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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Enter the Parrot by Kiki Lon

Enter the Parrot by Kiki Lon
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Meet Jade, the White girl in the Wong family.

On the surface, Jade fits in perfectly. But just below the surface lurks the fragrance of ginger, ginseng, and a secret kung fu society.

When her crazy grandpa’s deluded parrot goes missing, Jade must dive deep into the seedy underbelly of Chinatown to find him, keeping secrets from her best friends and her cute eco- mentor, Cedric: aka the hottest guy in school. She’ll need her wits about her to solve the riddle, especially when more than one bird goes missing.
Could TF, the hot Chinese guy with the washboard abs, hold the key to the mystery?

One girl. One parrot. One ancient kung fu mystery.

Got kung fu?

Kiki Lon’s glib style strikes just the right chord in ‘Enter the Parrot.” Jade Ascott calmly acknowledges her difficulty fitting in – not only in high school, but in her own family. Try being the only non-Asian in an all-Asian family (it’s a long story.) Jade copes, in her matter-of-fact, funny way. And although she sees herself as somewhat set apart – a sidekick even – we soon see her central role within her family. She’s the first one they turn to when the little mystery (indeed, involving Grandfather’s parrot) needs solving. She stands by her relatives, no matter what. She even stands by her Caucasian boyfriend – although we are soon hoping they can switch to Just friends’ status.

She is surrounded by the people and culture of Chinatown, and fits right in. She also manages to meet a really promising – and handsome – young man. Only, he’s not all that easy to get to know. And she’s still got all these other pressing issues to cope with. Still, bumping into TF raises the hairs on the back of her neck, so true love must be just around the corner.

Jade’s snappy, slightly humorous-sarcastic side is evident in the dialogue. Her home and community are believable and different enough to offer a hint of the exotic, but never overdone. We get a glimmer of everything from food to fashion. Descriptions never slow the story. The pace is quick, and situations are often funny. While Jade wonders if she’ll survive a car trip with Mrs. Chen driving, we’re all still wondering about Gung-Gung’s birds… and then TF pops up. There is never a slow moment in this whole tale.

From nerdy cousins to her moment in karaoke, ‘Enter the Parrot,’ brings us the immensely likable Jade.

For its originality alone I must give Enter the Parrot 5 books. However, it’s incredibly readable, fun quality and utter unpredictability made we wish I had a bigger scale to work with. Do get a copy immediately! (It’s listed as a YA, but I think Romance fans in general will love this – it will make you a kid again.)