Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Warrior Girl: A Charming Book

I would have missed reading Warrior Girl entirely, had I not been approached by the publishers to read it and write a review.  Their description of the book pulled me in instantly, so I agreed to give my honest review.

The story features Sun Hi, a Korean, during her first year at Oxford.  While dealing with some not-so-nice and very competitive colleagues, she often retreats into the World of Warcraft.

At first, the plot may not sound so exciting ... another coming of age story set at some English university.  But I couldn't resist the World of Warcraft angle, being a gamer myself.  When the game is first introduced in the story, it feels like something coming from left field.  It also feels like a major character flaw ... retreating into some imaginary world when she can't handle things.  However, it later becomes central to the whole plot.  I believe the authors pulled it off well.

I was also impressed with how much the authors got right about Korean culture.  Having lived there for two years, I found myself nodding in agreement throughout the whole book.  There are certain things that Sun Hi does (or doesn't do) that you might not expect from an American/English person, but are actually common among the Korean people.  After reading the book, I wonder what the true origins of the story are.  Is it the result of major research?  Or is it a retelling of something that really happened?

The other characters are sufficiently interesting and believable.  My favorite was Miles, the captain of the rowing team.  He's mostly a good person, but he makes his shares of mistakes.  My least favorite was Sun Hi's roommate, Marina, who seemed a little over the top in her arrogance.  But then again, those kind of people really do exist.

The British "flavour" is as charming as Sun Hi is.  At times the book seems to have a "Hogwarts" feel, though without all the magic.  Again, it feels like the authors did their research on English university life.

I found the end to be very satisfying, and I'm happy to have come across this book.  It is targeted for YA readers, but I would recommend this to almost anyone.  I believe it has wide appeal, and that anyone who reads it will find it difficult not to love Sun Hi.

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