Review of Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim
by Patricia Park
High School    Crown    304 pp.
2/23    9780593563373    $18.99
Library ed.  9780593563380    $21.99
e-book ed.  9780593563397    $10.99

“Who is the ‘real’ Alejandra Kim?” A high school senior at an affluent prep school, she has her heart set on attending the prestigious but expensive Whyder College while dealing with imposter syndrome as a multiracial young woman (and scholarship student) who asks, “Am I 100 percent Korean, 100 percent Latinx, and 100 percent American…all at the same time?” Amid insensitive friends and performative allies, and with the relentless need to code switch, Alejandra doesn’t really feel at home anywhere. The recent loss of her father means that her actual home life is difficult as well. Given an opportunity to participate in research transcribing immigrant stories, Alejandra begins to understand her parents’ experiences and thus discover her purpose and place in the world. It might mean a path other than Whyder, but one that is authentically hers. She navigates the flaming hoops of high school and emerges stronger and more confident, supported by her cultural studies teacher, a longtime friend in her Queens neighborhood, and an unexpected confidante at school. Park immerses readers in her fully realized protagonist’s complicated everyday existence, peppering her dialogue with insider New York references and untranslated family conversations in Spanish, expecting readers to keep up. Alejandra’s powerful story will leave readers with much to think about.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

J. Elizabeth Mills

J. Elizabeth Mills graduated with a PhD in Information Science and works as a research consultant with faculty at University of Washington and Kent State University on various studies. 

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