Seventeen-year-old Bucky Yi knows nothing about his birth country of South Korea or his bio-dad's disappearance. His sights are set on one all-American goal: to become a college football player. So when a misadventure with his adoptive family leads the U.S. government to deport him to South Korea, he's forced to navigate an entirely foreign version of his life.
The increasingly manic episodes lend The All-American a resemblance to comic picaresque novels ... His hotheaded bafflement over the question is part of this novel’s charm. Bucky, a highly likable meathead, thinks better with his fists than his brain, and the shortage of introspection allows the story to zip from one calamity to another.
An immersive, fast-paced story ... Milan’s writing is tight, with fresh and vivid descriptions that illuminate the contrasts in Bucky’s background and cultural makeup. The novel raises questions about who and what exactly determines your identity.