The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one my favorite novels. It follows the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese American, and his life as a kid in WWII. At twelve years old, Henry was the only Asian in an all-white school which often left him harassed and made fun of until Keiko, a Japanese-American enrolled at his school. Henry and Keiko fell in love or I guess you could say they had puppy love as it was purely innocent young love. Their story resembles the tragic tale of Romeo & Juliet, for Henry's father despises the Japanese and Keiko and her family are taken into the internment camp which drew the very young couple apart. Written letters are corresponded between the two but it doesn't last forever. The novel takes place between 1986 (Present Henry) and the 1940's when Henry was twelve. It wasn't until Henry finds out that the belongings of interned Japanese families are in the basement of the Panama hotel does he start to wonder about Keiko.
What I like about this novel is that it's historical fiction with a little romance thrown into it. It's a love story but not like The Notebook kind of love story although they share some similarities in technique. I feel like I could relate to Henry and his family because my parents also immigrated to America.
Click here to order your own copy of Jamie Ford's The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from Amazon.com. Also if there are any books/movies you want to recommend, let me know. (: