Quickie Book Review: The Night Tiger

Title: The Night Tiger

Author: Yangsze Choo

Published: February 2019 by Flatiron Books

Length: 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery

Source: Book of the Month

Stars: 4 Stars

Summary from the  book jacket:

Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dance-hall girl to help pay off her mother’s mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin plunges into a dark adventure: a mirror world of secrets and superstitions.

11-year-old Chinese houseboy Ren also has a secret, a promise he must fulfill to his dead master: to find his master’s  severed finger and bury it with his body. He has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever.

As the 49 days tick relentlessly by, and a series of deaths racks the district, along with whispers about men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren’s increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes.

Dazzling and propulsive, The Night Tiger is the coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.

I’ve had such good luck with novels with tiger in the title (click here to see my thoughts on The Tiger’s Wife) , plus the gorgeous cover convinced me to pick this book for my January Book of the Month Club. And it did not disappoint.

Like:

If there is one thing I love it’s magical realism. And well written prose. So that’s two, technically. And this book has both. And a compelling story that explores a world and a culture that I am woefully unfamiliar. Most stories about Colonialism are told from the point of view of the colonizers not those who are colonized. And it explores a mythology that I’m not familiar with and am interested in learning more about.

Following Ji LIn and Ren through this story and not being sure that either will survive until the end. The magical elements of the story that help guide them is fascinating and helps build the story’s tension.

Not so much:

The romance subplot is a bit odd and awkward for a couple of reasons. But I don’t want to give too much away and spoil it. I will say that it isn’t clear by the end of the story whether Ji Lin will find the happiness and love she deserves with the man she loves. And she does deserve a happily ever after. But don’t let this keep you from reading this novel.

What I’ll remember:

The setting -1930’s Malay- and the main characters. The were-tiger stalking and killing at the edges of the story. The sweet innocence of young Ren and the gumption of Ji Lin. This story is a parable about the abuse of power by colonizers. And it’s important to read a story that strips away the romantic veil we in the west often use to tell those stories.

Would I Recommend:  

Yes! It is a thoroughly enjoyable tale.

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, here is a link to my Friday 56 for this book if you are interested. Happy Reading!

 

The Friday 56, #95

4754621A-7122-48E8-984F-91A83CF2AD93  It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

 

From page 56:

Isra unwrapped her hijab and set it on the bed. She had never once considered not wearing it in public. But standing in front of the mirror, eyeing the long black strands of hair as they wilted off her shoulders, she found herself feeling hopeful again. Perhaps this would be her first taste of freedom. There was no reason to reject it before she had tried it.

This novel seems to be all over book blogs and #bookstagram the last month or so. I’ve yet to read it, but I’m  looking forward to it. Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

And for everyone in the USA have a great holiday weekend. Happy Reading!

Friday 56 #91

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

 

From page 56:

Walking through the rubber estate, he admires the neat rows of slender trees, imported from South America. Each tree has thin cuttings on its trunk and a small cup into which the milky latex sap drips.

 

 

 

That cover! It’s one of the reason I chose this book for my #BOTM choice in January. As with wine labels, I’m a sucker for a pretty book cover.

Have you read this one? What do you think? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading.

January 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

Finally! I thought January would never end. What is it about January? Every year it seems to get longer and longer. This past January felt like it dragged on for months for me. But it’s finally over and it’s time to look back at my reading life.

 

 

 

Stats:

Total Books Read: 15 Books

Number of Pages: 5,081

Written by Men: 1

Written by Women: 14

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 15

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 15

Library Books: 11

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 1

Favorite Book:

I have three favorites this month. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, Cold As Ice by Anne Stuart, & Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

Reading Challenges to Date  (Click on the links to learn more about each challenge) :

GoodReads:  15/100

Book Riot Read Harder 2019:

Task 23: A Self-Published Book: The Handbag’s Tale   by Louis B. Shalako

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 

The Handbag’s Tale By Louis B. Shalako. This is also one of my lowest rated books. Click here for more information.

The Heaving Bosoms 2019 Reading Embrace

Because Witches: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Consent Boner: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

England Times: Irresistible by Mary Balogh

Hufflepuff-Slytherine Love: Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart

Medieval Times: The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux

Your Faves are Problematic: Ain’t She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Reading Women Challenge:

A romance or love story: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

A book you bought or borrowed in 2019: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Pop Sugar 2019 Reading Challenge:

A Debut Novel: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Blog Stuff

Bookish Posts:

The 5 Lowest Rated Books on my TBR

Across the web:

An idea for solving your TBR problem can be found on Book Riot that I think I’m going to try.  Strategy for actually reading the books you own.

 

So that was my January.  How was your January? Read any good books? Let em know in the comments below. Happy reading, y’all.

Friday 56, #77

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution my contribution:

  “But it wasn’t just the music Brit blamed her parents for. It was this fairy-tale idea she had about love. After her father died, her mother was not with another man–never even mentioned another man–and some months before her quiet death it seemed to Brit that her mother had resigned herself to the idea that life without her father wasn’t really a life after all.”

Another book that came to me via Page Habit monthly book box in May 2018. I love this cover. It reminds of some of my favorite notebook covers. And I must say, I am intrigued by this excerpt. What do you think? Would you read this book based on the excerpt? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your blog.

Happy Reading, y’all!