By Diane Rene Christian
CreateSpace, $13.95, 243 pages
The first few pages make connecting to An-Ya a seemingly impossible task, but that changes. She is an introverted character always asking why she was left by her mother with only a red diary full of blank pages. The novel is essentially An-Ya’s diary which she tends to personify as being a real, but silent confidante. Having lived in a Chinese orphanage for most of her childhood, she moves to the US with her new adopted family just in time to enter middle school. Adjusting becomes a torturous experience, because she lacks the will to believe or accept her new parent’s love.
Character growth is astounding as An-Ya bears more of herself to her diary with each day. She faces tragedy with the solemnly calm attitude of someone used to disappointment. Her changing body begs her to open up to her adoptive mother. Her self-imposed solitude is shattered by her new sister and a few new friends who help her come to terms with her insecurities. Tears will be shed while soaking in An-Ya’s powerful words as she shares her hardships of fitting in, growing into her family, and finally finding a sort of peace.
Reviewed By Isabel Hernandez