I’ve been putting off writing this review since I finished it over a month ago, because how on earth can someone like me explain how incredible this story is?! In short, I probably can’t – but I was sent this book to review so review it I shall.
I received this book from Harper Voyager Publishing in return for an honest review.
This book contains violence & distressing war scenes throughout, plus drug abuse, descriptions of rape & details of genocide.
The Poppy War is an adult book, despite many people (including myself) labelling it as YA; as I’m 22, & in my eyes a young adult, I see “young adult” fiction as being aimed at my age group, so I initially labelled this book as YA… but I often forget that young teens also delve into this age category & now realise that I could have hurt other readers by labelling it as such – for that I apologise to other readers & to Rebecca. This book is brutal & very difficult reading at times & it’s important that anyone picking it up knows that.
Rebecca’s story is based loosely upon Asian history & contains all of the violence, pain & savagery that is included in that history; this book starts off about a girl beating the odds & proving that women are just as capable as men, but it turns into a deeply gut-churning war story, that includes all the details of real-life war. There are scenes in this book that still haunt me, a month on, & those that I can still feel the emotions of. This book is as unpredictable as real-life warfare & leaves you just as fragmented.
As for my review, one word sums up this book – wow. I’ve read the A Song of Ice & Fire books & didn’t think I’d ever read anything as complex & well thought out as that – until I picked up The Poppy War. I loved this book intensely, & when it finished I genuinely felt broken; I fell into this world head-first & believed every word I read. The characters Rebecca has created are deep & layered, & so incredibly human. The world those characters live in has history, depth & credibility beyond any other world I’ve read about, & I felt the political conflict deep within my heart.
As someone who only ever see’s half the picture in one’s head whilst reading descriptions in books (it’s often like I’ve woken up from a dream & can only see small snippets of what I dreamt about – I imagine shadows & half-developed images, instead of the full picture) I can promise you that you will be able to picture the events that happen in this book… in some ways that’s a fantastic thing & a credit to Rebecca’s ability to write; but in other ways it’s haunting, & certain scenes make you wish you could un-see your own imagination.
This book is 150% not an easy read; but it is a bloody good one. Rebecca Kuang has done a phenomenal job of world-building, character development & plot creation within The Poppy War & it is second to none – this is by far the most incredibly written story I have ever read, & it’ll remain that way for a very long time… basically, no one can top Rebecca. This book is my favourite adult novel & I’m ecstatic about the rest of the series.
P.s. a massive shout out to Imi of ImiReviewsBooks for editing my signature so that the background is clear – go check out her blog! 💕
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