A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn about racism, Taiwanese culture, Mandarin words and phrases, and the 19th-century Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers.
Communication is essential to a healthy relationship. Beauty doesn't just refer to physical outward appearances, but also who you are as a person and what you stand for. There's nothing wrong with being different. Stand up for what you believe in.
Positive Role Models
These characters are strong, smart, and diverse. They aren't afraid to be different and stand up for what they believe in. It takes some time, but they learn how to communicate with each other and understand how essential honest, open communication is to a healthy relationship.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss, make out, and undress each other.
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Strong language includes many variations of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "crap," "damn," "hell," "douche," and "Jesus."
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Products & Purchases
References to The Joy Luck Club.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gloria Chao's Our Wayward Fate is a heartfelt coming-of-age tale about two Taiwanese American teens tackling racism in a small, predominately white Indiana town. Readers will learn about racism, Taiwanese culture, Mandarin words and phrases, and the 19th-century Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers. Strong language includes many variations of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "crap," "damn," "hell," "douche," and "Jesus." Characters kiss, make out, and undress each other.
Is It Any Good?
Gloria Chao has once again written a heartfelt coming-of-age novel that thoughtfully explores racism and identity. It's clear Ali loves her family, despite their misunderstandings, but is struggling to juggle their expectations with her happiness. She and Chase have undeniable chemistry, and their swoon-worthy relationship is filled with witty puns, hilarious bilingual inside jokes, and a shared love of martial arts. Some might be shocked by the amount of racism -- both intentional and unintentional -- that they encounter. But, together, Ali and Chase powerfully stand up to their peers, defy stereotypes, and break cultural traditions. As Our Wayward Fate progresses and family secrets are revealed, readers will understand the importance of honest communication in healthy relationships and see that it's OK to be different.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate