Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 4th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Asia, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Family, General, Love & Romance, People & Places, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
The Walled City was an interesting read, at first. It lost my interest to the point were I couldn’t finish it. I got to about the 70% point in my kindle and I could not force myself to continue. The premise of the books looked so good. It is labeled as YA dystopia but it is actually based on a real place in Hong Kong, Kowloon Walled City.
The author kept the location of this book original. The characters of Jin and Mei Yee had so much potential to be great. Mei Yee was apparently sold into slavery. She works in a brothel in the walled city. Her sister Jin goes in after her. How she got in remains a mystery throughout so much of the book it killed me. These two sisters are really different. Kai is pretending to be a boy and running the streets, dealing with gangs and fighting for survival. She teams up with Dai, a guy who is looking for an invisible runner. Dai has a mission as well. Mei Yee is so beautiful she gains the affection of an ambassador who pays to keep her all to himself. She has been locked up for 2 years and is beginning to give up on escape and take an easy way out. These three lives intersect.
The long drawn out details killed it for me. I could see it very well. The story goes into painstaking details about location, physical condition and emotions.
I stare at them, legs crossed, fingers twitching. they stare back, thin and black. Like a pair of burnt, limbless trees or the pupils of a cat.
I just couldn’t read anymore of those descriptive scenes. My brain hurt trying to sort out the story from the metaphors. I kept waiting for the book to speed up, the climax to come or something really good to happen. it just didn’t. At 50% I realized I was dreading reading this story At 70% I put it down for good. I just couldn’t force myself to read more.
This book has plenty of great reviews, so my opinion of it is in the minority. This is the first book in a long time I just couldn’t finish. As a book reviewer, that makes me a bit ashamed. As a person with a whole lot to do, I know my time needs to be spent on better things, things I enjoy.
About the Author
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog.