Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Ru by Kim Thúy

Read: Feb 12-15, 2016
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Pages: 141
Genres: Canada, historical fiction

Blurb from Goodreads:

"Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow--of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy."

Another book I had to read for English...this being one of the shorter ones...but...frankly...not the most interesting.
*sounds of annoyance...I really need to keep up with my reviewing...*

I disliked...

  • the disconnectedness of the story-my teacher did mention that this book was written in short snippets of her could even be described as short poems about her life...seeing as how each page seems to be about a completely different event.  The events weren't in order...and although some books can pull this thing off well...this  It was hard to follow...I was sometimes confused as to whether the narrator was telling the story from the present...or the was so disorienting *sigh*

  • the lack of a definite plot and conflict-okay, so maybe it was just me and my lack of talent to spot the little nuances in the book, but I really felt as if this book had so specific plot...conflict, or even a climax...and this really irritated me.  The book didn't seem like it was working up to anything, there was no definite purpose, and there wasn't an obvious problem the protagonist had to made reading the story...weird.

  • the lack of chapters-this one really irked me.  I've never read a chapter book without chapters, and because I base my reading amount off the chapters in the book...well, you can see how this caused me some issues, right?  Sometimes, I would tell myself, "okay, you're going to read until the end of THIS chapter, and then you're going to stop.  NO excuses.", and I would follow that.  Most of the time.  But THIS.  THIS book didn't have any chapters!  Grr...

  • the blurb didn't fit (to me)-I'm actually referring to only a few parts, specifically.  Yes, the book did alter between past and present, but I had hoped to read more about her two sons...and how she dealt with one being autistic...I only remember reading two, maybe three pages about this son of was disappointing

I liked...

  • the short snippets (sometimes) of her life-even though I complained about the choppiness and disconnectedness of the story...I quite liked the little snippets, or stories, that were told (sometimes).  Yes, I does sound like I'm contradicting what I said earlier...but there were a few instances in the book where I enjoyed the little story that was being told...some were interesting, others stirred peculiar thoughts...but they always ended too soon...which is definitely irritating.

  • the cover (feeling, mostly)-well, yes, the appearance of the cover was quite lovely, too, but it was really the feel, the texture of the book, that I couldn't help but close my eyes and stroke.  Someone in class asked..."what kind of tree is this book made out of?", and that made me curious...what kind of tree is this book made out of...whatever it is, more books should be made from this's quite satisfying to run your hands along the cover of this book.
Similarly to the last English book I read (Three Day Road), the teacher regarded this book highly.  He praised the book for its wonderful style of writing, and tone...and such as such...but now that I think of it...maybe it was just me who didn't enjoy it...after all...this book has won quite a few awards.... first two-star rating of a book in I becoming harsher with the books I read...?  I don't remember giving out many two-star ratings last year...most were either three or four...hmm...

Have you read any books without chapters...?  And no, picture books don't count....

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