BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha [in Library Journal]

The story might sound familiar – the 1991 L.A. riots – but Steph Cha (“Juniper Song” series) alchemizes headlines into a riveting thriller about two families colliding over injustice, while narrators Glenn Davis and Greta Jung transform the written word into mesmerizing performances.

Shawn Matthews was just 13 when his sister Ava was fatally shot by a Korean storeowner. Almost three decades later, Grace Park holds her mother Yvonne’s bleeding body after a drive-by shooting outside their family’s pharmacy. The two tragedies, 28 years apart, will connect the Matthews and Park families – again: while Yvonne lies comatose, Grace learns her mother was Ava Matthews’s killer. The police are already questioning Shawn who, after a youthful jail stint, lives a contented, family-driven life. Reconnection, of course, will engender irreversible consequences.

Comparative newbie Glenn Davis’s portrayal of Shawn and his extended family is near flawless, effortlessly adapting from childhood innocence to jaded adulthood, toxic posturing to desperate loyalty. Sharing the Parks’ Korean heritage, Greta Jung moves easily among immigrant and second-generation characters, adjusting fluency and cadence, embodying contrasting personalities, most notably “good girl” Grace and savvy older sister Miriam.

Verdict: An already astounding book gets an addicting audio adaptation, sure to inspire urgent reflection and crucial conversation.

Review: “Media,” Library Journal, March 1, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2019


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