Synopses & Reviews
Hapa (Half Asian and half white) Patty Ho has never felt completely at home in her skin. Life at House Ho is tough enough between her ultra-strict Taiwanese mom (epic-length lectures and all) and her Harvard-bound big brother. But things get worse when a Chinese fortuneteller channels Patty's future via her bellybutton...and divines a white guy on her horizon.
Her mom then freaks out and ships her off to math camp at Stanford. Just as Patty writes off her summer of woe, life starts glimmering with all kinds of probabilities. Written with the perfect balance of humor, poignancy, and sharp wit, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) is the debut of a bright new talent.
"Headley makes an impressive debut with this witty, intimate novel about a self-described 'bizarrely tall Freakinstein cobbled together from Asian and white DNA,' trying to find her niche. Patty Ho, the 14-year-old narrator feels conspicuously out of place whether she is socializing with her white classmates or among her mother's Taiwanese friends. Headley immediately conveys her heroine's sense of humor when she opens with a 'Belly-Button Grandmother' who tells Patty's future by probing her belly. When the woman predicts that Patty will marry a white man, Patty's distraught, divorced mother who would like nothing more than for her daughter to meet a nice Taiwanese boy sends Patty to math camp at Stanford University. Despite some misgivings, Patty there finds adventure, romance and a level of freedom and acceptance that she has never experienced before. Guided by her outspoken Asian roommate, a compassionate counselor and an open-minded aunt who lives near the campus, Patty begins to view herself in a new light not as an oddball, but rather as someone who has inherited the best of two different worlds. Through lively, first-person narrative punctuated with creative word play, the author encapsulates Patty's ups and downs and traces her heroine's emotional maturation during the course of an eventful summer. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Great voice from a very promising debut." Kirkus Reviews
"Fans of rapier-wit heroines like Georgia Nicolson will lap up Patty's glib humor and lively narration, which infuse the story with energy...The book should enjoy wide appeal." VOYA
"Justina Chen Headley sizzles! Nothing but the Truth is a funny, touching read that will leave you craving more. Justina is an author to watch!" Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Size 12 is Not Fat
Half Asian and half white, Patty Ho has never felt completely home in her skin. When a Chinese fortuneteller foresees a white guy on Patty's horizon, things go from bad to worse in this debut novel by a bright new talent.
"Getting her fortune told by a Taiwanese 'belly-button grandmother' (who feels up her navel) instead of attending the spring dance is just one of the joys of being Patty Ho, a covertly snarky 'hapa' (half Asian, half white) struggling with her dual heritage. Patty's domineering mother is determined to make her a good Taiwanese girl. Gangly Patty, no 'China doll,' longs to be white like her long-gone father...readers will find a compelling narrative, and a spunky, sympathetic heroine. This book should enjoy wide appeal." -VOYA
About the Author
Justina Chen Headley grew up near Buffalo, New York and San Francisco, California. She now lives near Seattle, Washington with her husband and two Hapa children.