Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mini Review: Saving June, Sold, & Nineteen, Twenty-One

Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Pages: 322
Publication: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Summary taken from goodreads: 
When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.


I don't even know how to describe how much I loved this book. The characters were amazing; they were all broken and realistic and trying to deal with their own problems. The writing was phenomenal--raw and surprisingly witty. And the plot was somewhat predictable, but it didn't detract from the story because the characters and writing was completely engaging. 

I definitely recommend this book. 

Title: Sold
Author: Patricia McCormick
Pages: 263
Publication: September 1, 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
Summary taken from goodreads: 
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.
He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. 
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. 
Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s words— Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life? 
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.


The writing style makes it a quick read, but it takes a while to get through it since you're always stopping to savor and absorb the words. 

And the story is an incredible account of how sex slavery is so widespread and difficult to stop, with subtle insights at how patriarchal society is in Nepal and India and how difficult it is for women there. 

Lakshmi is my hero. 

Title: Nineteen, Twenty-One
Author: Han Yu
Pages: 581
Publication: 2010
Publisher: Naver
Summary taken from MangaUpdates:
Yun-lee is a girl who is carrying a huge emotional scar in her heart. Due to an accident, she lost 2 precious years of her life, the time period between 19 and 21 years old. Her life is empty. She is miserable, but still attending a preparatory school in an attempt to catch up with all the time she has lost. Suddenly, one day on her way to feed some stray cats, she comes across a young man who seems to have what she has lost... the period between 19 and 21 years old.


It's a cute story with pretty art. More of a slice-of-life type of manhwa with a slow pace, so don't expect anything rash and crazy. 

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