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Too many books - too much fanfiction - too little time

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford Hmm..

Well, first of all I may have made my most epic fail in buying this book.. And now dont go thinking that I mean that, because of what I thought of the book.. No, I mean, in buying the book itself..

See.. I just went for the cheapest version I could find.. Paperback, hardback, what else is there, you know? So yeah, I just chose the cheapest version.. Paperback.. But when I got it, I thought it looked a bit.. umm.. thick for a 290 page book.. So... Yeah.. Apparently I had bought a 'large print' edition.. No wonder it was the cheapest version.. Oh.. and it was also 500 pages long.. o_O

Lesson learned, indeed!

So.. Now.. 500 pages later.. What did I think?

This is a story about a 12 year old Chinese kid, Henry during 2nd WW. He meets a new girl in school.. Keiko.. Keiko is Japanese, who were not the most loved people during the War.. You know.. Bombs and all that.. Anywho.. These two form a very tight relationship, as tight as 12 year olds know how to get.. o_O Which means sneaking out, meeeting even though the Chinese Dad doesnt like Japanese peeps and so on.. Henry really likes this girl though, so of course he saves up for pressies for her, and sneaks into Japanese housing camps to visit his BFF and also-kinda-wannabe girlfriend.. Oh, and they were 13 here, if you were wondering..

Anyway.. Henry liked this girl so much that he said he would wait for her forever and ever.. (This was also when they were 13, btw) At one point, now 15 year old Henry thinks that Keiko has forgotten about him, so he starts dating another girl.. The day Henry asks Ethel the substitute to marry him (granted it was quite out of the blue, but still) the same day he did that, he also ran from her when he thought that he had seen Keiko.. Henry, little guy, little friend.. YOU RAN FROM THE GIRL YOU HAD JUST ASKED TO MARRY YOU, BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT YOU SAW YOUR FIRST CRUSH!

I'm confused about this book.. Did the author want us to believe that Henry was a good guy for settling with Ethel? Was he a good guy for staying with her when she got sick, when actually she had been the substitute all along? I mean.. WTF? Ethel is the hero in this book! She lived with a man for 40 years knowing that he didnt really want her, and that if his first crush had shown up for their date, Henry would be married to Keiko and not her..

So.. yeah.. Sorry Ethel.. Hope you were happy at least!