What I love about Meilin is that she keeps the team grounded, for the most part. They come up with an outrageous plan, she is the reality, no matter how much it might irritate us, as an audience, or the other characters. I love her sense of humor too. I also love how she has developed from a girl always looking for a fight to one who knows when to fight and if there’s a less violent way (mostly because of Jhi). But, despite all of that, what I love most about her is that she is a strong, “Asian” female who’s entire story doesn’t revolve around just one person (whether it be a romantic, friendly, familial, or other). These books came out when I was 11 and, as an Asian myself and someone who has lost her birth parents, I finally had a character I could relate to. Not many Asian female role models are in the world, and if there are, most likely they’re very shallow or stereotypical, and to see this amazing character on page was inspirational to me and a key part of who I wanted to be.
Now, like every character, they do have annoyances. Although understandable, I didn’t like how, when the team instantly found out about a mole, she thought it was Abeke even though she had shown her loyalty time and time again. I understand it though, and I’m glad the writers drew that out to show that friendships aren’t built instantaneously just because you’re on the same side. I also was irritated with when she left in the end of Book 2. She could have gotten so much more achieved if she hadn’t left!! Also, maybe her father wouldn’t have died then if she hadn’t told them. However, despite these, I do love that she does this as well because it creates a 3-dimensional character. (And I was/wasn’t surprised about her Bile reveal. The book built it up to where it got very ridiculous about her obsession with the mole to the point where it had to be her. Also, all the hints from the previous all pointed to her .)