Wait for Me

Wait for Me by An Na is an incredible read.  From the author of the Printz award winning A Step from Heaven, I believe that this surpasses that.  It is the story of Mina, a teen who works in her family’s drycleaning shop.  Mina lives with her sister who is partially deaf, her domineering mother, and her gentle father.  She struggles with all of the expectations and obligations that are forced upon her by her mother.  Mina’s mother wants her to go to Harvard, but Mina is very aware that her grades are not good enough.  But she could never bear to tell her mother that.  So Mina has begun forging her grades and stealing money from the till.  She feels trapped now not only by her mother but by her own lies.  Until she meets a man who may just show her a way out. 
The tension in this book is palpable.  The language and writing are masterful at capturing the mood and revealing just enough of Mina’s story at a time to create a book that just can’t be put down.  Readers of all types will relate to Mina, because all teens have found themselves caught to a certain degree in this type of situation where expectations and lies meet.  This is a great one for teen book discussion groups because there are no easy answers to the dilemma Mina finds herself in.  It is too late for the easy solutions.  Recommend this to high school teachers looking for a great discussion book and teen readers of many types.