I should be upfront that I have a soft spot for YA contemporary books involving drama and theatre. These books invoke such nostalgia because I spent two years acting and studying theatre for A Levels. That’s precisely why I was drawn to This Tiny Perfect World. A summer theatre camp sounded like a full immersion that I was bound to enjoy. In that regard, I was pretty pleased. A good chunk of This Tiny Perfect World is indeed dedicated to Penny’s curriculum time and rehearsals.
All That She Can See is the kind of whimsical that fills you with warmth and puts a smile on your face. In some ways, it reminded me of the TV show Pushing Daisies because (1) pies! and (2) the main character uses her abilities to for intended good. However, the interpretation of “good” is dependent on the larger impact that Cherry isn’t fully aware of. So yes, if like me, you’re a fan of Pushing Daisies, I do recommend giving All That She Can See a go.
The first 200 pages were not written well. I was bored and felt growing discomfort with the mangled Middle Eastern culture this fantasy book was premised on. At least the next 150 odd pages picked up a little in terms of plot and also storytelling, so I didn’t end up thoroughly hating Rebel of the Sands. Still, this book has so many problems, I’m relieved I didn’t order the sequels before finishing this one first.
Young adult books set in college, or even about the summer before college, aren’t all too common. That’s why I was surprised when I first learnt that American Panda is set at MIT. Well, Mei is 17 years old as she enters a year early but it works out well for this book. Mei had a sheltered upbringing, which is very evident as she tries to find her place at university.