Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Parachutes book cover

Rating: 4/5

What It’s About:

They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. But Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course when her debate coach starts working with her privately.

As they steer their own distinct paths, Dani and Claire keep crashing into one another, setting a course that will change their lives forever.


Content warnings: sexual assault, rape, bullying

The Review

Parachutes was SO close to a 5 star book! I loved it so much! There were just too many things that I loved about this book that I don’t even know where to start. Also, with the school year coming to an end, my brain is literally mush. So…I’m going to share many of the things I loved as a bullet point list.

  • Asian and Asian American characters
  • exploration of race, culture, social classes
  • single parent households and marriages with infidelity
  • social pressures that teens deal with relating to friendship, love, sex, consent, academic success
  • complex characters that are realistic, flawed, and have amazing growth
  • teens learning to use empathy, problem solving, and communication skills

I really enjoyed all the different themes and topics that Parachutes included. But…at times it felt like too many things were being thrown in. It made the book longer than it needed to be and took away some the punch of the better elements in the story. Even though the book was long, it read fairly fast so the length wasn’t too much of a problem. I could see this as book that many readers would enjoy. This book is full of meaningful and relevant topics that young adults could explore and learn from.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.


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