Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park

Published: February 21, 2023

Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 295

Genre: YA Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Patricia Park was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. She received her BA in English Literature from Swarthmore College and her MFA in Fiction from Boston University, where she studied with Ha Jin and Allegra Goodman. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Slice Magazine, and others. In 2009 she received a Fulbright grant to South Korea to research RE JANE. She has also received writing fellowships with The Center for Fiction and The American Association of University Women. She has taught writing at Boston University, Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, and CUNY Queens College. RE JANE is her first book.

Alejandra Kim doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere. At her wealthy Manhattan high school, her súper Spanish name and súper Korean face do not compute to her mostly white “woke” classmates and teachers. In her Jackson Heights neighborhood, she’s not Latinx enough. Even at home, Ale feels unwelcome. And things at home have only gotten worse since Papi’s body was discovered on the subway tracks.

Ale wants nothing more than to escape the city for the wide-open spaces of the prestigious Wyder University. But when a microaggression at school thrusts Ale into the spotlight—and into a discussion she didn’t ask for—Ale must discover what is means to carve out a space for yourself to belong.

Patricia Park’s coming-of-age novel about a multicultural teen caught between worlds, and the future she is building for herself, is an incisive, laugh-out-loud, provocative read.

“But there’s no such thing as 300 percent.”

Alejandra feels lost, but she can’t quite explain why. She isn’t enough, but again, she can’t explain. Trying to figure out what she wants when she isn’t sure who she is is a challenge she doesn’t want to face but is speeding toward.

This was a powerfully written, emotionally delivered, and beautifully presented work. The challenges Alejandra faces, and the struggles she has, are so honest and genuine.

This beautiful story turns the light on things that many of us never know anything about. I loved the character development Alejandra goes through. As she started to figure out what matters to her and what is real, I loved how she found her voice.

The narrative in this book is so essential for young people, all people, to read and know. I cannot imagine what Alejandra felt being from three very different cultural backgrounds. But I loved how she found the beauty, the power, and the necessity to be the voice.

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