Book Review: 'Front Desk' By Kelly Yang

When I saw the cover of 'Front Desk' on Twitter, I immediately fell in love with it and knew I had to add this book to my TBR pile. Then when the publisher 'Knights Of'' got in touch about a review copy, I got so excited and jumped at the chance. So, thank you so much 'Knights Of'' for this gorgeous copy which I am so grateful to have received. Let's get into my review...


Mia Tang has a lot of secrets: 1. She lives in a motel, not a big house. 2. Her parents hide immigrants. 3. She wants to be a writer. It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, and go for her dreams?

My Review

I loved to read when I was younger and I still have a lot of the books I had as a child. They mostly consisted of books about Bears, Noddy and Lucy and Tom. My early teen years were purely spent reading Harry Potter, until I later got into books like On The Road. Only then did I really get into all kinds of fiction. Looking back, I wish I had books like this on my bookshelf or that we read books like this at school because I absolutely ADORED 'Front Desk'. 

I instantly loved Mia and the way in which she spoke. Kelly Yang has such a beautiful warmth to her writing that made me smile and I could feel every emotion in Mia. Every time I sat down to pick up the book I felt like I was sitting down with Mia and I couldn't wait for her to continue telling me her story. Mia is such an incredible character, she's full of so much childlike innocence yet she has a worldly presence because of the things she is having to experience due to her family being immigrants. I loved when she got excited about writing and how much she believed in herself and didn't always want to just accept what the adults around her were telling her or doing. I felt inspired by her when she worked the front desk and was determined to right any wrong doings. She had a certain maturity to her in those circumstances, that I was in awe of. I smiled so big when she didn't give up or take no for an answer. 

This book will pull at your heartstrings and have you shaking your head at what Mia and her family have to go through and that's one of the reasons I wish I had read books like this when I was younger and why I feel we need books like this available to all kids. I feel lucky that I grew up in a household that didn't discriminate, there was always so much love and acceptance, after all, my Grandparents came over from Italy to make a better life for themselves here in the UK and it wasn't easy for them, but reading a book like this through the voice of a child and knowing that Kelly experienced many of the things that Mia does in the book, I think it just brings a whole new level of empathy and a want to understand and help more. It made me pause and think and question. It encouraged a need to plan and figure out and research what more I can do. I think sometimes when we as adults tell kids things, and myself remembering what it was like when my parents told me things, we can think they are adult things and adults have to deal with them. Things can seem so other worldly or too grand for us to comprehend changing or even make a difference, but Mia didn't even leave the police to try and solve a case, she did it her own way and I just loved that.  

I think seeing Mia interact with other children, hearing her come up with plans of how to help someone and then putting her plans into action was just awesome. It filled my brain with ideas and inspiration which I loved so much, especially when she set about writing letters. This book has such a strong message of how reaching out to people, asking for help, sharing your opinion in a kind manner and not giving up really can have a huge impact. I think it's a must read for both adults and children in that regard. Also, I think the way Mia treats people would be so inspirational for kids her age to read. 

Furthermore, I LOVED Mia's heart. This book was full of so much heart. Her parents were wonderful, the weeklies were amazing and her friends were so endearing, but Mia and her dream of creating a place that everyone could call home simply had me in tears and my heart felt fit to burst. I loved that she wanted to look after people and make their stay at the motel comfortable and enjoyable and happy. She cared for people and it was so incredibly beautiful to read that in a child. I hope that all children can read it and learn and connect and be inspired by her heart and her kindness. I hope adults can read it and do the same.

'Front Desk' is such a beautiful story of love, hope and kindness. It's full of everyday adventures and gorgeous messages that we can all learn from and I highly recommend you give it a read. I absolutely can not wait to dive into the next instalment, 'Three Keys,' which is also available now! 

Happy reading.


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