This ARC was received from Bare Bear Media in exchange for an honest review.
My NetGalley Review:
I am so glad I pushed through the first set of stories to read the rest of the book! I found the first story to be somewhat dry, but continued on to the rest of the tales, some of which were long and some of which were extremely short.
Theresa did a great job in translating and writing these stories for us to read. I found myself really enjoying the last story, and couldn’t get enough — once I figured out what it was about it was an ahah moment. I don’t want to spoil any of the stories, but I would really suggest picking this one up if you’re into folklore at all.
What I liked:
- That this is a collection of stories from Southeast Asia and Oceania that pulls on the author’s childhood. There are words in other languages, identified in italics, that may require you to look to the back of the book to translate. A lot of the words to me are pretty straight-forward, and I appreciate that she didn’t try to awkwardly translate them into English! (I have a lot of complaints about people doing this with Korean & Japanese.)
- The pure variety of stories that were included in this book. You have some extremely short stories, literally a page long, to a story that’s multiple chapters in length. No matter the length, the majority of the stories were extremely fun to read, and I even did get a little scared at one of the stories! The stories did well to tug at my heart strings and make me feel certain ways.
- Theresa’s writing works extremely well for the stories that she portrayed. I found that they weren’t presumptuous or flowery, and were enough to tell me what was going on. (I hate too much description.)
- To me, the best story is last, but to each their own. I enjoyed finding out what the meaning of the story was at the end!
- The personal notes from Theresa at the end of every story is fabulous. I loved reading into her personal life and learning a bit more about the story that she wrote, it adds a personal touch to each.
What I didn’t like:
My main complaint is that the first story really made me want to DNF the book because I just could not get through it. I’m extremely glad I continued to read, though, because the rest of the stories are just fantastic. I’m not exactly sure why the first one ended up being such a chore.
Who is this for?
Definitely teens and adults who are looking for a good read that isn’t too strenuous. I enjoyed this in chunks when I had free time during the workday.