Engaging and Unique
This was a unique YA fiction novel that takes place in the international community of Beijing. The story had themes of identity, class differences and societal inequality, and Chinese diaspora, which I highly appreciated as an Asian American. The anxiety of the financial burden and responsibility Alice Sun, the protagonist, feels is extremely relatable as a child of Asian immigrant parents, and the author weaved that theme into the story quite well. The fantasy aspect was intriguing, and the symbolism behind Alice's power is hinted at throughout the book. However, in the end, the final impact of that symbolism was weak in comparison to what it could have meant to the overarching story. The development of the characters and their relationships was a fun journey to go along, and the use of the rivals-turned-couple relationship is always fun. I did feel like the final conflict/obstacle was not handled as well in terms of dealing with ethics and justice, but overall this was a fun and enjoyable read.