by Ryan Graudin
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (November 4, 2014)
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730. That's how many days I've been trapped.18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.Dear The Walled City,
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....
Whoa, Nelly. I was totally under the impression that you were a dystopian. Very tricky, but at the end of you, I found out you are actually more suited as historical, which fascinated me! I couldn't believe I had never heard of it before. After reading you and your author's note at the end, it made me want to read up on all the actual history. From what was listed, you had quite a few similarities to the 'real' Walled City.
The Walled City, you are told from three main characters, Mei Yee, Dai, and Jin, who were all so brilliantly crafted and carefully woven together. Their backstories were just so well-thought out, and one of the main reasons I kept turning your pages so fast. I had to know more about who each of these characters truly were. I think my favorite was Jin though, because she made the ultimate sacrifice to cut off all her hair and chase after her sister into The Walled City, when she is sold to a brothel. Dai was my second favorite though, because even though he shouldn't have cared, he still did.
The second thing about you that made me lose sleep time in favor of reading you was without a doubt, your action. It was non-stop, and I truly had no idea what was going to happen next. Plus the atmosphere your author, Ryan Graudin, created was so gritty and realistic. I could practically see it in front of me.
There are a few minor drawbacks to you regarding younger readers. Mainly how much drug use and sexual encounters there are. I mean, one of your MC's does reside in a brothel, which also doubles as a drug house. Not that the sexual parts were heavily detailed, but it did happen. There is also a lot of violence, but again, that's to be expected from a novel set in a walled city full of criminals and vagrants.
All in all, I thought you were fabulous, The Walled City. I was terrified about what was going to happen when your final pages came, but I was so satisfied with you ending that tears came to my eyes (in happiness!) If someone were to ask if they should read you, I would tell them heck yes but only if you enjoy suspense, action, and historical stuff! I think the only complaint I would have about you would be the lack of swoonage, because I like to swoon over fictional boys (A LOT). Four stars to you, The Walled City. You were eye-opening, inspiring, and one heck of a read! I'm looking forward to reading another of your author's books soon!