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The Walled City av Ryan Graudin

The Walled City (utgåvan 2014)

av Ryan Graudin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3782052,474 (3.9)4
"As Jin Ling tries to save her sister Mei Yee from the Brotherhood of the Red Dragon in Hak Nam Walled City, one boy, Dai, can reunite them and save their lives--but only if he's willing to risk his own"--
Titel:The Walled City
Författare:Ryan Graudin (Författare)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2014), Edition: First Edition, 448 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


The Walled City av Ryan Graudin


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» Se även 4 omnämnanden

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This YA book takes place within the walls of what had been Kowloon City in Hong Kong, no longer in existence. The novel effectively contrasts the haves/have nots and what happens inevitably in the slums. The book is narrated from three POVs: a privileged boy, who has a mission, a young girl masquerading as a boy to survive, and her sister, who has been sold into prostitution. While the story is predictable and the bonds that develop between the three too quickly to be believable, the characters are strong and I liked the writing. Don't forget to look at the photos included by Graudin at the end, which are very interesting. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this story. It was quick paced and exciting but also gave you insight into the characters and their feelings. Because of the depravity of the Walled City (drugs, prostitution, murder), I unfortunately cannot recommend it to my middle school students but for high schoolers and older it would be a great read. ( )
  slittleson | Mar 19, 2020 |
I liked this one for its pace (in the second half) and that it had something important to say. Jin was my favorite character overall but my heart quite went out to Mei. Dai didn't captivate me much but he was important to the story and served his purpose well enough. I didn't love this one simply because it was harrowing. The entire brothel and human trafficking thing just held me back from truly loving it but this still ranks as one of the best books I've read all year. I don't know how I'd categorize it. From the summary it seemed like a futuristic YA but upon reading it I felt it was more thriller YA. Either way, it's worth reading as is the author's epilogue explaining his inspiration to tell this story and his insights. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking to read a fast paced story with something deeper to convey. Well done.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
This review and others posted over at my blog

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From NetGalley: There are three rules in the Walled City [Hak Nam]: 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.

What I liked:
This book grabbed me from the start – the sense of urgency that Graudin created by opening with Jin running from a street gang pulled me right in and left me excited to find out more about this horrible city. The chapters were fairly short too, and so it made it easy to tell myself “just one more chapter” and suddenly find that I’ve read 10 chapters instead of going to bed. The chapters are also told from the first person point of view of three characters, Dai, Jin and Mei Yee, so we see different areas and aspects of Hak Nam depending on who is speaking. I couldn’t tell exactly what year this book was set in, though it did seem fairly modern, but I enjoyed the ambiguity because rather than focusing on the technology (or lack thereof) I was able to focus on the characters and their experiences. The book felt timeless, if that makes any sense.

The fast pace of the book kept me engrossed and the way the three characters wove in and out of each other’s lives helped my connecting with them. The overall writing style didn’t blow me out of the water, but I really can’t think of any flaws either. I also found it interesting that Graudin mentions in her afterword that Hak Nam is based on Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City.

What I didn’t like:
There was a bit of romance (some days I feel like that’s become a requirement of any YA novel and it makes me roll my eyes), but fortunately it wasn’t the focus of the novel. However, it was close to being an insta-romance, which annoyed me. The love between the two characters doesn’t develop instantly, but I consider it a microwave romance (please ignore how lame I am) because compared to an instant development it felt like it was nuked for a few minutes, then ding! ready to serve to the readers. But really, this relationship was a small part of the plot and Graudin really wasn’t heavy-handed with it, so it’s more of a nitpick. This is a personal preference too – while I love YA I’m tired of romance being such a large focus in many novels, yet I realize that’s a big part of teenager’s lives and my taste has changed some as I’ve grown older.


I hesitate to call this book a dystopia, because it’s such a fad right now that I feel like there’s a lot of junk floating around trying to pull people in with the “teen dystopia” tagline – it also didn’t feel like a dystopia. The environment Graudin created clearly isn’t a utopia, it just didn’t have the same feel as other teen dystopias I’ve read (ie: Maze Runner, Hunger Games, Dark Eden) – rather than focusing on the world itself, I was focused on what the characters were doing. But I’ll say if you like YA dystopias or just action based YA, then you should check this out. I wouldn’t say no to reading more of Graudin’s work. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Dec 17, 2017 |
The Walled City starts off by introducing us to our three main characters, Jin, Dai, and Mei Yee. Their first person POV chapters gives the reader a full view of the Walled City of Hak Nam. Though it's a dark book with a lot of edgy content, including human trafficking, forced drug torture, and prostitution, the underlying hope each character carries within them keeps it from feeling overwhelmingly depressing. Each character is exceedingly well crafted and their personalities shine through in a myriad of ways. Each one had motivations, dreams and a history that intersected perfectly and gave them sympathetic reasons for being in such a horrible city.

Aside from the character development, the other strength of this book is the author's ability to build tension and suspense. Though information is withheld from the reader about certain characters, it's not done in a way that feels annoying or intrusive to the story. As well, the three alternative POVs allows the reader to be privy to information that the characters haven't realized yet-- that Mei Yee is Jin's sister, that Dai is the strange boy Mei Yee sees in the window-- these little things leaves the reader-- or at least me-- squealing and bouncing in my seat, eager to see how the reveal will come, not to me, but to the characters.

The sense of place is incredibly strong within The Walled City. The city is based off a city that once existed in Hong Kong, but had since been torn down. Ryan Graudin creates an incredible setting by detailing the places and people who dwell within. Graudin keeps true to the Chinese history and keeps the culture rich within her own Walled City. The diversity was delightful to see, especially because the level of detail made me feel like I was standing in those cramped, dark streets.

Speaking of detail, the writing in this book is absolutely gorgeous. It flows and flowers without being overbearing, which I found to be absolutely delightful. The level of symbolism and metaphor as well is heavy and very well done-- from the dying flowers in Mei Yee's hotel room to the seashell and ocean representing her freedom-- the pages are lined with the type of writing that makes me heart sing.

I adored this book from start to finish. It drew me in and made me fall in love. At no point did I find something that annoyed me or I didn't enjoy, and at the end I shed a tear, not because the ending was sad, but because it was so good and I was happy with how things resolved.

If you want a beautiful story filled with rich Chinese culture, I suggest you pick this up. If you're worried about it too dark, don't let that stop you. The heart of the story keeps it hopeful. ( )
  KatCarson | Nov 23, 2017 |
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"As Jin Ling tries to save her sister Mei Yee from the Brotherhood of the Red Dragon in Hak Nam Walled City, one boy, Dai, can reunite them and save their lives--but only if he's willing to risk his own"--

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Medelbetyg: (3.9)
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