Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Language Inside by Holly Thomspon

The Language InsideNovellas/Pre-squeals: No
Series: No
Published by: Delacorte
Genre: Real life, Contemporary Young Adult 
Pages: 515
Source: Bought, hardcover
Rating: ✬✬✬✬
A nuanced novel in verse that explores identity in a multicultural world. Emma Karas was raised in Japan; it's the country she calls home. But when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma's family moves to a town outside Lowell, Massachusetts, to stay with Emma's grandmother while her mom undergoes treatment. Emma feels out of place in the United States.She begins to have migraines, and longs to be back in Japan. At her grandmother's urging, she volunteers in a long-term care center to help Zena, a patient with locked-in syndrome, write down her poems. There, Emma meets Samnang, another volunteer, who assists elderly Cambodian refugees. Weekly visits to the care center, Zena's poems, dance, and noodle soup bring Emma and Samnang closer, until Emma must make a painful choice: stay in Massachusetts, or return home early to Japan.

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I was slightly disappointed with this book, but I still really enjoyed it. Upon completing it, I felt like the book didn't really touch a whole lot on Emma's mother having cancer. I mean, I felt like there was more telling than there was showing. I loved how Thompson painted this beautiful picture of Japan for the readers. I was aching to visit Japan much like Emma was aching to go back. Plus, they're food sounds amazing.

I loved all of the characters in the story. I absolutely adored Zena (a character with locked-in syndrome that Emma volunteers with) Although she couldn't move or talk, she still had such a wonderful and loving personality. I also adored Samnang. I wouldn't exactly consider him a book boyfriend, but I still really liked his  personality. And last but not least, I really liked Emma. I loved how much she cared for her friends and her friends family back at home and I love how they didn't grow apart during the book. That made me extremely happy.

I loved how the book was told in poetry verses and the book itself was about poetry. There were some really beautiful poems that Zena and Emma came up. I just wanted to cry because they were so beautiful and so hard breaking. Some made my heart break for Emma because she felt so alone.

Last thing, I loved learning how so many different cultures in this book. Not only did I learn how Japan and some of the language, but I learned about Vietnam and Cambodia as well. I learned about a lot of different foods and history of things and the people and dances It was quite spectacular.

“lonely is when the language outside isn't the language inside and words are made of just 26 letters” 

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