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Happy Birthday or Whatever: Track Suits, Kim Chee, and Other Family Disasters
Happy Birthday or Whatever Track Suits Kim Chee and Other Family Disasters Author:Annie Choi 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 hilariou... more »sly 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.« less
Adorable, hilarious, light and quirky memior!!! Loved it!! Choi's humor is fresh, sarcastic and totally relatable!!! I liked her humor even more than Jen Lancaster. Her mother is a riot!! I love how she writes her broken English-Korean into the dialogue. Highly recommended!
I really love Annie's writing style; she feels like someone I know. And her mom feels like someone I *want* to know.
I loved how Annie's constant eye rolling at her parents' behavior was palpable in the mere retelling of events! At the same time, her parents are so awesomely confident and self-assured, each of her mom's quick retorts had me laughing as hard as Annie's "can-you-believe-this" set ups.
I really related to a lot of the author's embarrassment about her family (which comes from a place of love, obviously, not ridicule!) I went through the exact same thing with my mom when I wanted to wear thrift store clothes, became vegetarian, etc. and I really appreciate that Annie doesn't try to put vaseline on the lens regarding her own behavior -- at times she sounds whiny and intolerant (ie, on the Korean hiking trip) but that just makes a funny situation sound funnier. Favorite line of the book: "No pants, I have no pants." I also really admired how Annie found a way to talk about her culture (and write in her parent's broken dialect) without resorting to reinforcing cultural stereotypes.