Had a fantastic time discussing #TheDavenports with fellow debuts Mae Coyiuto and Lila Riesen! We discussed strong female leads, the pressure of making your family proud, and the importance of living for yourself.
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ABOUT FREE RADICALS
Afghan-American Mafi’s sophomore year gets a whole lot more complicated when she accidentally exposes family secrets, putting her family back in Afghanistan in danger in this smartly written YA debut.
Sixteen-year-old Mafi Shahin is well-aware that life is not always fair. If it was fair, her parents might allow her to hang out with a member of the male species, other than her cat Mr. Meowgi. If it was fair, her crush and basketball hottie Jalen Thomas might see her as more than just her brother’s kid sister. And if it was fair, her baba’s brother and wife would be able to leave Afghanistan and come to America.
Life might not be fair—but she can make it a bit more even. Working as the Ghost of Santa Margarita High, Mafi serves dollops of justice on her classmates’ behalf as the school’s secret avenger. They leave a note declaring the crime and Mafi ensures the offender receives an anonymous karmic-sized dose of payback. Keeping her identity as the Ghost a secret sometimes means Mafi has to lie. But as those lies begin to snowball both at school and at home, even compromising their family’s secret past and putting their relatives back in Afghanistan at risk, Mafi is forced to decide how she wants to live her life—trying to make the world more fair from the shadows or loudly and publicly standing up for what’s right.
ABOUT CHLOE AND THE KAISHAO BOYS
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Loveboat, Taipei in this hilarious YA rom-com about a Chinese-Filipina girl in Manila whose father sets her up on a marathon of arranged dates in hopes of convincing her to stay close to home for college.
“A sweet and refreshing story about family, first love, and chasing your dreams. The way Coyiuto writes romance will completely sweep you away.” —Dustin Thao, New York Times bestselling author of You’ve Reached Sam.
Chloe knows what it takes to be the perfect Liang daughter—stay in Manila, study business management, and join the family company. But when she unexpectedly gets off the wait list for USC, her dream of becoming an animator in the United States is suddenly within reach.
Before she goes, her auntie insists on planning a traditional debut for Chloe’s eighteenth birthday. And while a party with all her friends and family sounds like the perfect send-off, the huge production her auntie wants—complete with ball gowns and a choreographed dance number—makes Chloe want to pass out from stage fright.
To make matters worse, her father, intent on finding Chloe the perfect escort for the party, keeps setting her up on one awkward kaishao—or arranged date—after another. Why does her dad suddenly care so much about her love life? And what happens when she actually starts to fall for one of the guys, only to have to leave at the end of the summer?
At home in the Philippines, Chloe has her future all planned out for her. In America, nothing is certain. With a career in animation far from guaranteed, Chloe must decide if following her dreams is worth everything—and everyone—she’ll be leaving behind.