Book Reviews

Book Review: Parachutes


Parachutes are teenagers who are dropped into the US by their wealthy parents who sent them from Asia. Expectation: they go to school, live with strangers, and basically have free rein over their lives, putting everything on their parents’ card, of course. Reality: Freedom, sure, but that often comes with a price.

Claire Wang parachutes in to California and drops right in to Dani De La Cruz’s life. Dani, who is looking to get a scholarship to Yale, is working privately with her debate coach when things take a drastic turn. Claire, a serious spender, catches the eye of the richest parachute in school. Although it seems like the two girls have nothing in common aside from being forced to live under the same roof, their experiences are more alike than either of them know.

A powerful book about racism, sexual harassment and assault, xenophobia, classism, love, and friendship, Parachutes covers it all.

Why I picked this book:

Parachutes by Kelly Yang was the August read for Bad Bitch Book Club (@badbitch.bookclub on Insta). Additionally, as part of my personal anti-racism work, I am committed to reading more books by and about people who don’t look like me and have not lived the same experiences as me (AKA a white woman).

Honest Review:

Trigger Warning: Sexual harassment, sexual assault

I absolutely LOVED this book! Recently I have been on a YA reading kick, and this book satisfied everything that I was looking for.

The book pitches as “Speak meets Gossip Girl” and that is truly a perfect description of Parachutes. At first, I thought this was going to be closer to Crazy Rich Asians since it even mentions the famous novel and movie adaption. I am SO happy I was wrong.

High school is not an easy time, but it’s definitely not an easy time to be a young woman. Dani and Claire, though they come from completely different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, have more in common than either of them know.

What I loved most about this book was the number of social issues that Yang was able to write about. I really think she did justice to each of them, as well. From racism to classism to sexual violations, I often forgot I was reading a book that was about high schoolers. Gossip Girl never really hit the social issues in the same way, and that makes this book all the more powerful. You get the rich girl meets poor girl vibes PLUS clear discussions around some incredibly important issues. Yang hit the nail on the head with this one.

The Bookish Bronde Rating:

I would make this required reading for every high school/college aged student. Powerful, smart, and funny- Parachutes has it all.