Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

Title: Girl Overboard
Author: Justina Chen Headley
Page Count: 352
Summary: Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything any kid could possibly desire: a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboards. But most of what glitters in her life is fool’s gold. Her half-siblings hate her, her best friend’s girlfriend is ruining their friendship, and her own so-called boyfriend is only after her for her father’s name. When her broken heart results in a snowboarding accident that exiles her from the mountains-the one place where she feels free and accepted for who she is, not what she has-can Syrah rehab both her busted-up knee, and her broken heart? (Summary from Amazon)

Review: I bought Girl Overboard because I really enjoyed Headley’s latest book, North of Beautiful. The whole snowboarding premise seemed really interesting to me because I tried snowboarding once and I fell about a million times. I’m much better at skiing.

I was a little disappointed, however. For about the first 100 pages or so, I felt like I’d been thrown headlong into Syrah’s life without any explanation, even though there definitely was. I didn’t really feel a strong connection to her love interest, Age, because he was in about three scenes and most of them involved him telling Syrah that he couldn’t see her because he had a girlfriend now. The snowboarding thing also wasn’t as big of a plot point as I thought it would be; Syrah goes snowboarding twice in the entire book. I was expecting scenes and scenes of her flying down the mountain or something.

Another problem I had was that the narrative was a little bogged down by all of these ridiculous similes and metaphors. I recognize that is Headley’s writing style, because she did it in North of Beautiful, but it seemed a bit much. For instance, “And just like that, the sky goes blank with blackness, mirroring the what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling.” Or, “A rocket blazes a shrieking path, reaching higher than any of the other fireworks before it explodes, burning a hole in the night just as Jared did through my head and heart.”

There was also the fact that not that much really happened until about page 250 or so, so I was a little bored. The writing is pretty beautiful, but that can only buoy me for so long. When things did start happening, I almost didn’t care anymore because I’d been waiting for them to happen for so long.

One thing I did like, however, was Syrah’s nanny, Bao-Mu. She was the best character in the whole novel, I felt. In the beginning, I thought that she was going to be annoying, because Syrah did often feel a little annoyed with her, but as the story progressed, she wormed her way into my heart. Same with her mother’s family; they were so sweet and family-like that I kind of wished I had something like that. Mentions of all the Chinese food made me want to try some of this stuff, or at least make dumplings like they did (maybe I’ll ask my boss to make me some tonight!).

Overall, I tried to enjoy Girl Overboard, but there was some major flaws that I found with it.

Rating: 3.5/5


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