Pre-Squee: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Posted 6 August, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Pre-Squee, Review | 28 Comments


Welcome to the Pre-Squee, a weekly feature here at The Book Swarm and the Bewitched Bookworms. Some books, though they might not be coming out for a few months, need an early squee — we just can’t hold in our excitement about them! Sure, we’ll do full reviews closer to the release date but this feature gives us a chance to share a little bit of our love, whether it be for the story, cover, characters, or whatever. We’re quite flexible in our book love.

THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin is a book I picked up at BEA. There was plenty of hype and excitement about it but I wasn’t sure…until I read it. It’s a hard YA book to categorize: it’s contemporary but it feels very dystopian. It’s set in our world but it feels like fantasy. It’s got some romance but it wasn’t with who I expected. In all actuality, it wasn’t anything like I expected. And that’s a good thing as it takes a lot to surprise me these days, considering how much I read.

I think one of the things I liked best about this book is that it is contemporary, with a setting based on a real place: Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City that, when it existed not so long ago, was run by powerful gangs and filled with 33,000 street kids, prostitutes and fugitives, stuffed into just 6.5 acres. The stacked buildings blocked out the sun. Wow, right?

While it’s not perfect, it’s a fast story set in an intriguingly strange world of a walled city with diverse characters and plenty of action.

Pre-Squee: The Walled City by Ryan GraudinThe Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 4, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Pages: 448

There are three rules in the Walled City: 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.

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