Thursday, May 3, 2012

Now and Zen by Linda Gerber - Review

Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 6, 2006
Source: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nori Tanaka is an American-Japanese girl who signs up to study abroad in Japan in the summer, in order to get away from her stressful parents and the boring, everyday life in Ohio. She meets a handful of people along the way, including the brawny German, Erik, the haughty and mean Michiko, the annoying and social butterfly, Amberly, and the loyal and trusting Atsushi. Everywhere she goes, Nori can't seem to fit in. All the non-Japanese people think she's a native Japanese, because of her looks, and all the Japanese know that she is a foreigner. She finally decides to pretend to be Japanese to Erik, since she has a growing interest in him and believes that he will like her more if he thinks that she is a native. She gets in deep trouble and must find a way to resolve all her problems.

This book was very interesting, mostly because I'm interested in Japanese culture. What I didn't like was that Nori was made into an obsessive (with Erik) and overall stupid person. She made such DUMB decisions. I wish I could just scream at her to make the right decisions. :D

I think that the best and most enjoyable part of the book for me was all the culture in it. I learned a ton about life in Japan and the people who inhabit it. Of course, I'm not going to depend on a single small book for everything Japanese, but it did give me a good insight into their lifestyle. It made my interest in Japan grow even more!

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