“Our Wayward Fate,” written by Gloria Chao, is a story about diversity through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl. Ali Chu and her family are a single Asian family who reside in a small town in Indiana. For years, Ali has learned to adapt to being the only Asian in a school that is filled with ignorance and racism. As time goes on, Ali conforms to the way she is treated to avoid conflict and negative attention.
As Ali continues her efforts to “blend in,” a second Asian family moves to town known as the Yu Family. The Yu family’s son, Chase, is shocked by how racist the staff and students are at his new school. It is due to this recognition of racism that Chase starts showing Ali that she should embrace her culture and stand up for herself.
As these two begin to bond, their relationship grows stronger and they begin having intimate feelings for each other. When Ali’s overbearing mother learns of her daughter's newfound relationship, she is not pleased. She forbids the two from seeing each other, stating Ali is not allowed to see Chase anymore. Ali is confused as her mother had always told her to follow one rule, that rule being “he must be Chinese.” When Ali challenges her mother regarding this forbidden act, she refuses to give an explanation. This action causes Ali to recognize that she has many mysteries and unknowns in her life -mysteries and unknowns to which she now wants answers to.
I absolutely adored “Our Wayward Fate” by Gloria Chao. The sense of humor that was reflected in the story line in addition to the sarcastic wit of the author immediately captured my attention. I loved the characters! Ali was hilarious and a character I could relate to. While she irritated me at times with some of her rash behavior, it was never enough to deter me from really liking her. I loved Chase as well. He was so sweet and really brought out the best in Ali, proving to her that she should be proud of who she was as a person.
This book had many small details that shaped the book, making it fun and interesting. The first thing I noticed was that the chapters had titles. It is very rare to see chapter titles in Young Adult books. These titles added an enlightening uniqueness to this book because they added humor to the upcoming story line. In addition to this detail, the author added texting conversations and emails which introduced a fresh new form of communication between characters.
The one area of opportunity for improvement with this novel which I felt would have enhanced the storyline was the pace at which the romance developed between Ali and Chase. It felt rushed which, in turn, took away from the realism of the relationship.
I was very impressed by the way the author portrays Ali, the way she expresses her thoughts and develops Ali’s character. It was so impressive that if you had told me that the author, Gloria Chao, was a sixteen year old girl, I would believe you. Being a sixteen year old girl myself, I could very much relate to this character which only added to my enjoyment while reading.
I would highly recommend “Our Wayward Fate” by Gloria Chao to anyone who wants a fun, relaxing read that will make you laugh out loud and leave you wanting more!