The Life of a Banana by PP Wong.
When her mother dies in a freak accident, our 12-year-old narrator Xing and older brother Lai Ker move in with their domineering grandmother, disabled uncle, and wannabe-actress aunt.
Xing starts attending a posh school in a rich part of London and finds herself longing for her old life of relative poverty. She is bullied by the nasty girls in her school but does find a kindred spirit in mixed race, classical-music-loving Jay.
The book is at turns sad and humorous as we follow Xing as she adapts to her new life while dealing with the grief of losing her mother. She has to put up with her very unfriendly grandmother and strives to find out what is wrong with her unusual uncle. Her brother is also busy getting up to no good…
I was surprised that this isn’t marketed as a young adult novel, as the young narrator really gives the book that feel–her narrative is laced with cockney mannerisms, and some of her observations are naïve and child-like. It is also a really quick and easy read.
Although this is quite a sweet novel, which manages to be funny and upsetting at the same time, it didn’t always work that well for me. It didn’t really challenge me enough, and some of the events were a bit over the top and unrealistic. However, overall it was an enjoyable enough read, and I did enjoy the banter between Xing and her brother.
Check out The Life of a Banana and give it a read.
Guest post contributed by Ahouseofbooks, which is located in London. This blogger loves to read second-hand books to conduct her book reviews. Check out more of her posts on her blog.
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