If you have ever had unrealistic parental expectations foisted upon you, Then "Level Up" by Gene Luen Yang is the book for you. Dennis Ouyang’s traditional Asian parents have already decided his future: college, medical school, and eventually becoming a gastroenterologist. (Gastroenterologist=poop doctor. They take care of the stomach & intestines.) Dennis, however, is obsessed with video games. So obsessed that he almost flunks out of college until four cute but increasingly creepy angels show up to help him along his path to being a doctor. In the end Dennis has to figure out what really makes him happy: sticking fingers up people’s butts or playing video games.
Gene Luen Yang also wrote “American Born Chinese,” a book I read years ago and has since been one of my favorite graphic novels. It may end up being replaced with Level Up. It’s like reading five different books in one: there are the video games & gamer boys, the guardian angels, the sort of love triangle, an awkward geek boy comedy, and his personal discoveries regarding his family and happiness. Another talent the author uses in both books is the ability to pull out a surprise ending after the surprise ending you just read. They’re like surprise surprise endings and you never really see it coming. Gene Luen Yang continues to prove how awesome graphic novels can be.
Also cool: it took me exactly 40 minutes to read it from start to finish. This would be a great pick if you need a meaningful book for a super last minute book project.