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Front Desk: 04/07/18
Front Desk by Kelly Yang is a fictionalized account of the author's childhood of living and working in a motel. After living in their car and trying to work in a restaurant, the Tang family finds work managing a motel owned by Taiwanese Mr. Yao. They've come for a better life but so far Mia thinks staying in China would have been better (except for the hamburgers).
Running a motel is difficult and running one when the owner doesn't pay adequately, doesn't hire enough help, and is basically a greedy, terrible person, is nearly impossible. But Mia is smart and tenacious.
As her parents are always so busy cleaning the motel that Mia is left to run the front desk except when she's in school. The motel has good days and bad days. Among the bad: a broken washer, a stolen car, racism, and loan sharks.
Mia, though, also learns how the motel runs and how it should run if it had the money and support. She also comes up with a plan to "get off the bad rollercoaster" and onto the good one.
Mia is an engaging narrator. She's not perfect but she's feisty and her heart's in the right place.
This is Kelly Yang's first novel. I hope she has future ones.