Thursday, March 19, 2015

Walled City by Ryan Graudin Book Review

730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

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.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.
Walled City was a great read, with beautifully depicted scenery, and characters. The research is obvious. The writing is spectacular. Everything was written in a way that the "Walled City" was as clear in my mind as if I'd actually been there myself. It was the best part of the book. All of the names, foods, and place were so eloquently written. I truly believe the author really truly knows the Walled City probably better than its own residents.

The characters themselves are all broken pieces seeking to become a whole in whatever way would make them whole again. Mei Tee was sold into prostitution by her abusive father, while her sister Jin Ling who lives her life disguised as a boy hides, and lives in filth hoping to one day find her long lost sister. Dai is trying to escape his past, and the jail like bars of this walled in cage he's in. 

All of the characters and their struggles gave the book depth and it kept me turning the pages. It read well and I really enjoyed it. Definitely one of those books that deals with the heavy but manages to captivate you and make you smile despite it all. It had a great beginning and end. I definitely recommend it--a great read, with well researched and descriptive writing.


  1. I got lost in the terrain of this book. It was a DNF for me. I am glad to see that you liked it. It just proves that no two people read the same book. Great review!

  2. ooo interesting how another person DNF, I am not sure then, I might wait until I see another review

  3. I remember really looking forward to this one but after reading a few negative reviews, I decided to hold it off. I'm so glad you liked this. I'll definitely grab it the next time I drop by the bookstore :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  4. This is the first review and I am excited to check it out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  5. I enjoyed this one too. It read like a dystopian, but obviously it's not. I remember when I heard about it I looked at pictures of the real city and it really helped when I was reading the book. I could picture exactly what the author was describing. Glad you liked it! ~Pam

  6. I actually DNF'ed this book :/ I did like the premise of this book though, I might pick it up later though. Great review though.
    Benish| Feminist Reflections

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I've heard some mixed reviews. I've had a copy that I wasn't sure I wanted to read but you may have changed my mind. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  8. I really enjoyed this one too! :D So glad you liked it as well! The world-building was great, even though I think it could have been more described and the characters didn't lack personality. I liked the settings and writing and the little romance. Fantastic book. Super review!!

  9. I'm glad you liked this! I keep on getting the blurbs confused with The Walls Around Us, which I just recently read, but it looks like this one was much, much better haha. I'll see if I can get my hands on this. Nice review Jazmen!