[Moodboard Review] The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


ABOUT

Title: The Walled City

Author: Ryan Graudin

Series: N/A 

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 4th 2014 

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon B&N BookDepository


Source: e-ARC via publisher through NetGalley
Synopsis:
There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels--or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.

I received an e-ARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact in no shape or form affects my review. Except for the existence of the review itself. I received no compensation for this review in any way.This is my honest opinion of the work.

This is seriously the first book I've ever read that takes place in Hong Kong, and it's fascinating and refreshing. 

My parents are from Hong Kong so I can understand some of the cantonese-isms that take place in this book. It's a little bit hard to understand because the english "ping-yum" or romanization of cantonese is a little weird. 

Anyways, this book takes place in The Walled City in Kowloon, Hong Kong. At first, I had thought that it was a dystopia because of the whole, being in a walled city thing and having to run for their lives. I was sorely mistaken and instead this book, takes place in the 80s in Hong Kong. 

This book switches between three points of view, Dai, Jin Ling and Mei Yee. Jin Ling and Mei Yee are sisters. Two years ago, Mei Yee was taken and put in a brothel run by the gangsters known as the Brotherhood, inside The Walled City. Jin Ling cut off her hair and disguised herself as a boy in order to find her sister. Dai is very mysterious in the beginning and he's on a mission. He's counting down to something, but the reader isn't aware until the whole "reveal" happens even from Dai's POV. 

I really liked Jin Ling's character. She's strong, determined and loyal. She's not going to let anything get in the way of finding her sister. Dai is interesting. Very, very interesting. He may just seem mysterious in the beginning, but as things get revealed, his backstory really adds some depth to his character, some but not much. Mei Yee is stuck in the brothel and she displays a different kind of strength compared to her sister. She's strong in a quiet way, while Jin Ling's is loud. 

I never knew what to expect from the storyline of this book. It really threw me for a loop with the whole being in HK thing. I could kind of predict some things just because of experience and generally how stories progress. But I seriously didn't predict too much of how it was exactly going to go about. It also helped that I didn't really know anything about The Walled City until I googled about it afterwards. 

I seriously loved the setting and the world that THE WALLED CITY takes place in though. There's a sort of familiarity to the setting that is both strange and comforting. However, because this book is in an Asian setting about Asian characters, (all of them Asian btw. <3), I guess some things just don't translate well into English language. Some of the metaphors were just really weird to me and seemed like it was trying too hard to prove to be Asian. 

Hong Kong is an interesting place to write a book about, especially fiction, because although they do mainly speak Cantonese, the British ruled Hong Kong for some time and so it was a mandatory thing in school to learn English, unlike now as China has taken Hong Kong back and thusly it's Mandarin that is taught in schools. 

This book is a standalone and I really enjoyed it. I think that it would have ruined it if it were to have been a series. However, I would absolutely LOVE to read more YA that takes place in Hong Kong or Asia in general that focuses on an all Asian cast.

Here is my moodboard for THE WALLED CITY. :)







Happy Reading!
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