Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Review: Obasan by Joy Kagawa

Title: Obasan
Author: Joy Kagawa 
Page Count: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction (with elements of truth from the Author)
Rating: 2.5 Stars 

Blurb: Based on the author's own experiences, this award-winning novel was the first to tell the story of the evacuation, relocation, and dispersal of Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.

Review: For my summer assignment for my AP Literature class, I was tasked to read a 400 page poetry book, 10 poems from a poet of my choosing that is alive, or died within the last 20 years, Literature like a Professor, and two books to compare and contrast.

This is the first of the books I must compare, and the other is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (which I read when I was younger and liked but don't remember much of.)

I had been told many good and bad things about this book, and went in trying to ignore that.

Totally honest, I couldn't stand this book at the beginning, for the first six chapters I was forcing myself to read it. I didn't like the writing style, I didn't care about the characters, and it just wasn't something I would have normally continued reading. But alas, I needed to for an essay I have to write in September.

I continued, and became intrigued into this box Obasan and Naomi found in their attic. It contained letters and diaries and much more from Aunt Emily telling of her thoughts on many different political and domestic issues, which I found quite interesting. I am in love with history so this part of the story was perfect for me!

The letters went on for so long though, and they were heartfelt and emotional,yet too many of them it seemed.

This is a book that depicts the cruelty that Japanese-Canadian Internment was and does it justly. I am seeing how this book connects with The Book Thief because of the racism that both discuss. I find it quite eye-opening even if the writing can be bland.

As I continues reading it, I became more enveloped into these characters, and began caring about them. By the last five chapters I was engrossed and was actually enjoying it... But it took me over 80% of the book to feel that way.

Kagawa has written a strong story, but one that lacks entertainment of any kind. She could have found a way to make it more interesting, but instead settled for bland writing. The descriptions of different areas was great, and the imagery oh my goodness, one of the best I have read in a long time,but overall this just wasn't my book.

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