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The Leavers
The Leavers: A Novel | Lisa Ko
"The Leavers is courageous, sensitive, and perfectly of this moment." --Barbara Kingsolver An emotionally harrowing debut novel that explores assimilation and loss, immigration and homeland, independence and connection. One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an "all-American boy." But far away from all he's ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother's disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It's the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past. This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.
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mhillis
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1. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
2. Passing by Nella Larsen
3. 🤷🏻‍♀️
4. Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
5. @Hestapleton @Caterina

#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

Megabooks Oh yeah, Thick is amazing! 4mo
Eggs Intriguing! Thanks for playing 🤗👏🏻📚 4mo
flying_monkeys The Leavers is so good! 4mo
51 likes3 comments
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Johanna414
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Pickpick

This was excellent! It was such a melancholy story with two main characters your heart broke for over and over again. So good.

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Macnjen
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Panpan

I did not care for this book at all. The writing is all over the place with changing tenses and time jumping chapters and characters. This could have been told in a better fashion as the concept is interesting. A fairly major thread in the story fizzles and it just feels incomplete. Attempts at flowery, oddly phased descriptions made me ask “huh?” several times in my notes. #litsyAtoZ challenge @BookishMarginalia

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Macnjen
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This book is killing me.

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Johanna414
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An exciting day of #audiocleaning

Megabooks I really liked this book! 4mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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SavannahtheSith
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Pickpick

It was a little sad, but still a very good read. You still feel for both main characters, and understand where they come from and their way of thinking. Loved it.

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LaurenReads
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Pickpick

Great book - and very timely with news of ICE raids this week. This was a really heavy and emotional book, but so good.

Nute Another thing that I love about Litsy is that you often get reminded about books that you intended to read awhile ago. Thanks for this reminder.🙂 6mo
53 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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MeganLindell
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️½

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StellarDoc
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Took my Kindle out to dessert -- er, dinner.

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MsLeah8417
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟

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MsLeah8417
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Theaelizabet That‘s a great reading friend ya got there. 7mo
suzisteffen Liked this book a lot. So much pain, so many complexities to consider. 7mo
MsLeah8417 @Theaelizabet Thank you. 7mo
20 likes1 stack add3 comments
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tammysue
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Peilan pregnant at 17 left China for a better life in New York. She disappears leaving her small son orphaned. I couldn't ever imagine what it would feel like being in Peilan's shoes nor son Deming's which made this story so interesting and special for me.

#shesleavinghome #BeatleMaynia

Eggs Nicely done. This story is 💔 heartbreaking 7mo
tammysue @Eggs I was caught up in it emotionally.. is was one of my most favorite reads of 2017 ♥️ 7mo
JamieArc I read this last year, and it was one of my favorites of 2018. A very relevant read. 7mo
tammysue @JamieArc Oh definitely. It still stands out in my mind to this day. 7mo
60 likes1 stack add4 comments
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andioop
Leavers | Lisa Ko
Pickpick

Kind of insane how this book made me feel both warm and cold at the same time. Love fiercely. Feel everything completely, hold even the hard parts right in front of your face.
Also, borders are murder.

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CotziasReads
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My reading buddies.
They live on the big reading chair.
#dewyreadathon #deweyapril #hourlyphotochallenge
#sadnessinsideout #anxietyblob

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CotziasReads
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Naominats
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It was that kind of mindfuck: to be too visible and invisible at the same time, in the ways it mattered the most.

One week later, tucked into a double bed sheathed with red flannel, Deming Guo awoke with the crumbs of dialect on his tongue, smudges and smears of dissolving syllables, nouns and verbs washed out to sea. One language had outseeped another...He‘d bled English vowels and watched his mother‘s face fall.

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Chasingmermaids
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Recent book haul! I‘ve decided I need a break from YA books. Anyone have any recommendations? Bonus if it‘s historical fiction (my current craving).

Chasingmermaids Bonus points if it‘s about PoC. 11mo
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Elfylucille

It was comforting to know that nothing stayed the same for too long, that each day was a new opportunity for reinvention. A person could be transformed by a fresh wardrobe or a different nickname

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Elfylucille

This was what could happen in a city like this. A woman could come from nowhere and become a new person. A woman could be arranged like a bouquet of fake flowers, bent this way and that, scrutinized from a distance, rearranged.

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Elfylucille
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Trying to get out of my book slump with this title I‘ve had on my bookshelf for more than a year.

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Abby2
Leavers | Lisa Ko
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Pickpick

I would recommend this for sure. It aroused many complicated feelings for me. I‘m an adoptive mom and I felt this was an interesting window into the feelings adoptees have, confusions they face.

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EliNeedsMoreShelves
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Pickpick

When I gasp out loud as a moment of revelation becomes clear, I know I'm reading a good one. Beautifully written, often heartbreaking, with a way of cutting through to the truth of a relationship, The Leavers is a standout from start to finish.

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KarenUK
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#nextup Loaned to me from the lovely @Samplergal - I love that I get to see all the passages she highlighted for her book club discussion.... it‘s definitely going to add another wonderful layer to this reading experience 😊👍

Mdargusch That‘s fun! 14mo
Samplergal Enjoy! 14mo
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spanda84
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Pickpick

This is my favorite book of the year thus far. It brings a human face to immigration. Told from the viewpoints of mother and son, I was drawn into both of the characters emotional worlds. Deming/Daniel has a fierce desire to belong that everyone can relate to.

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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

One of my three TBR books from Book Riot‘s subscription. I really liked the story of Deming/Daniel and his mother Polly although at times the plot felt stalled (maybe it was supposed to evoke Deming‘s feeling of never belonging or abandonment). I happened to have this on audio while also reading Nicole Chung‘s upcoming memoir about being adopted - while the circumstances are different, Chung‘s memoir and Deming‘s story had eerie parallels.

CouronneDhiver Oh fun! What did you think of the recommendations, overall? I was really pleased with the variety I received. 😎 1y
balletbookworm @CouronneDhiver I really enjoyed them and they were right on point :) 1y
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VinceReads
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Really enjoying this one so far, so well-written.

Bookish_B I loved this book! 1y
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BritanyA
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️: Wanted to love this so much more than I did. Ultimately didn‘t connect to the characters.

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kelseynicburke
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🧜‍♀️

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Currey
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Pickpick

This book came highly recommended by many friends. It is well worth reading as it focuses on the immigration experience and the tearing of families apart. It also speaks to the adoption of transracial children and how they might feel growing up neither identifying with their adoptive parent‘s home cultural nor their ethnic culture. Extremely well written with characters deeply flawed in a realistic way, I still had trouble caring about them.

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kelseynicburke
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Got this on bookoutlet for like 70% off and just realized when I started to read it that it‘s autographed 😮

tammysue Neat! 1y
Cortg Lucky 🍀 1y
Reviewsbylola What a nice surprise! Great book, although the first one hundred pages are a bit slow. 1y
irre Nice! 1y
minkyb Sweet! 1y
83 likes5 comments
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Ashley85
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Enjoying this read and this nice breeze. Not liking forward to returning to hot Houston. ☀️🔥😎 #vacation

BellaBookNook Enjoy!! 1y
Ashley85 @BellaBookNook Thank you! 1y
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mdhughes72
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Pickpick

Ripped-from-the-headlines relevance, as I open up today‘s paper to discover 450 migrants deported without their kids. This is a heart-wrenching story with a somewhat happy ending. Emphasis is on the resilience of both parent and child. Both are on a quest to find not only each other, but ultimately themselves in this border-crossing story. The raw intimacy of the writing keeps this from feeling like the sweeping epic it might otherwise have been.

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Readergrrl
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Pickpick

This summer I have read 7 books with a similar theme of the immigrant surviving in a new world. This is one of the top 2! I enjoyed Ko‘s authorial style as she switched between narrators layering the meaning with each new chapter. I loved this novel because I had to, wanted to, NEEDED to keep reading to learn what would happen to Deming and his mother Peilan. Each chapter unfolded a bit more of the puzzle and didn‘t “leave” me wanting. 4.5/5 ⭐️

irre Which one is the other of your top 2?? 1y
Samplergal I adored this book. 1y
Readergrrl @irre Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. 1y
Readergrrl @irre Now I‘m feeling guilty because I also really liked American Street and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. 1y
irre I liked Pachinko too. I have The Leavers on my shelf. Need to get to it. So many good books. 1y
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RealLifeReading
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Time for some chips and salsa! What are you snacking on this #24in48 weekend?
Hmm now I need a cold beer to complement that!

Ashley85 One of my favorite snacks! 1y
MinDea Are those Tostitos Thin Cantina chips? 💙 1y
RealLifeReading @MinDea woah are you the chip guru? 👍👍 1y
MinDea 😆😆😆 We love those chips!!! 1y
RealLifeReading @MinDea actually this was the first time we tried them! We usually buy some other one...can‘t remember which...my husband is the chip buyer 😂 1y
110 likes5 comments
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RealLifeReading
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Managed this last night before falling asleep. It‘s just after 6am and I‘m going to pick up on where I left off with The Leavers. SUCH A GOOD READ if you were wondering!! #24in48

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RealLifeReading
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Put the kids to bed, took a shower and at 932 pm I‘m kicking off #24in48 with this book! What are you reading?

BucklingBookshelves I forgot that is this weekend! Just signed up :) Happy readathon! 1y
RealLifeReading @Bucklingbkshelf hooray! Happy readathoning! 1y
97 likes2 comments
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Samplergal
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Pickpick

I loved this book. Move it to the top of your TBR pile. Has so many timely themes such as identity, adoption, immigration, mother-child bonds, and culture. Moving this to my book club for September.

EmilyM Excellent book! 1y
JamieArc I finished this recently and had the same thoughts. Probably will stay one of my favorites this year. 1y
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Samplergal
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Started this one today for my walks/runs this week. I think I will like it.

emilyhaldi Loved this one ❤️ 1y
JamieArc I just finished this and it was one of my favorites this year. Perhaps because of the context of the world we are living in. Happy reading! 1y
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julia-gulia
Pickpick

This book is very up to date with a current immigration mess in USA... the book is beautifuly written without any judgement, hate or frustration. It gives the reader an opportunity to have an own opinion about illegal immigration. Lisa Ko is talented author.

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KGlibrarian
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Pickpick

My heart broke so many times during this emotional novel about an 11-year-old boy who struggles to makes sense of his Chinese heritage while attempting to fit into a mostly white community. After Deming Guo says goodbye to his mother one morning in his Bronx apartment, he is shattered when she does not return. His search for her uncovers shocking circumstances that relate all too closely to our world today.

Samplergal I‘m thinking of choosing this for September book club. What do you think? Good discussion book? 1y
KGlibrarian @Samplergal Yes! So many issues raised and the characters make some controversial decisions which would make for great discussions. 1y
Samplergal @KGlibrarian Thank you. I have only read samples but it seems like that kind of book. And so timely to what is is happening in US. 1y
37 likes1 stack add3 comments
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JamieArc
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Pickpick

This has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me but the timing was so relevant. A story about immigration that will make you think, maybe understand a bit more. So timely in the midst of families continuing to be separated. Rich characters and great storytelling. If this is on your TBR, I highly recommend moving it up. One of my favorites this year.

hermyknee This is on my TBR! 1y
DivineDiana This is on my TBR as well! @hermyknee Thank you for the push to move it up @JamieArc ! (edited) 1y
MicheleinPhilly Agreed! I just read this a few weeks ago and thought it was incredible. 1y
52 likes3 comments
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MicheleinPhilly
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Pickpick

Exquisite. #BOTM

JenReadsAlot Agreed! 2y
86 likes1 stack add1 comment
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MicheleinPhilly
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Consoling myself with good pizza and a good book.

Tamra Yum, perfect. 2y
BookBabe 😋👌🏻 2y
LauraBeth ❤️❤️ 2y
Bookish_B Loved this book 👍🏼 2y
61 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Kristelh
Leavers | Lisa Ko
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xicanti
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May was a weird month. I don't even remember the last time I read more books by men than by women, or when I so completely focused on library books that I all but ignored La TBR.

I'm disappointed there were no real new-to-me standouts, too. I'm having an awesome time with my ongoing Yotsuba&! and WicDiv rereads, but nothing I picked up for the first time climbed above 4 stars. I sure hope that changes in June.

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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

I loved the writing! Great story of Deming/Daniel's journey of finding himself and where he belongs.

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JenReadsAlot
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Thinking of you on this difficult day @Emiller My new fur babies #Greta #Gracie

tammysue Love this! 😻😻 2y
Emiller OMG this is a precious pic! 🐱💜🐱❤️ 2y
MayginReads I can't wait to snuggle them! 2y
23 likes3 comments
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cocomass
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Pickpick

Work travel is allowing me to catch up on my reading. This morning I woke up and had EIGHT unfinished books I‘ve been juggling. I‘m hoping to cut that down to 3 by the end of the weekend.

ANYWAY, this was one of those novels where I disliked all the characters, but liked the book. Complicated family dynamics, the right to self determination, and the concept of Home were some major themes. 4/5 ✨

#ownvoices

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