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"This debut reads like a searing, contemporary story of timeless parent-child friction across cultural and generational borders ... Readers will connect with Frances' fury and yearning as well as her sense of empowerment when she begins to find her voice."  



"Teens will be able to identify with the intense pressure Frances is under to succeed ... Debut novelist Chow's descriptions, dialogue, and details of Chinese-American life in 1980s San Francisco shine, and Frances's growth is rewarding."

--Publishers Weekly


“Illuminate[s] the demanding expectations of “stage parents” and the frustrations of their driven offspring.”  



"BITTER MELON is an incredible tale of an oppressed teenage girl’s blossoming, and has an ending that befits all of Frances’ struggles and hard-won triumphs. It is a book I would recommend to a wide range of readers, for its emotional, all-too-real portrayal of the dark side of mother-daughter relationships, and the power that one can find within oneself, with the right words and support."  

--Steph Su,


"ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT.  Every once in awhile I come across a book that really hits me emotionally and Cara Chow's Bitter Melon is one of those books.  It filled me with pleasure, a bit of sadness and a some triumph.  The characters just jump off the page and the dialogue just flows perfectly.  This story is set in the 1980's but you would only pick up on the decade once or twice since the story is really quite contemporary.  I loved how the author took on such themes as tradition and duty versus independence and individualism."  

--Mary, BookHounds (


"I really enjoyed this coming of age story of a young Asian teen who fights against cultural expectations of obedience and trying to fulfill her own dreams. This incredible, touching story is sure to inspire readers. "  

--Kim Bacciella, Young Adult Books CentralSu


"Chow skillfully describes the widening gulf between mother and daughter and the disparity between the Chinese culture’s expectation of filial duty and the American virtue of independence. "  

--Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA


"The story really had depth and many layers and I just was amazed by its awesomeness . . . Just go out there and get yourself a copy of this fantastic debut by Cara Chow!!"  

--Marjolein Balm,

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