Book Review # 48: Chopstix by A.T. Raydan

Friday, 10 July 2015
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Unique Inspiration. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review.

Title: Chopstix
Author: A.T. Raydan
Publisher: Unique Inspiration 
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: April 15th 2015
Pages: 224
Source: Review Copy from Publisher/ Maximum Pop Books
Rating☆ / DNF

PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Wendy Wu is an ordinary teenager who lives with her parents. She has always been taught about the virtues of peace, tranquillity and respect, always to use spoken word instead of violence.

When fate delivers a cruel blow, her life is turned upside down. Mentally and emotionally Wendy struggles to come to terms with the changes and pretends that nothing has happened.

Each evening, Wendy hides away in her room and passes time by continuing to make chopsticks for the family restaurant that is no more; the very same chopsticks that are soon to become her weapon for serving justice...

A tale of betrayal, adventure and revenge.

It's always difficult when you receive a book for review that you are sure you are going to love, but then it turns out to be a book that you really don't gel with. For me, Chopstix by A.T. Raydan was a very difficult book for me, because I really did want to love it. The premise sounded amazing and when I put in for the chance to win a review copy over on Maximum Pop, I was so happy when it arrived. I could not wait to start it. A chinese superhero who uses chopsticks to deal out justice in a world of crime. It sounded fantastic, but what did I think of it overall?

I need to admit that I DNF'd this book after 33 pages (which is very rare for me.) All of my thoughts on the book will relate to what was contained within these pages.

For me, this book was just a mess. I hate to admit it. I really loathe slandering books because I always strive to find the positives in books, to give them a second chance. Unfortunately Chopstix is not worth my time in terms of attempting to review it a second time. I tried so hard with this book but I just couldn't do it. I think there is definitely something to be said about a book when you can't even get past page 33. The story itself isn't a bad one from what I have gathered. I was so excited about the premise because it sounded so bad ass and different! Wendy Wu although ordinary, seemed to promise to be a kick ass female lead and even from the first chapter and a half I found her to be immature, pretentious and frankly quite worrying to be a main character. There are moments in this book where Wendy is faced with decisions and her reactions to them are extremely worrying. For example: there is a moment where Wendy has been pinned down in the first chapter and being threatened with a knife, yet the only thing she can focus on is the tattoo on the other person's neck? I'm sorry, what?! You're struggling against someone who is trying to kill you and your mind is elsewhere. No. Completely unrealistic. I admire the noticing of the tattoo and perhaps this could have led to a detective's deduction further on in the story, but to have a whole monologue about the focus of her noticing a tattoo was completely uncalled for. Such a shame. What made it worse was that she came out with some cheesy line that was along the lines of 'Who are you and what does that sign on your neck mean?' As if the robber is going to reveal that. This was followed by some pretentious writing about her father always teaching her manners and how to be just, but then she dramatically addressed the audience and exclaimed it was boring to talk in that way because it reminded her about her father, whom she then goes on to praise?!

The writing style was just all over the place, which infuriated me greatly. I strongly believe that the target audience for this novel is entirely misplaced because it reads like a children's story and a very young one at that. Definitely not a Young Adult book. The main character isn't relatable or enjoyable to read about and she addresses the reader far too much. At least once every few paragraphs. I would say that this novel feels more like a monologue script that would accompany a children's TV show. So unfortunate. Also, for a girl who is entering college (18?) she makes some pretty worrying choices. I think she could use a little ( or a lot of) common sense in her character. This was touched on briefly in the scene where she goes on the date to the coffee shop with the first boy she meets at college after knowing him for like five seconds. Oh and her pretentiousness continues as she continues to mention how many boys have tried to hit on her at college. It was so stereotypical and just wrong. I did not like it at all. It made me so mad.

I do try to believe in giving books a second chance and to try and stay positive but I just couldn't with this book. I will be donating it to my local primary school so that it can hopefully be enjoyed by someone I believe the book should be targeted at. I award Chopstix by A.T. Raydan a 1 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. I would not recommend. It's such a shame that this was a review book that I was supposed to be praising over on Maximum Pop's blog.

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