Chloe is a half Jewish, half Chinese California teenager with a fashion obsession. The story of her struggle to define herself is fairly superficial, but also enjoyably hip and contemporary. Her identity crisis is more due to her quirky personality than her mixed heritage, which is mostly reflected through use of Yiddish and Chinese vocabulary. This is entertaining, but ethnicity is not truly important to Chloe’s character or to the story line. The slightly surreal storytelling and the extremely current references may baffle adults (like this reviewer) but will be attractive to the target audience. It must be noted that this book is a “PG-13” for language and indirectly described sexual situations; however, only parents will be bothered by these elements; the kids have all seen worse on The O.C. No real growth issues are explored, but Chloe’s dream of breaking into fashion is satisfyingly resolved, if only through implication. Readers who share Chloe’s obsession with fashion will find the book intriguing, while those who don’t care about clothes may be bored. An unnecessary purchase for Jewish libraries, although it is good to see more culturally neutral books being published featuring Jewish characters. For ages 12 – 14.
Heidi Estrin is librarian for the Feldman Children’s Library at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, FL. She is a past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee for the Association of Jewish Libraries.