Smackdown!

Video Games vs. Medical School!

Which will win the battle for our hero’s attention?

Dennis Ouyang lives in the shadow of his parents’ high expectations. They want him to go to med school and become a doctor. Dennis just wants to play video games—and he might actually be good enough to do it professionally.
- Back cover copy.

By the author of American Born Chinese, which I shockingly have not yet read.

I have no idea if this is actually autobiographical in any sense, but it has that feel. It’s a familiar American immigrant story, executed with sweetness and wit, but… it’s very familiar. However, the final quarter, in which the video game theme melds with the real life story and the magic realist elements, takes it to – sorry – the next level, and makes the whole book worthwhile. The illustrations, which were a bit bland previously, also kick it up a notch at that point, though not to the extent that the writing does.

Level Up
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