19 January 2009 ~ 0 Comments

(Book) Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi


This was so funny and I kept waiting for the big ending that, sadly, didn’t seem to come. Worth a read, Annie reminds me of a Korean friend I had while living in Hawaii – she and her mother had many of the same challenges. Super funny, but the ending fell flat for me.


Meet Annie Choi. She fears cable cars and refuses to eat anything that casts a shadow. Her brother thinks chicken is a vegetable. Her father occasionally starts fires at work. Her mother collects Jesus trading cards and wears plaid like it’s a job. No matter how hard Annie and her family try to understand one another, they often come up hilariously short.

But in the midst of a family crisis, Annie comes to realize that the only way to survive one another is to stick together . . . as difficult as that might be. Annie Choi’s Happy Birthday or Whatever is a sidesplitting, eye-opening, and transcendent tale of coping with an infuriating, demanding, but ultimately loving Korean family.


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