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Reviewed by Carolina Restrepo for Readers' Favorite
Gertie McDowell seems like a nice calm girl from how she communicates, but that can’t be farther from the truth. She is as naïve as can be. Straight from Turkey Roost, Kentucky comes Gertie’s diary filled with her most outstanding and crazy adventures, and not even Gertie knows how she came to be in them. The Ping-Pong Champion of Chinatown by James Hanna follows Gertie from state to state in her bewildering yet dangerous life experiences. Our protagonist goes from innocently trafficking drugs to being a foot fetish star to being in prison and even getting sold into white slavery. Her attempts to blend in go out the window the second she becomes the Ping-Pong Champion of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Her life is nothing but upside down and she is barely in her early twenties; who knows what else will happen to dear, gullible Gertie McDowell?
James Hanna creates a compelling yet funny story about a southern girl who can’t help but fall into the wrong hands and land herself in the utmost insane situations. I personally really liked this light and fun story, very different from the books I usually read. I finished this in a couple of days and had no trouble spending a few hours reading non-stop. A small part of me thinks that Gertie is an actual human being and that only alludes to how well James creates the characters in the stories. Overall, it is very well written. I felt as if I was reading about a small-town southern girl who could not help getting herself into messes. I recommend The Ping-Pong Champion of Chinatown to anyone who wants an entertaining read.