I don’t usually enjoy memoirs, but this YA book pulls you in straight away, fueled by a reluctant teen traveller’s abrasive moods, a quality writer’s powerful and evocative descriptions, a perceptive young woman’s attention to lessons learned, and all the wonder and excitement of backpacking through Asia. Beautifully written sensory details transport the reader simultaneously to the far side of the world and into the mind of a fourteen-year-old girl, and the book becomes a journey filled with interest, excitement, fun, and the joys of discovery. In 2005, fourteen-year-old Savannah did not want to take a year out of school, nor leave her friends, nor forget the boy who just might one day be interested in her, nor live out of a backpack for a year. But her mother has made her decision, and now two sisters, one older (and well-organized) brother, and their mom set out for Honk Kong, China, Mongolia and beyond. At times I was amazed at the things Savannah’s sister didn’t seem to know. At other times the breadth of her brother’s knowledge surprised me instead. But Savannah is the star as well as the narrator of her tale, a young woman learning to see the world anew, honestly changing and growing (not just growing boobs), and becoming a narrator who can hold her readers glued to each passing page. Facts are interwoven seamlessly into glorious vistas as the family walk, talk, sleep and eat together... and go to the bathroom—ah the wonders of Chinese bathrooms! The tone is perfect, the descriptions vivid and real, and the characters become almost friends—“friends that haven’t met,” says Savannah as she thinks of the Mongolian attitude to strangers, and what such an attitude might mean if the rest of us would dare adopt it. By story’s end, I want to know where the family went next, but I’m happy to have spent these pages in their company and seen them safely off as their journey continues. This book is irresistible for its inner and outer journeys and everything in between—just great fun and a wonderful read.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy by the author with a request for my honest review. I can honestly say I loved it—I just wish I’d got around to reading it sooner.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
"Sihpromatum: I Grew My Boobs in China" by Savannah Grace is an enjoyable memoir. Sihpromatum is defined as a blessing that first appears to be a curse.Vividly written in colorful detail, Savannah's adventure is unparalleled by anything that could have been written in fiction. Sharing her emotions, along with her observations, the reader has an opportunity to watch Savannah mature and gain a great deal of depth to her character. It is also her journey of discovery from within. There are many lessons to be learned from Savannah's adventure." - Reader Views copyright 2013