To get down to things, this story by Gene Luen Yang was really a work of reality, fairy tale, and humor all woven together to create a story that not only is highly entertaining but has a lot of things to teach you. The best part is, the way it teaches you isn't even noticeable sometimes. *Chuckles* There are many occasions where our main characters think they've gotten the best of a situation or another person, and they end up still being put in their place and being taught something by their very own stubbornness. And while you half want to not take some of the stories seriously--like the one centered about the Monkey King--you find yourself so involved in his attitude, desires, and his cocky know-it-all supremacy, that you can't really help but eagerly read along anyway! In contrast you have stories like Jin's that are more serious, and that take you through all the things someone of Asian descent would go through even in a country like America. Our last story is Danny and Chin-Kee's, and it serves only to embarrass and harass for the most part. Is it super entertaining even while being completely reputation ruining for Danny? Yeah, it totally is. *Laughs* But the magic of all three of these stories comes together in a way very, very few authors can master. I praised Louis Sachar the first time I read Holes for doing something no one else has ever accomplished and with that level of skill, and while I still believe Louis Sachar has the crowning achievement in that realm, the way that Gene Luen Yang worked his story--regardless of its medium--to follow that 3-stories-weaving-into-1 pattern, is nothing short of clear talent, insight and a skilled imagination. Separately, all three of the stories are entertaining and enjoyable on their own parts. And likewise, all three of them teach you something a little bit similar but with their own differences. However, when put together, they become one single story that makes a greater impact than three small stories ever could, because now every pain, every struggle, and every message makes sense in the greater perspective.
It's a wonderfully easy-to-read book, and I laughed many times throughout it, and I found myself relating to it even though I have not a shred of Asian in me. *Chuckles* It's a graphic novel that stands out for all its simplicity, and it's one that is definitely not made solely for a younger audience, regardless of how the cover and the artwork looks. Do not judge! Because if you do, you'll miss out on something that is a lot bigger than your potentially shallow interpretation of what this book is going to be about. It's something that can not only entertain you, but can teach you! And I highly doubt you'll be bored or even be able to guess what comes next in any of the stories that are told. It's such a delicious read. My only complaint is that I would love to read more. *Laughs* And that's not a complaint at all! So pick this up, and give yourself a chance to experience something far different than what you normally may! You won't regret it. <3 I definitely didn't. And this was assigned for a class! So think about how valuable that recommendation becomes now! Actually enjoying something that was ASSIGNED reading! ;D <3