Little Paradise by: Gabrielle Wang published by: Penguin
Get the Band-Aids out because you will be turning the pages so fast you will be getting paper cuts. The protagonist Mirabel is a young Chinese-Australian woman living in Melbourne during World War 2 with dreams to own her own dress shop when she leaves school, but will war change her future? At the start of Little Paradise, Mirabel is shy and unsure of what she is meant to do after she leaves school. This story is one of fate vs free will. Mirabel is a very easy character to like because she is courageous, brave and determined. She is determined because she changed her name at the start of the novel from Lei An to Mirabel to fit in. The plot is very exciting because the tension is constantly rising. Even though the introduction was very long and too informative, once you reach the climax of this amazing novel you will not be able to put it down. The author used complex language and effective similes to illustrate the various settings. For example, when Mirabel reached Shanghai she thought ‘The wind cut through Mirabel’s winter coat as she stood on the wharf, dazed and bewildered. It was like being in the center of a whirlpool’. Even though Wang used complex language it was a very easy book to read. I liked Little Paradise because it gave me a good insight of what it must have been like to be a Chinese-Australian during World War 2. It was fascinating that the author based Little Paradise on her mother’s experiences during World War 2. It really opens your eye to Chinese culture and family life and the strict rule some families have to live by. There were a few parts of the book that I did not like for example: the end was not satisfying. It did not tie up all the loose ends, but overall Little Paradise was an enjoyable and informative read.
Overall, I would recommend this book sophisticated young readers who like thrilling adventures and electrifying love stories. Rating 4 stars...
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