Book: Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China, by Savannah Grace
Genre: Young Adult, travel book.
Where I got it: Free Kindle download
Briefly, it’s: the travel account of a Canadian girl who goes on a year-long backpacking adventure through China, Mongolia, and Russia with her mother, brother and sister. Savannah was 14 when her mother decided to do this and – according to herself – she had no option, it was foisted on her much against her will, and she hated it. At first. But gradually she came to accept and appreciate it. This is her account of the time in China and Mongolia.
What I liked:
– It’s an interesting story, one family’s way of responding to divorce!
– Savannah’s gradual ‘conversion’ from a very self-centred, narrow, materialistic view of the world to an appreciation of other cultures and values;
– the last 40% of the book, about Mongolia, gives a fascinating glimpse of a country very little known to me, with a hugely different civilisation and different values than those of the ‘developed’, western world. I’d like to read more about Mongolia: its extremes of heat and cold, its vast spaces, wild horses and camels, and its nomadic peoples – poor and “undeveloped”, but rich in knowledge of the land and in hospitality towards strangers.
What I didn’t like so much:
– at first the author comes across as very negative, whingey, and self-pitying, pouring out negative energy all the time. She must have been a PITA to live with.
– too much time at the beginning talking about the preparations for the trip; my Kindle showed I was at the 10% mark and they still hadn’t got on the road.
– I’m not a Young Adult, so some of the more teenage stuff wasn’t my cup of tea.
Anything else: I didn’t realise when I downloaded the book that it’s the first in a series. So I was disappointed that this book doesn’t cover Russia too. And it seems from the website that many other travels followed.