TITLE: Boys I Know
AUTHOR: Anna Gracia
PUBLISHER: Peachtree Teen
PUBLICATION DATE: July 26th, 2022
GENRE(S): Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING(S): Microaggressions, On-Page Sex
June Chu is the “just good enough” girl. Good enough to line the shelves with a slew of third-place trophies and steal secret kisses from her AP Bio partner, Rhys. But not good enough to meet literally any of her Taiwanese mother’s unrelenting expectations or to get Rhys to commit to anything beyond a well-timed joke.
While June’s mother insists she follow in her (perfect) sister’s footsteps and get a (full-ride) violin scholarship to Northwestern (to study pre-med), June doesn’t see the point in trying too hard if she’s destined to fall short anyway. Instead, she focuses her efforts on making her relationship with Rhys “official.” But after her methodically-planned, tipsily-executed scheme explodes on the level of a nuclear disaster, she flings herself into a new relationship with a guy who’s not allergic to the word “girlfriend.”
But as the line between sex and love blurs, and pressure to map out her entire future threatens to burst, June will have to decide on whose terms she’s going to live her life—even if it means fraying her relationship with her mother beyond repair.
June Chu is pretty much a picture of “good enough”. She can play the violin, but only good enough to land third place almost every time. She’s pushed to go to the same college / university her older sister goes to (on scholarship as well, of course).
Anna Gracia mentions before the book starts of this constant push from Asian parents for their children to always excel at what they do. To a point where even their children can’t recognize that they’re enough. Now I know that this doesn’t happen all the time, but I can relate to it a bit. Every reminder from Mrs. Chu for June to practice her violin reminds me of my mandatory hour of piano practice when I was younger. This is in addition to making sure I always end the school year within the top 10 of the class. It was tough, but it was one way my parents are able to guarantee that I can get in to a good college / university back then.
I’m not gonna lie, I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end of this book. June would sometimes strike me as ungrateful, and she has this tendency of clinging on to whoever gives her the kind of attention she longs from her parents. However, when another character referred to her as a “child”, it became easier to understand why June is the way she is. Though it didn’t come as a surprise, her character growth was one that I rooted for.
I am also part of the Bookstagram tour for Boys I Know. Head on over to my Instagram if you would like to see quotes from the book which stood out for me.
Up for grabs is ONE (1) signed copy of Boys I Know by Anna Gracia. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, and will run from July 17th to July 25th at 12 AM CST. To enter, click the (link/button) below!
Anna grew up biracial in the Midwest, spending her formative years repeatedly answering the question “What are you?” Before finding her way as a young adult author, she was a CPA, a public school teacher, a tennis coach, and for one glorious summer, a waitress at a pie shop. She now lives on the West Coast, raising three kids and writing stories about girls navigating a world full of double standards.