When Moon Lin moves next door to Christine Hong, Christine is hesitant to meet this girl who, rumor has it, "beats people up." But Moon proves herself to be "confident," "funny" and the most "not Asian" Chinese-American Christine has ever met. Christine and Moon quickly become best friends, but when Christine's grades start slipping, she distances herself. A shocking medical discovery makes Christine realize how much Moon actually means to her.
Author-illustrator Jen Wang (The Prince and the Dressmaker) brings events from her childhood into a bittersweet story about friendship and self-identity. Wang gives her characters distinct voices while also allowing the art to create expressive, thoughtful moments. Colorist Lark Pien adds more nuance to the illustrations, using a muted palette to express the sameness Christine has witnessed her whole life, or depicting the spirited Moon in a vibrant green shirt. These deliberate choices lead to a dynamic story that is both hopeful and emotionally affective. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader