Book Reviews of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Author: Jamie Ford
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ISBN-13: 9780345505347
ISBN-10: 0345505344
Publication Date: 11/24/2009
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 574

4 stars, based on 574 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

90 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I loved reading this book. The story is interesting, and it's written in such a way that you get caught up in the story, not the writing. It feels as though someone is sitting with you and re-telling it. No flowery language, no dramatic descriptions that go on for paragraphs - just a straight explanation of feelings, places, people... It is wonderful.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This book was a wonderful mix of historical facts (the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII) and a very personal, poignant love story.

The story shifts between war-time Seattle in the 1940's and modern day Seattle. The main character has fallen in love with a girl of Japanese heritage. They pursue their star-crossed love and are faced with many unfair and dangerous obstacles.

I found this story very compelling and sad, but a great read. Bring the kleenex!
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is the story of Henry Lee (Chinese American) who meets Keiko Okabe (Japanese American) in 1942 in the Seattle WA area. The story is told in 1942 when Henry was a boy and 1986 after Henrys wife passes. The story involves family,friendships,schools, internment camps, jazz, Old World chinese culture, 2nd generation Americans, promises, and love. I enjoyed this book though I was disappointed with the ending
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 330 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This incredibly sweet and touching novel brings an intimate look into the life of Henry Lee,a Chinese-American who one day witnesses a crowd outside the Panama Hotel. A hotel that once held so many memories for Henry. A hotel that now holds the memories of Japanese families that were interned during World War II.

When the belongings of Japanese families are found in the basement, Henry must go, he must find if there are any last treasures from his beloved Keiko. And in flashbacks and retrospect Henry tells the reader of his first love, of their challenges, of their hopes and dreams.

Young love plays out in the tumultuous days of the 1940's where Henry and Keiko meet in an exclusive elementary school, where white kids alternately ignore him and torment him. Where even if you are an American, you are treated differently because you don't look American. Where even your own family points fingers at those that look different, it doesn't matter that you were born on the same street, in the same hospital up on the hill, you are different and different isn't good. Different can hold you back and change your ways.

This is the difference that makes you choose what type of man you want to be, what you will hold on to and what you are willing to let go of. Though Henry's eyes, Jamie Ford introduces you to long remembered characters that show the reader the good in people, the strife that they must endure and the bitter sweet memories that build who they are. The is a novel that shouldn't be missed, a novel that leaves the reader hopeful that maybe there really is good that can come of out a dark time.
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Helpful Score: 6
Every once in a while you come across an amazing, breathtaking book, this is one for me. I feel like i walked every step of the way right beside Henry.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
PERFECT TITLE. I normally don't read books that revolve around a sad/serious subject (in this case the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII) but this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. You quickly care about the main character. A poignant and well-paced book of friendship and devotion that has you wiping your eyes at the satisfying final chapters. I'm sharing my copy with several local friends before I post it here - it's that good.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book; brought me to tears. It gives a greater understanding of what life was like at that time, struggles young ones go through when they are different in any way, but carried a positive, resilient note. It was described as a war-time Romeo and Juliet...I can see that....and it has a happy ending, leaves you feeling good...which is what I like to take away from a book. Definitely could recommend.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Lovely read. Well developed story weaving how some of the USA's "bitter" history impacted innocent people, with some "sweet" interpersonal development, particularly the relationship between father and son and father and son's fiance. Other aspects of the plot nicely unfolded. Hated to see it end.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting plot, excellent writing style and charming characters. A great historical fiction books. Loved it
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I throughly enjoyed reading this book. It may not be 100% accurate in historical value but Jamie wrote a very sweet tale of young love, and it was very easy to read. This book is fiction and it really is sad when people base fictional books on whether they are historically correct or not. They sometimes miss reading a well told story. It made the New York Times best seller list for a reason. Take a chance it may surprise you.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on
Helpful Score: 2
loved the book, easy read, couldn't put it down.
it made me cry, and that's saying a lot.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A genuine love story born of the tragedy of World War II which occurred in this country. Couldn't put it down, but then I'm partial to stories of abiding love. Great read.
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Helpful Score: 1
A beautifully written story of young love between a Japanese-American and Chinese-American girl and boy,alternating between the past (WWII) and the 1980's. Deals with issues of race, national identity, and family loyalty as well as love. Well worth your time!
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a slow read at first, but the last 100 pages make it sooooo worth the investment in time. I could NOT put the book down during this part. Bravo!!!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was extremely well written and I loved it. It saddens me that we as a country made so many mistakes and hurt so many people.I loved the story!
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read and interesting story from that part of our country's history. I found the characters very likable and easy to relate to. I did notice the mistake that some reviewers note about no internet in the 1980's but it did not bother me that much since it played such a minor role. Did not notice any other historical inaccuracies and I think author can be forgiven that one.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed the comfortable unpredictability I found in the story line. It also prompted me to learn more about the historical issues in the background.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book has an excellent window into the public fear of the Japanese during WWII. Told mostly in a flashback format, we see a young elementary school Chinese boy who meets a Japanese girl while working in the school kitchen, and follow them as circumstances change their relationship. Well-written, but for some reason I never really connected with the main character. Perhaps if it had been written in first-person I would have been more involved in the story? I still liked the book and am glad I read it and enjoyed it.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. Real love and friendship have no boundaries and ignore, race, age, and time. This book grabbed me from the start. I had to keep reading to find out what happened to Henry and how his relationships developed and affected his life and who he became.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't wait to read this book, as I had heard great things about it. Honestly, I found it a little slow at first, but eventually I was taken in. It is a slow, sweet read, and in the end, it doesn't disappoint.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 177 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Henry Lee, a Chinese man in his fifties goes searching for the whereabouts of his Japanese friend Keiko Okabe. Henry and Keiko became friends in 1942 when they were twelve years old at a Seattle elementary school, and shared a love of Seattles growing jazz music. Then Keiko and her family are moved for their protection to an internment camp. They write to each other for a while, but then Keiko disappears from Henrys life, until in 1986 a historic hotel in Seattle is being renovated, and a bunch of belongings of Japanese families are found in the basement. Henry finds some of the Okabes belongings and decided to find out what happened to Keiko. Such a great story.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed the historical context and story in this book. But I found the characters underdeveloped and the love story hard to swallow. Not a for a new perspective on WWII or for an easy beach read.
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Helpful Score: 1
A brilliant debut from author Jamie Ford of a bitter sweet love story between a young Chinese man, Henry and the love of his life, Japanese-American, Keiko during World War 11, at an unfortunate time when Japanese-American families were shuffled off to internment camps. This unforgettable gem of a story explores the age-old conflict between fathers and sons, the discovery and loss of first-love and the incredible power of the human heart. Jamie Ford simply knocked it out of the ballpark. I loved this book!
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Helpful Score: 1
What a book! There are no words for how much I enjoyed this read! It is a very cinematic book -- as I read, I could see the movie playing in my head -- Beautifully written, fascinating story about the internment of the Japanese/American citizens of the west coast during WWII with some of the most memorable characters I have come across in years. You will remember Henry, Keiko and Sheldon for years to come. An outstanding debut work of art.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was the June 2013 pick in my neighborhood book club, and we all enjoyed it.

It interweaves Henry Lee's life from 1942 and 1986 in a very fluid way, although the story tended to drag through the middle.

Henry and his first love, Keiko, bonded deeply back in 1942 as the only two Asian kids at an all-white Seattle school, and although heritage and war send their lives down separate paths, their bond is never broken; and it makes for a sweet, well-written and educational story. I give it a solid B.
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Helpful Score: 1
Read this book for the touching portrayal of a dark period in American history- the often glossed over persecution and containment (shipped off to camps) of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Thinly disguised as a means of "protection" countless Japanese families on the West coast lost their homes, their precious memories and artifacts, and their respect and dignity as they were pushed out of their homes and herded to live in camps. This book does a wonderful job showing the indignity of the situation, as seen through the wonderfully naive and innocent eyes of Henry, a Chinese-American boy.

To add conflict, this is also a love story between Henry and his Japanese classmate, Keiko. As their young romance blooms, Henry bravely protects from the "Yellow Peril" sweeping their city, Seattle. He even defies his own father, who hates the Japanese. But he still loses Keiko.

Years later (this book takes places in both 1942 and 1986) Henry reads in the local paper that the old Hotel Panama has been bought by a new owner. She discovers tons of property stored in basement- property of several Japanese families left behind after they were forced to the camps. Henry spies some familiar objects that might've belonged to Keiko...so his trip down memory lane begins.

Why I gave this book 3.5/5 stars is because aside from the historical relevance, most characters (with exception of Henry, who has an endearing stubborn streak and a nice spark to him) are all pretty much stereotypes. Keiko is gentle, delicate and artistic. Henry's father is an Asian bully. Henry's mother is docile and bends to the father's will. Henry's friend Sheldon is an African-American jazz musician who dispenses tons of wisdom and yoda-like advice. Even Henry's son is the premed, car-loving, anti-Asian (he dates a Caucasian girl!) stereotype (his endless "hey pops" also rubs really, really thin after the nth reiteration).

Just as a suggestion: for another book also about this terrible time period, please consider Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. Set on San Piedro Island in the Puget Sound, this book describes the round up and internment of the Japanese families in the small island community. And it is excellent writing minus the tear-jerking cliches!
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Helpful Score: 1
Lovely book. Those of us who grew up in Calif. all knew Japanese-Americans that were born in Manzanar camp. This story is an up-close look at 2 families affected by the internment of innocent American citizens. Highly recommended!
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Helpful Score: 1
A real eye opener for the way aliens were treated in the US. This book helped me feel the way the people coming to America felt the way they were treated even though they wanted to be here more than in their own country.
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Helpful Score: 1
Got this book for Christmas, & simply couldn't put it down. Luminous!
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Wonderful. I couldn't put it down.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on
Memorable book.
Lovely characters.
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Awesome!! Quick read, held my attention.
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Such a sweet story, I enjoyed it very much. Well written.
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Great second chance romance with some history.
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** spoiler alert ** The only thing I enjoyed about this book was the information it provided about the WWII internment of Seattle's Japanese community. The story otherwise was very flimsy. My particular complaint: I do not believe that an 11 year old boy would develop the intense romantic attachment described in the book - maybe if the author had made the character 15, I could have understood his obsession, and his willingness to turn his back on his family for the sake of love, but an 11-year-old?!! I don't care how mature or lonely Henry is supposed to be, in a matter of months Keiko would have been a mere memory. Also, I could not swallow the idea that Ethel had nothing to do with the postal deception that occurred, or that Henry's father was so important in the Chinese community that he could have engineered the plot (especially after the author makes it clear that the Lee family were just scraping by financially, and especially after he had a stroke). I liked the ending nevertheless which earned it a second star.
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This book is a work of art! The characters and their emotions are so real. I found myself crying which I never do maybe a tear or two but this was streams of tears coming down my face! It also made me happy and sometimes angry. I love when you learn something from a book and you learn a lot from this book, not only history but the importance of family and friendships which tests your loyalty.
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It took me awhile to get into this book but after the first few chapters, I really started caring about Henry and his family. The book jumps back and forth between Henry growing up during the 1940's (the war years)and a recent widower during the 1980's. Themes include coming of age, young romance story, mixed race communities and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

I believe my children read this book during middle school. Adults will enjoy it, too.
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Hi! I'm REALLY enjoying this book! About half-way through. The book club I recently joined is reading this book; we meet early August to discuss and share. I highly recommend it. I never realized how horribly the American Japanese were treated by Americans after WWII! Appalling.
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Beautifully written and a compelling read. It is sad and moving without being depressing.
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Great story of the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Touching and meaningful twist.
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Moving account of Seattle in WWII and the internment of the Japanese from a Chinese boys vantage point. From anyone's it was cruel and unbelievable. A shame upon the US. But the story is uplifting and shows the true meaning of honor.
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I'll admit this story snagged my heart a little bit at the very end, I appreciated how completely the ending was spelled out. But even though the subject matter overlaps lots, this was no Snow Falling on Cedars. To me Jamie Ford's writing seems a little flat, kind of remedial, kind of Lifetime Movie Channel.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on
A good read. I recommend it, but am not ready to repost it, since another book group will be discussing it soon.
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Beautiful gift copy., excellent story. Henry, a young Chinese boy meets Keiko, A young Japanese girl in 1942. First friends, then they fall in love. Separated by the internment camps, and the war , they marry others. Both are widowed. Then reunited. It is a beautiful love story. It also tells the story of the mistreatment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and how they were hated by most Americans. This story needs to be known so that history does not repeat itself.
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This was an easy read. I didn't get too side-tracked by historical inconsistencies, it was sort of a sweet little love story.
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Sweet historical fiction. Enjoyed reading it for my book club.
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I enjoyed this book very much. It reminded me of "Snow Falling On Cedars", which I really liked also. It was truly bittersweet !
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I liked this one a lot. Loved the historical side to it and the Romeo and Juliet style love story.
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A beautiful love story during a very difficult time in American history. The book eloquently shows the positive and negative aspects of the human spirit when under pressure. An excellent read!
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Since I am from Seattle I especially enjoyed it and would recommend it as a sweet love story.
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I really liked this book even though I predicted the ending. It was a tightly woven story that had likable characters in it and also a sweet read. I would recommend it to my friends!
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Loved it!
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This is a wonderful debut novel that juxtaposes Henry as a young adolescent and Henry as a widower forty years later. Internment of Americans of Japanese descent during WWII is a shameful part of American history, and Jamie Ford demonstrates the heavy toll that bigotry takes. As one of the characters says, we should be defined by what we do and what our actions say about us. This is ultimately a glimpse into a very dark moment in America, which was brightened by hope and by love.
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This was one of the best books I have ever read. It had truth, a love story, and very old customs which makes one think of the past and the future and how much is lost in our day and age. It is a very heart warming story.
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A love story with lots of information about WW11 years from the perspective of Japanese and Chinese Americans. It is important to remember the past so we don't repeat it in the future.

America continues to distrust our immagrants just as has been done from the beginning.
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A good book that I'm glad to have read. I have lived in the Puget Sound all of my life and had only a vauge knowledge of what happened to the area during WW2. I can't believe all that went on here and am glad I didn't have to live through it.
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Amazing. I love how the way this story was told.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on
a friend of mine gave me this book to read, because she loved it so much....i stopped reading after a few chapters, because the inaccuracies made me really mad: the author forgets that in 1986 there was no internet available for selfhelp groups and when you read the reviews of this book on amazon.com you know how aggrevating other mistakes in this book are to many readers....

19 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Fact-checking, please!, March 11, 2009
By Fact checking! "Eileen" (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel (Hardcover)
I've only read three pages, and it is frustrating. Did the author, the editor, the proofreader fail to realize that in 1986 Brandon Lee was still alive and no one outside of certain universities could go online at all, let alone go online to find grief counselors? I hope it gets better, but next time at least check Wikipedia for correct history!
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I like this book very much. A good storyline with great characters. Could have shortened it a bit, but all in all a very moving story of love lost and perhaps found once again.
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This was an interesting read about the Japanese internment in the US during WWII. I enjoyed the plot and wanted to look through the basement of the hotel at all the possessions that were left behind.
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Loved the historical facts woven in with this love story. The Seattle setting made we want to check out the Puyallup fairgrounds better too.
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This book draws you in from the very first page. Beautifully written. An insight into a period of history that I enjoyed learning more about. Compelling.
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I absolutely loved this book, as did everyone in my book club! Highly recommend it!!
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I really loved this book. Wasn't sure if I would like it but read it anyway. Boy, am I glad I did. It was fabulous. Just didn't want to put the book down. Make sure you put this book on your "must read" list.
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I loved the look at a historical perspective that often times gets overshadowed by the other atrocities of WWII. I did not care for the prepubescent love story. And I really didn't find any of the characters likable or relate-able, with the exception of Keiko and the lunch-lady.

At times I had to excuse the author because I realize this is his first novel and writing a piece of fiction is no easy matter, but as others have said he made some very obvious mistakes. And at times his writing was just awful. I'd recommend skipping this book and just picking up something on internment camps in the history section.
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Really enjoyed this book. It read quickly and told a good story. I wanted to pick it up just based on the title. It made me want to find out what the book was about.
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Loved this book so much!!! What a sweet and touching story. I would definitely recommend this one!!!
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Loved this read..
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Very enjoyable read. Has romance, history, light suspense, and family relationships. Author did a great job!
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A wonderful story & well written. It was a page turner as I read it in one day. I was only 8yrs old when the war ended, but remember the wardens, black outs & food stamps. Also remember how the American Japanese were persecuted. The bully's in school targeting the oriental's. So sad. Give this book 5 stars. I had borrowed it as I could not get it from PBS, was on my wish list. If I had a copy I would keep it on my book case in my den. If you get the opportunity to read it, don's miss out. Will look for more books by Jamie Ford.
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This was one of the sweetest books I've read in a while. Henry's tale is so quiet and thougt provoking, I felt calm everytime I started reading it! THe story was captivating and a true love story.
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What a sweet love story! What makes this story even more interesting is that the book takes place during WWII in Seattle. You get a glimpse of what is was like to be Japanese in America during that time period as a wonderful ficticious story comes to life.
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My excuse for reading this book: My book club made me do it.

First, this book is full of really annoying errors. The most glaring goof occurs at the very beginning. Who in 1986 had access to an online grief counseling chat group? From that point on, it was just more difficult for me to take this book very seriously.

For me, the only highlight of this book was the fact that it made me more aware of the atrocities that were faced by Japanese-Americans through their forced internment during WWII. I read this book shortly after reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. It was an incredibly interesting contrast to see how horribly the American POWs were treated at the hands of the Japanese, and how horribly these Japanese-American citizens were treated by their own country.

Other than that, the rest of the story was more fluff and sap than I prefer. It was entertaining enough to see through to the end, and the characters were not entirely forgettable. But I did not like how the ending was written, as it felt totally contrived and was highly unrealistic.

Other than walking away from this book with a decent pseudo-history lesson on the Japanese internment, I found myself mostly unimpressed. I find it easiest to sum up this story in just one word: Meh.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 902 more book reviews
My excuse for reading this book: My book club made me do it.

First, this book is full of really annoying errors. The most glaring goof occurs at the very beginning. Who in 1986 had access to an online grief counseling chat group? From that point on, it was just more difficult for me to take this book very seriously.

For me, the only highlight of this book was the fact that it made me more aware of the atrocities that were faced by Japanese-Americans through their forced internment during WWII. I read this book shortly after reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. It was an incredibly interesting contrast to see how horribly the American POWs were treated at the hands of the Japanese, and how horribly these Japanese-American citizens were treated by their own country.

Other than that, the rest of the story was more fluff and sap than I prefer. It was entertaining enough to see through to the end, and the characters were not entirely forgettable. But I did not like how the ending was written, as it felt totally contrived and was highly unrealistic.

Other than walking away from this book with a decent pseudo-history lesson on the Japanese internment, I found myself mostly unimpressed. I find it easiest to sum up this story in just one word: Meh.
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I agree with previous review that said the historical facts were the only redeeming thing about this book. I tried it in print first and gave up because it was so slow. Then I found the audio and I wanted to try it again since it had been such a popular book in some circles. I used it to put my self to sleep for many nights; I skipped over most of it but did read/listen to the last few chapters, so I could tell myself I finished it.
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A look back at the history of how we treated the Japanese during WWII and the shameful internment of of these American born people. It's a love story, a history lesson about segregation, and a good read. The characters are well drawn and you get into their feelings and actions. It's a very good read and I recommend it.
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Interesting story that opened my eyes to the impact of the Japanese interment camps during WWII.
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I really liked the book as it was the first time I read about the Japanese side of the evacuation.
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I loved this book and the intelligent way in which it was written. I look forward to future publications from this new author. The story is one I knew little about, but I was interested from the beginning. It is a very sentimental book that touched me deep in my soul.
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a little slow to start, but it really turned me around...the son's fiancee is who did it for me, she understood and pushed the son to help his father find closure in the situation.
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This debut novel made the Top 25 Most Popular Reading Group Picks for 2010. It's very well written and has several interesting themes to discuss. I loved the ending. Henry gets a second chance at first love.
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This was a great book. It kept me intrigued all the way to the end. I did feel like it ended a little abruptly, but I learned a little bit about history in this book. Granted it is a fictional book, there are historical pieces in it. The author goes over this in her note in the back which also holds some interest. The author brings out some emotions that I wouldn't have thought about during this time period. (WWII) Centered around a Chinese family and a Japanese family living in America during this time. I highly recommend.
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Very good book. Told so much about that time in our history seen through their eyes.
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A split narrative, part told in 1988 and part in WWII years, this novel tells the story of a relationship between a Chinese boy and Japanese girl in Seattle. With the war ramping up, prejudice against all Japanese ramping up, and internment camps looming, this friendship is challenged to the utmost. It's a great story with details about a shameful period in our nation's history.
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This book was light and easy reading, but it often felt a bit stilted and there was important explanations and parts of the story missing. I enjoyed it, but it was not great reading.
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Very good book!
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My excuse for reading this book: My book club made me do it.

First, this book is full of really annoying errors. The most glaring goof occurs at the very beginning. Who in 1986 had access to an online grief counseling chat group? From that point on, it was just more difficult for me to take this book very seriously.

For me, the only highlight of this book was the fact that it made me more aware of the atrocities that were faced by Japanese-Americans through their forced internment during WWII. I read this book shortly after reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. It was an incredibly interesting contrast to see how horribly the American POWs were treated at the hands of the Japanese, and how horribly these Japanese-American citizens were treated by their own country.

Other than that, the rest of the story was more fluff and sap than I prefer. It was entertaining enough to see through to the end, and the characters were not entirely forgettable. But I did not like how the ending was written, as it felt totally contrived and was highly unrealistic.

Other than walking away from this book with a decent pseudo-history lesson on the Japanese internment, I found myself mostly unimpressed. I find it easiest to sum up this story in just one word: Meh.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 902 more book reviews
My excuse for reading this book: My book club made me do it.

First, this book is full of really annoying errors. The most glaring goof occurs at the very beginning. Who in 1986 had access to an online grief counseling chat group? From that point on, it was just more difficult for me to take this book very seriously.

For me, the only highlight of this book was the fact that it made me more aware of the atrocities that were faced by Japanese-Americans through their forced internment during WWII. I read this book shortly after reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. It was an incredibly interesting contrast to see how horribly the American POWs were treated at the hands of the Japanese, and how horribly these Japanese-American citizens were treated by their own country.

Other than that, the rest of the story was more fluff and sap than I prefer. It was entertaining enough to see through to the end, and the characters were not entirely forgettable. But I did not like how the ending was written, as it felt totally contrived and was highly unrealistic.

Other than walking away from this book with a decent pseudo-history lesson on the Japanese internment, I found myself mostly unimpressed. I find it easiest to sum up this story in just one word: Meh.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 902 more book reviews
My excuse for reading this book: My book club made me do it.

First, this book is full of really annoying errors. The most glaring goof occurs at the very beginning. Who in 1986 had access to an online grief counseling chat group? From that point on, it was just more difficult for me to take this book very seriously.

For me, the only highlight of this book was the fact that it made me more aware of the atrocities that were faced by Japanese-Americans through their forced internment during WWII. I read this book shortly after reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. It was an incredibly interesting contrast to see how horribly the American POWs were treated at the hands of the Japanese, and how horribly these Japanese-American citizens were treated by their own country.

Other than that, the rest of the story was more fluff and sap than I prefer. It was entertaining enough to see through to the end, and the characters were not entirely forgettable. But I did not like how the ending was written, as it felt totally contrived and was highly unrealistic.

Other than walking away from this book with a decent pseudo-history lesson on the Japanese internment, I found myself mostly unimpressed. I find it easiest to sum up this story in just one word: Meh.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 86 more book reviews
Apparently I'm one of the only ones who didn't love this book!

I just think it didn't do justice to the history. I never felt a connection to Henry or Keiko. The characters were just not real to me, and I felt myself debating too many times about whether to keep reading.

Overall - I gave this book a 3 1/2 stars.