over and over why the things he said/did were racist. I would hate for a young person to read that and think that they are solely responsible for educating white people. 3. Amanda was unnecessarily mean? I don’t understand the “FU Loser!” text and why Angelo didn’t dump ALL of his California friends after she talked to him that way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This story embraces a lot of the issues we are faced with daily. It was done in a way that was engaging and entertaining. We’re all nobodies in one way or another.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheryal

    Not the greatest writing but the story was good. It addressed racism but not an in your face way. It also addressed social groups within the HS and bullying. BUT it was done as a story not an in your face. I had a problem with the language. It is not pertinent to the story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Cute. I wanted to like it more, but the dialogue was kind of weird/unrealistic and so was the pacing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Palumbo

    I LOVED this book! It made me cry. It's fun and engaging, yet serious and so important. Amazing! I highly recommend! I LOVED this book! It made me cry. It's fun and engaging, yet serious and so important. Amazing! I highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth Amy

    Excellent fish out of water story for YA Adults can learn from it as well. Angelo has lived in San Diego all of his life, skateboarding, surfing, helping out a bit here and there with the family restaurant, visiting aunts and uncles, friends of all ethnicities all around him. Sam Diego has become a tourist trap, but it hasn't benefitted the family restaurant. So Angelo finds himself in a farm town, 3 hours away from the shore, where his oarents have decided to move and take over a fast food restau Excellent fish out of water story for YA Adults can learn from it as well. Angelo has lived in San Diego all of his life, skateboarding, surfing, helping out a bit here and there with the family restaurant, visiting aunts and uncles, friends of all ethnicities all around him. Sam Diego has become a tourist trap, but it hasn't benefitted the family restaurant. So Angelo finds himself in a farm town, 3 hours away from the shore, where his oarents have decided to move and take over a fast food restaurant in a gas station. Their forst visitor as they're setting up is a woman who owns a consignm3nt shop and basically says they'll never succeed because of the diner on Main St. that serves burgers, fries, and more. The 2nd visitior is a teen Angelo's age asking for water. Angelo spends his days training for burger flipping & fries frying, and his oay is being saved up for an event, a Thanksgiving skatebiard competition. He has a girlfroend who just passes him off to another friend or spends a little time on generalities and hangs up. Slowly she stops texting (until much later, when it causes massive problems for Angelo). Of course, they break up. There is one black girl and him, the only 2 POC in the school. The town and school are football crazy and the football players can, it seems, do no wrong. Ober time, he makes 2 friends, both of whom ask him to teach them to skateboard. He teaches them, and at one point, Larry, the skinny tuba player, stands up to back Angelo up as he describes to the head football "god" about racism and what a hate crime is, how much trouble it can get him into...the player says there's no one whoddare wotness against him...but Larry recorded the whole thing, and when the other bullies try to take it away, Larry tells them he has a copy in the cloud, so stealing the phone would do no good. They attract 3 more to the group, and try to teach them skating, try to have a skating contest, but things go wrong. Then the restaurant is vandalized badly. Eventually, the perp, the head football "god" confesses to what everyone knew but couldn't prove...his guilt. The ending is happy, the action is good, and it shows racism and how it affects the 2 POCs in the school. It explains why saying you don't see color is bad (something no one has ever explained to me before), and more. Any adult or child can.lear from this...BUT THERE IS SOME VERY ROUGH LANGUAGE IN PLACES, so I'd say let okder teens on up read it for themselves if they like, but if you have a family reading time, be aware you'll lokely have to tpne those words down for younger kids.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Issadora

    from a brown girl I think this book is definitely for teens but with a unusual twist by combining culture and understanding micro aggressions. I think I mostly kept reading bc I live in San Diego very near Mira Mesa (aka Manila Mesa!). My BFF is Filipino with immigrant parents. I was familiar with nearly ALL REFERENCES of San Diego as well as the words in Tagalog and the cultural family values common in Asian families. I’m half block and half Asian (Thai) and my dad immigrated to the US. My mom from a brown girl I think this book is definitely for teens but with a unusual twist by combining culture and understanding micro aggressions. I think I mostly kept reading bc I live in San Diego very near Mira Mesa (aka Manila Mesa!). My BFF is Filipino with immigrant parents. I was familiar with nearly ALL REFERENCES of San Diego as well as the words in Tagalog and the cultural family values common in Asian families. I’m half block and half Asian (Thai) and my dad immigrated to the US. My mom is from the Deep South! I pretty much grew up here jn San Diego, however I been to the Deep South and that was quite a learning experience! I enjoy that this book had multiple layers and stories intertwined… moving to a new town that’s not used to outsiders let alone people of color, moving from a very diverse and inclusive area, love loss, love made, gossiping, creativity, adjusting, bringing in new ideas and so on. The only reason that I gave it 4/5 stars is because I believe that if you aren’t from San Diego or been here at the very least, plus not familiar with Tagalog, it will be a lot more difficult to relate. Not a lot of Tagalog is in the book but mostly pet and terms of endearment. They primarily aren’t explained and although you can piece together the context, it’s definitely different and unique. I really love that the book has this name and themes regarding culture, race and ethnicity. How Many books do that? Not enough!!! Just like media, most books focus on the white experience. Or if ethnic minorities are involved, it’s based on negative associations like slavery, refuges, immigration and other common hardships. This book was a great balance of bringing attention to racism more specifically, micro aggressions but also full of normalized behaviors and activities without emphasis on race but more like emphasis on people. I’m glad that I bumped into this book although I didn’t realize it was more of a adolescent book! Adolescent literature Is often great but it best to be in the mood for it!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heather Blake

    Angelo Rivera had just been uprooted by his parents to leave the one home he has always known. What could be worse than leaving his friends, girlfriend, everything in San Diego? Moving to the middle of nowhere. Now Angelo is stuck in the middle of nowhere as the new kid and helping his parents run a diner. Angelo soon realizes his family is no longer in San Diego, and this town does not like change, let alone new comers. Angelo has to save up enough money to get back to San Diego to his life and Angelo Rivera had just been uprooted by his parents to leave the one home he has always known. What could be worse than leaving his friends, girlfriend, everything in San Diego? Moving to the middle of nowhere. Now Angelo is stuck in the middle of nowhere as the new kid and helping his parents run a diner. Angelo soon realizes his family is no longer in San Diego, and this town does not like change, let alone new comers. Angelo has to save up enough money to get back to San Diego to his life and the biggest skateboarding competition ever. Angelo just has to get through the long days at school and his parents diner, where bullies from his school call him Brown Boy. When he's given the opportunity to leave will Angelo stay in the middle of nowhere or run back to San Diego? Besides Angelo has found friends in the new town that aren't small minded jerks and outsiders just like him. I love this book! It was great to see the main character Filipino. You get to see what him and his parents go through when they move to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Especially how people treat them at first. I also like how Angelo is into skateboarding. It was nice to see that his new group wanted to be apart of his world, and not follow the norm that football is life. This is a great summer read and coming of age book. I enjoyed this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Avery

    Let me start by saying this is not the kind of book I typically read, but someone gave me the book and I enjoyed it! I passed it on to my 13 Y.o. son and he is really enjoying it. The story is very sweet, with a great message about the different kinds of racism: from overt to “institutionalized”. The author does a great job of presenting this group of disgruntled teens in a very realistic light, in terms of their conflicts and issues. The lead character was very kind and mature in his handling o Let me start by saying this is not the kind of book I typically read, but someone gave me the book and I enjoyed it! I passed it on to my 13 Y.o. son and he is really enjoying it. The story is very sweet, with a great message about the different kinds of racism: from overt to “institutionalized”. The author does a great job of presenting this group of disgruntled teens in a very realistic light, in terms of their conflicts and issues. The lead character was very kind and mature in his handling of his own difficulties. I was rooting for him and his gang of misfits throughout the story and appreciated how these mature topics on sex and racism were written for kids as young as my son. I’d recommended this to preteens, all the way through high school, and their parents, to spur important conversations. As a 40-something reader I might give it 3 stars (which means ‘good’) for its sweet but rather simple story telling, but I gave it 4 stars, because that’s how my son would rate it, and he is the ideal audience for this story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Gilman

    I've been in a reading rut for a while. I would pick up a book then lose interest and put it away. I came across Brown Boy Nowhere and was intrigued as it is pretty rare to see a Filipino as a main character in any book. From page 1, this novel sucked me in. I loved Angelo's character and his family so much since I can relate to them. I understood where both parents came from when uplifting their family to start a new business. I understood how Angelo felt devastated to uproot and live in a smal I've been in a reading rut for a while. I would pick up a book then lose interest and put it away. I came across Brown Boy Nowhere and was intrigued as it is pretty rare to see a Filipino as a main character in any book. From page 1, this novel sucked me in. I loved Angelo's character and his family so much since I can relate to them. I understood where both parents came from when uplifting their family to start a new business. I understood how Angelo felt devastated to uproot and live in a small town where everyone looked the same. I loved how Angelo stood up for who he was and where he came from and wasn't embarrassed to be different. This book couldn't have been released at a better time, especially with what has been transpiring within the Asian American & Pacific Islander Communities. Thank you for this book and I enjoyed every word/page/second that I was reading. Highly recommend this novel!!!! 5 stars!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carson Barger

    For a YA novel I thought this was pretty alright, though I did thing there was plenty of overused phrases words and various moments where I just was a bit cringed out (if I read the word 'snicker' one more time, I think I was going to vomit). I just got this on a whim for the Amazon First Reads for the month of July, and for the context of knowing that it was a free book, I was left happy with the choice. This book has some fun moments, and is ultimately a lighthearted, but fairly fast paced read For a YA novel I thought this was pretty alright, though I did thing there was plenty of overused phrases words and various moments where I just was a bit cringed out (if I read the word 'snicker' one more time, I think I was going to vomit). I just got this on a whim for the Amazon First Reads for the month of July, and for the context of knowing that it was a free book, I was left happy with the choice. This book has some fun moments, and is ultimately a lighthearted, but fairly fast paced read. I was really excited to take the time to read something smaller and less dense than the book I finished prior, and this delivered on that front. The author could have used more time refining the language, working on character development/ dialogue, but I did thoroughly enjoy it, otherwise I would have taken far longer than 2 days for me to complete.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Oliwier

    Thank you netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review I found the story and plot to be fun and lighthearted, but there were several points that I disliked, like comparing a black girl's skin to mocha... Some things felt a bit too cliché, for example how the high school is divided between footballers, pompomgirls and freaks. Maybe it's trully like that in the USA, but for an european it sounds a bit too much. I know that every high school has popular kids and nerds, but the divide shown Thank you netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review I found the story and plot to be fun and lighthearted, but there were several points that I disliked, like comparing a black girl's skin to mocha... Some things felt a bit too cliché, for example how the high school is divided between footballers, pompomgirls and freaks. Maybe it's trully like that in the USA, but for an european it sounds a bit too much. I know that every high school has popular kids and nerds, but the divide shown here was really strong. Also, the MC faces bullying, with a lot of racism, and I'm not a fan of how his relationship with his bullies evolved. It didn't feel like the bullies learned to be better people and apologized, they were just afraid that their racism would hurt their chances to go to university, and that was enough to make them stop and become friendly with the MC ?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Amazon free pick for July. Summary of book: instead of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland putting on a show to save the farm, a Filipino-Californian transplant & some Texas misfits put on a skateboard competition in a football-obsessed town to save the family restaurant. I am not going to rate this book as I am not the right demographic. Some YA books can cut across age and be entertaining for all. This one was not well-written for an adult reader, and yet I think it is well-suited for its intended Amazon free pick for July. Summary of book: instead of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland putting on a show to save the farm, a Filipino-Californian transplant & some Texas misfits put on a skateboard competition in a football-obsessed town to save the family restaurant. I am not going to rate this book as I am not the right demographic. Some YA books can cut across age and be entertaining for all. This one was not well-written for an adult reader, and yet I think it is well-suited for its intended audience of late-tween / early teen boys. (Parent/teacher advisory - one mention of a teen couple having sex - if the young reader doesn't know what "consummate" means it might fly over their head and one f-bomb).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zamira

    I absolutely loved this book. It was a nice, light read but with an important message about accepting people for "being different". The book discusses topics of racism, or more so how people can be racist without even realising it. I loved following Angelo and his Filipino family on their journey from big town San Diego to little town living in Ocean Pointe. All the while, Angelo discovering himself and realising there is more to life than superficial people and big city living! The book ends on I absolutely loved this book. It was a nice, light read but with an important message about accepting people for "being different". The book discusses topics of racism, or more so how people can be racist without even realising it. I loved following Angelo and his Filipino family on their journey from big town San Diego to little town living in Ocean Pointe. All the while, Angelo discovering himself and realising there is more to life than superficial people and big city living! The book ends on a happy note which I loved! Another excellent book I've read this year. First book I have read by this author but will keep a look out if there are any more books coming from her. So well written, really glad I picked this as my amazon first reads for this month.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    Enjoyed. I really enjoyed this story. To be honest I picked it up because I’m half Filipino and so is the MC. This is a YA tale of a new kid in town/high school named Angelo. His parents uproot him from San Diego to open a new restaurant in a small town in Texas which has little to no diversity among its population. Angelo soon finds he fits right in among a group of outsiders since he’s picked on by some of the football jocks who give him the nickname “brown boy”. It’s hard to be different, espe Enjoyed. I really enjoyed this story. To be honest I picked it up because I’m half Filipino and so is the MC. This is a YA tale of a new kid in town/high school named Angelo. His parents uproot him from San Diego to open a new restaurant in a small town in Texas which has little to no diversity among its population. Angelo soon finds he fits right in among a group of outsiders since he’s picked on by some of the football jocks who give him the nickname “brown boy”. It’s hard to be different, especially in school, and Angelo and his friends each have something about them that makes them a target for bullying. It’s this group of supportive friends that made this book worth reading.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    I feel really on the fence about this one. Parts of the plot were very welcomed: calling out racism, sexism, and resistance to change. However, none of it felt really effective and almost as if Dirty Dancing was used as a guide to this story. It felt super predictable and planned. The characters also fell short. We’re not exposed to them beyond the clichés they represent. We have the new kid, the band geek, the slut, the hidden talent, the student council president, etc. And as much as they “com I feel really on the fence about this one. Parts of the plot were very welcomed: calling out racism, sexism, and resistance to change. However, none of it felt really effective and almost as if Dirty Dancing was used as a guide to this story. It felt super predictable and planned. The characters also fell short. We’re not exposed to them beyond the clichés they represent. We have the new kid, the band geek, the slut, the hidden talent, the student council president, etc. And as much as they “come together,” we literally don’t see any actual growth from almost anyone. Even the “punishment” for the bad guys is silly. I wanted to like this more than I did, but I didn’t.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I'm not sure how to rate this. I'm definitely not the target audience. It's young adult, but it felt a little middle grade to me, aside from a mention of teen sex early on and lots of high school shenanigans. Still, it was a quick read and I really wanted to learn what happened to Angelo. Even though I suspected some of the turns. Synopsis: Filipino skater kid from San Diego moves to the boonies on the east coast, and teaches them how not to be racist. (there's a lot more that happens, but still : I'm not sure how to rate this. I'm definitely not the target audience. It's young adult, but it felt a little middle grade to me, aside from a mention of teen sex early on and lots of high school shenanigans. Still, it was a quick read and I really wanted to learn what happened to Angelo. Even though I suspected some of the turns. Synopsis: Filipino skater kid from San Diego moves to the boonies on the east coast, and teaches them how not to be racist. (there's a lot more that happens, but still :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Palmisano-dillard

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review. Angelo and his parents relocate from San Diego to a tiny nowhere town (that I think is in Texas, but I'm sure?). There everyone has a place and football rules. Angelo doesn't fit into that hierarchy and begins shaking things up immediately just for looking, thinking and acting differently. Through his love of skating he begins to make friends and build a place for himself, but not without push back. Can he and his family make a home in this n I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review. Angelo and his parents relocate from San Diego to a tiny nowhere town (that I think is in Texas, but I'm sure?). There everyone has a place and football rules. Angelo doesn't fit into that hierarchy and begins shaking things up immediately just for looking, thinking and acting differently. Through his love of skating he begins to make friends and build a place for himself, but not without push back. Can he and his family make a home in this nowhere town? Will the community learn how to accept new things?

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