Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Published: November 2014
There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.
Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.
This was a very dark book. I had to read a second time in order to properly grasp the depths of despair these characters endure. It reminded me of the early 2000’s movie, The Corruptor.
The world Graudin describes is so gritty and raw. Dark gritty raw. The only light that can be found is the connection found within two siblings that are separated. Graudin certainly did his homework and tells a story that pays homage to Oriental heritage and the tragedy and terrors surrounding addictions.
This book was described as dystopian which I don’t really agree with. There is nothing otherworldly…The place described could exist anywhere. Every big city has grimy neighbourhoods that could bring the story to life. This book explores the brutality young adults experience in the underworlds. Gang violence, trafficking, poverty…just some of the horrible conditions the three main characters experience.
Welcome to the Walled City! A place where criminals make the rules, and survival is a daily struggle.
Most disturbing part?
The Walled City is based on a REAL place and REAL stories. From the author’s notes, in 2006, nearly 2 million children were trafficked into the sex trade. Absorb that for a moment…Truly realize how great your life is.