Two Sisters, Two Book Reviews!

Book Review: “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

The Historical Fiction genre appeals to me because it’s a nice blend of history and imagination. “Someone Named Eva” by Joan M. Wolf and “CLimbing the Stairs” by Padma Venkatraman were the two historical novels that evoked questions and thoughts because of the real characters and the painful obstacles weaved throughout. The writing and narration in Historical Fiction novels are touching with just the right amount of detail while the stories plays with the readers’ ethos.
I read “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden, a touching tale that places the reader within the pages and into Kyoto, Japan. The story begins with a young girl named Chiyo as well as her sister who are placed into the constraints of lifestyles and paths unchosen. Taken to an Okiya (Geisha house), Chiyo’s sister is sent away because she is deemed ugly, while Chiyo is allowed to stay because of her startling yet beautiful gray eyes. Chiyo is training to be a geisha along with another young girl who goes by the name, Pumpkin. The Okiya is void of geisha except for Hatsumomo, the most prosperous geisha in Japan because of her beauty but Chiyo soon realizes that she is heartless and selfish. A failed escape causes Chiyo to lose her chances of becoming a geisha, but she meets someone who gives her strength and hope as she is forced to work as a servant within the Okiya until her unending dept is paid off. Forced to live with Hatsumomo, Chiyo faces brutal and harsh treatment, but soon finds a window. A rival geisha, Mameha sees an opportunity in ruining Hatsumomo, and begins to train Chiyo, who is later re-named Sayuri. Sayuri becomes popular and well- loved amongst the men she escorts, though her life is not easy, for the life of a geisha is not chosen but forced upon those with no other options. She discovers the blunt reality of a geisha life, one personified as elegant with glamor and sensuality, though beneath the facade, loss and pain blossom. The possibilities of revenge, love, happiness, redemption, and survival compose an eloquent, yet striking story amidst the horrors of World War II. Early on, the plot engages readers who will smile at Sayuri’s growth and personal sucess, though smiles quickly morph into gasps, empathy, and desperation for her survival and well-being. Well- written and honest, “Memoirs of a Geisha” strikes deep within a reader’s heart, while Sayuri navigates through both the daunting and miraculous moments of life.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

-Maddie C., 16

Book Review: “Dark Inside” by Jeyn Roberts

The book “Dark Inside” by Jeyn Roberts is one of my all time favorite zombie-like apocalypse books. Lovers of “Ashes” by Ilsa J. Bick will love this book’s new ideas of the darkness in our minds.
It’s the end of the humans…not the world. The people have become “crazy”, and the disasters keep on coming. As the human race begin to dwindle, the greatest threat to humanity… is themselves.
Four teens are trying to survive: Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael. Each teen has a point of view, and as you learn more about their past and the unspeakable horrors that they faced, you begin to understand them. Each one is flawed, each character is real… and they are only trying to make it in this new world. Though the book isn’t that fast-paced, it sucks you in and makes you keep on reading. The writing is genuine, and the feeling are too. I connected with all of the teens, and the writing makes you want to be there and finish your journey with them until the very end.
This book tells the story of four teenagers who are just trying to stay alive in a changed world, and they must battle the darkness in their minds and outside. They go through a journeys, where all their paths eventually intertwine. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, apocalypse, and thrillers. Keep in mind, that this book is very realistic, and there are some dark scenes. Recommended ages: 12 and up.

Dark inside by Jeyn Roberts

-Lola C., 13

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