REVIEWED BY DANIELLE TRUSSONI
In Mun's searing debut, Korean-American Joon, 13, leaves a broken family in the Bronx to make her way in '80s Manhattan. Finding refuge in shelters and dingy hotels, she befriends other runaways and bears witness to the precarious lives of America's often overlooked homeless children. "A rose in a field of dirty old tires," as one no-good beau describes her, Joon earns money by working as a dance hostess and an Avon lady, displaying an almost extraordinary ability to survive even as she aims to "unfeel and unthink" with drugs. Mun, a onetime teen runaway herself, writes with lovely precision, lending a hallucinatory beauty to the bleak world she has created.