Cover Image: Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

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Member Reviews

Absolute joy to read.

This is an excellent book for teens. Park executed this story perfectly. I hope all teens are fortunate enough to have someone place this book in their hands.
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Alejandra Kim doesn't fit in or belong anywhere. At home, she and her mom barely talk or only fight ever since her dad died last year. At her prep school, she hides her true self with a fake persona designed to help her succeed and secure her future. At work and with her neighborhood friends, she pretends yet again. Maybe she will find home at a prestigious university. 
But everything comes apart - or maybe falls into place - when Alejandra decides to use her voice. She speaks up about her school's "diversity" discussions and "wokeness." And she shares her truth with her best friend and mom. I appreciate that she found her voice on her journey to expose and express her true self. 
Although I value the diverse voice, I almost didn't finish this book. It felt a little preachy. And I don't know Spanish, so I couldn't read some of the text. I also don't care for the profanity.
I do like the universal theme of belonging, friendships, family, and truth that impact every human.
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This was a great story for teenagers. This story cover so many topics that teenagers deal with on a daily basis. This is an entertaining and at times heartbreaking story. 

Here is a list of some topics covered in this book…

Loss of a parent
Lower income
Cultural expectations 
First generation American 
Biracial race
Mental health
Racial melancholia

All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I have not been influenced by anyone.
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This is one great shout-out to everyone who typecasts, prejudges, becomes an apologist, and hems and haws through their prejudices and bigotry - STOP IT - JUST DON’T DO IT. OK, now about this book.

Told with humor, some laugh out loud, mostly subtle and some heartbreaking this story, stole my heart even though I admit to not understanding a lot of the current “woke” talk. So your friend dresses in rags and is kind to you and seems to really care about you and you are thinking that you are on some sort of equal footing only to find out that she lives in a gazillion dollar brownstone. Not only that, she is white and being American is taken for granted and you stand there with your heart and mind being shredded as once again you are reminded that your name and face equal exactly what? - and how does anyone ever understand how much it hurts. Being a double/triple/quadruple minority scholarship kid at an Uber white prep school is only one facet of Alejandra’s very messed up situation. Her father being found on the tracks might trump everything else but it is going to take more than a few pages to get to that.

A coming of age, fighting for identity story that is well worth reading and not to be taken lightly. If any of it makes you cringe and want to look away - good - maybe it will give you just a little more insight and humanity. Thank you Crown books and NetGalley for a copy.
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This book gives us another view on the American culture and how maybe it's not as evolved as it likes thinking to be. The best thing about it is that it comes from a writer who has lived what the character lives. It's given me a lot of food for thought, and I would love to see it discussed in schools, multicultural ones or not. 

3.5, rounded up.

Alejandra has lost her father, her relationship with her mother is unstable and she has trouble seeing her own identity, as she goes to a rich school of mostly white people. How does a minority feel about those "woke" people? Do they even consider the individual as they disseminate the political correctness like they're performing the entire time? So how real can relating with them be? All those situations are presented with care, as this could too easily become an argument against the social progress we've struggled to reach. 

In the end, despite all I just wrote, this is a book about grief and growing up led by a funny main character who is not living the best of her years. I can't recommend it enough to teenagers and adults alike.

It's a quick read, I was very engrossed in it, but while it was beautiful to see Ale grow, she does come on too strong, so I can see some readers having trouble identifying with her from the beginning. The story itself, while it gives us a pretty message isn't so interesting, and it is heavy for a lot of it, despite the narrator doing their best to carry a lighter tone. It's a lot. I like that, but I wish we had some fun moments too. 

In all, not the perfect story, but a thought-provoking read I do recommend.

Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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While I appreciate what the message in this book was, I may have been too old to truly appreciate it.  I felt like there were too many "issues" crammed into one book.   If there had been one or two core issues, I think the book would have had a better flow to it.  

Thank you so much to the publisher and the #NetGalley for the ARC
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This was a different kind of book than I expected but it gave a "wakeup call" to some who are obsessed with being "woke".  Alejandra is Korean but her name is Spanish and her parents came from Argentina.  She knows who she is, but she has to keep explaining herself to everyone else.  The book is a cautionary tale about the dangers of stereotyping.  "Ale"  comes from a lower income family and she in an exclusive school on a scholarship and she tries to fit in with her wealthy friends.  It is not until graduation that she discovers that the wealthy girl in charge of the school paper that everyone thought was a bit snobbish actually also came from the same background as Ale.  I highly recommend this YA novel.  I received this as an arc from NetGalley and am under no pressure for a positive review.

Ramona Thompson
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Alejandra Kim is a teen girl who doesn't seem to fit in in any box. She is both Korean and Argentinian, and those two things don't make her fit in with both the Asian and Latinx community. And mostly, she feels like she doesn't fit in in her exclusive and prestigious school Quaker Oats in Manhattan, where the school population is mostly white, whealthy, from Manhattan and not from  Jackson Heights, where she lives in a small rental apartment with her hardworking mom who is a nurse, and who doesn't want to talk about her Papi's recent death on the subway tracks of the 7 train. Alejandra dreams of being accepted at Whyder College in Maine, and she works hard at school to reach that. But it is difficult at a predominantly white school with friends who consider themselves ''woke'', while actually they aren't so woke as they think they are. After a racial micro-aggressive comment of a teacher, Alejandra's best friend Lauren shines the light on this incident in public in school to fight this type of comments about in this case, Alejandra's Asian looks and the teacher's weird remark that ''it won't be difficult for her to get into college''. Her friend is awarded for standing up against racism and being ''woke''. But Alejandra didn't ask for this kind of spotlight, altough she loathed the comment, because she is a scholarship student, she tries to lie low and not make waves. She goes along with the many daily mispronunciations of her name and assumptions about her background. Alejandra just doesn't know how to be herself and where she belongs, or when she will ever figure it out.

With a perfect blend of humour and seriousness, Patricia Park describes Alejandra's life caught in the middle of everything, while feeling like she doesn't belong to any of it. It shines a real and raw light of how the world treats you when you are a girl like Alejandra, who is one of the most amazing and original teen characters that I read about in YA fiction in a long time. Beside everything going on at her preppy high school, the grief of her father who commited suicide because of depression really was raw and real, and altough the sadness that you felt in the relationship with her mother, which was forever changed, and in the apartment where they live in Queens. It was written so real and beautiful that you could just imagine everything, and how difficult it is for Alejandra to live both her life at home and school which seem two different worlds. The feelings of Alejandra are really coming over from the pages to the reader, and this is why I love, love, love this outstanding, brilliant and original book, it truly has a wow! effect and after finishing it, it still was in my head for the next week to think it over. I loved Patricia Park previous book Re, Jane which is also an amazingly outstanding read, but this book even topped it!!! 

Don't miss out on this beauty of a book!!
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Patricia Park’s Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim is an engrossing young adult novel. It’s one of those books that pulls you in immediately and doesn’t let go.

Alejandra Kim has felt like an imposter since she first became a student at her preppy Quaker Oats school. She can’t forget she’s there due to a 90% scholarship, so she tries not to ruffle anyone’s feathers and reminds herself of her father’s words that she’s a guest there and to act accordingly.

Racist teacher comment? Laugh it off. Privileged wealthy classmates blowing gobs of money on lunch while she orders a six dollar tea? Brush it off. With the unexpected death of her father earlier that year, Alejandra has more to worry about than the short-term problems she finds at her high school, even if they cut deeper than she lets on.

Alejandra’s code switching as she moves between her worlds is portrayed with precision and accuracy that shows how those hurts build up. Every time a classmate calls her Ally, versus her family and friends calling her Ale, every moment she makes herself smaller, shoves her emotions deeper, every instance she douses her fire to make others more comfortable– it adds up, building, growing. She’s convinced she just has to endure it until she can make her escape to her dream college, far away from NYC, her mom, and the place her father died.

But the grass isn’t always greener, and doing what it takes to get into this school takes its own toll on Ale, her friends, and their relationships.

There is so much this novel does perfectly. The first person narrative voice captures Alejandra’s internal struggles. Her codeswitching, especially, is highlighted through her narrative lens. At school, she’s Ally, Laurel’s best friend who doesn’t cause trouble; at home, she’s Ale who feels guilty about impulsive words she said to her parents; at work, she’s Ale the cousin and Ale the worker and Ale who can read their upper-class clientele like a book; with her friend Billy, she’s Ale, childhood friend and crush who may have crushed his heart. With all these versions of Alejandra Kim floating around, Ale doesn’t know who she wants to be, let alone where she fits.

Imposter Syndrome encapsulates many themes, from universal teen stuff (realizing everyone is going through something) and mental health to BIPOC experiences such as belonging, immigrant experiences, code-switching, and constantly feeling like you aren’t enough in some way or another. At times, Ale feels as if she isn’t Latinx enough, or Korean enough, or even smart enough to be at her private high school. There is so much overlap between experiences. Park beautifully shows not only that overlap, but also areas where singular experiences occur.

This is one of those books that is just so good, all around, that even writing the review is hard. I just want to shove it in your hands and say, “read this! It’s amazing!”

These relatable characters in a vibrant setting deal with applicable issues teens — and everyone, honestly– are coming up amidst.

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim is now available. Thank you to author Patricia Park, RandomHouse Children’s, and NetGalley for an advanced e-ARC such that I could share my honest opinions.
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I loved this YA novel and all it's layers, it's not an easy read with parental loss, suicide, racism, and also like all things in real life, it's balanced with friends and fun and learning.
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This was a really good YA book, I really enjoyed it!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Thank you Random House Children’s Books, Crown Books for Young Readers, and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this great book. This very timely, relatable, coming of age story takes place in NYC and is about finding oneself and one’s way in the world while dealing with multicultural identity, grief, micro-aggressions, and navigating private school. I would recommend this well-written story to anyone who wants to get a contemporary look into today’s high schools.
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This book was both heartbreaking and beautiful. Alejandra spends the novel coming to terms with her father's death, finding herself in a predominately white institution, and discovering what home means for her. Not only did I love Ally's character, but also *most* of the side characters as well. I loved that Ally acknowledged that she was absorbed in her own struggles and did not think that characters like Billy or Claire or even Laurel could be struggling as well.
This book is important for anyone, but especially teens and young adults, who are learning to check their privileges and biases and want to learn about experiences of others.
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I really enjoyed Alejandra's story and how much I learnt about myself as I read this. I also loved reading about her experiences as a minority in school and the greater world, Alejandra's discussions with friends about how to be a good ally are really good and sadly these honest conversations don't always happen as they should. I could really relate over the imposter syndrome too. A beautiful read

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The writing was not as poignant as the message was necessary. Too often, immigrants and their adjustments, struggles, hardships, and stories are [still] overlooked. This tangles up multiple cultural talesand I spent half the book feeling so sorry for the folks involved...all of them really.
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“What is ‘home’ for you?” That is the question Alejandra Kim faces on her college application. Is it the small apartment where memories of her father surface? Is it eating at the counter with the tense relationship with her mother? Is home the park bench in a tiny park with broken equipment and trash? Is home at the prep school where she tries to go undetected? Is it on the subway where racial slurs are whispered and yelled when she bumps into another passenger? Where is home when you don’t feel like you fit in anywhere? Read Alejandra’s story as she navigates racism, identity, grief, and finding the meaning of home. Maybe home is the taste of empanadas.

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim focuses on a multi-cultural teen trying to figure out where she belongs and who she is. Teens and adults alike will easily connect with Alejandra’s relationships, thoughts and experiences. Every reader will find themselves in the pages and begin to question and examine their own privilege and stereotypes. Park’s story is so raw and real that it’s easy to get lost in the pages. The story might be fictional, but Park addresses real issues that are happening every day and shines a light on how even the smallest of moments can be just as suffocating as the big moments. 
Even Alejandra’s wealthy and white friend tries to right a wrong that has happened to Alejandra. Through this, readers will feel the emotions along with Alejandra and realize their own failures in advocating for others, even when it feels like the right thing to do. 

This book made me feel like I understood so little of the world around me. Obviously, this is not a weakness of the book, but of my own lack of knowledge. If I had to pick one weakness it would be that this book almost feels like it tries to tackle too much at times. At the same time, maybe that was the author’s point. Alejandra is constantly changing who she is depending on the expectations of those around her. At school she tries to be undetected and quiet while she feels loud and strong minded in other settings. With all that constant processing of environment, it must feel like some days are extremely overwhelming. Maybe Park’s goal is to make the readers feel the heaviness of the book so we can experience what Alejandra feels daily.

Alejandra Kim’s parents immigrated to the United States before she was born. With her Latinx first name and her Korean last name, Alejandra feels as if she is doesn’t know where she belongs. 
Alejandra attends an elite wealthy prep school on scholarship. At school she changes her name to Ally to make it easier for her classmates and faculty members. 
Alejandra’s mother calls her father’s death an accident, but Alejandra speculates it was not an accident. It appears that her father struggled with depression the year before his death and Alejandra feels guilty and responsible. The entire book discusses cultural identity, racism, mental health, ethnic stereotypes, privilege and more. Definitely a must read!
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Thanks to Random House Children's  and NetGalley for the ARC and the opportunity to read and review this title.

This book helped me check my own biases. I enjoyed Alejandra's life story   as a senior in high school getting ready for the future.  She works so hard to get into her dream college so she can get away from her mom and start where no one knows her.  Alejandra had a big year, lots of revelations, she figures out her future and makes new friends.
It was a good read, a book about family and identity, recommend it.
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Alejandra Kim feels like an imposter everywhere she goes. She's not Korean enough, or Latinx enough. She's on scholarship at her prestigious school, so she never feels entirely comfortable when going out with her friends because she can't afford the things they can. But she's also not entirely comfortable in her neighborhood, because she thinks everyone sees her as a sellout.

Alejandra is a senior in high school, and is facing some difficult situations. She has to decide where to apply to for college, while still grieving the death of her father, plus handling her after school job at her aunt's business, and the huge amount of homework her teachers assign, and deciphering how she feels about her oldest friend, Billy. The first day of school, her creative writing teacher makes a racially offensive remark about her. Alejandra keeps quiet, because her father always said not to make waves, that she was a guest in this school because she had a scholarship. But her best friend Laurel hears about it and is offended for her. She starts a petition and gets the teacher removed from his position. Alejandra isn't sure what to think about this, and she feels weird that Laurel is so invested in being an ally. Then Laurel takes it too far, and Alejandra has to figure out why it bothers her so much, and whether it's possible to be too much of an ally if you stop listening to the person you're supposedly helping.

I really enjoyed Alejandra's story arc, and how her feelings change throughout the year. I also loved reading about her feelings as a minority in her school and the world at large. Patricia Park allowed me to step into her shoes and see the world in a different way. Alejandra's discussions with friends about how to be a good ally, and what it feels like to always feel like an imposter in your own life, really spoke to me. These honest conversations don't always happen in the world.

I highly recommend this book for high schoolers trying to figure out their place in the world, and for anyone who enjoys a good story. Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this book.
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Coming of age story based in Queens and centered around Ale, who is struggling with the death of her father.
Her private school is not super inclusive, especially confusing teachers and becoming a target of micro-aggressions with her heritage. She's ethnically Korean but her parents are from Argentina. Having to lead with your origin story and correcting pronunciation of your name gets old! Eye opening and relatable immigrant/assimilation story. 

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I appreciate what this book was trying to do. It's definitely important to look at how different identities intersect and the way people struggle in different ways. However, it came across as heavy handed to me.
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