I bought this book 🙂
Want by Cindy Pon
First Book in a Duology
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?
Hi all, so today I’m bringing you a book review! Scifi isn’t a genre I read very often, but Want is the first YA book set in Taipei, so I had to read it! Plus a lot of people were creating aesthetics for it on Twitter, and I was intrigued. I’m also obsessed with the cover, *fangirl sigh* if only Zhou existed in real life. I think the world needs a Zhou tbh. But anyway, let’s jump into the review!
Okay, where to start? How about with, I LOVED IT!!! AND I AM WRECKED. I’m so glad I decided to branch out of my comfort zone and give WANT chance. It was so good! The premise was intriguing; a near distant Taipei overcome by smog. The entire world is suffering from air pollution; and I think it’s a great example of why we should care about the environment more.
I really enjoyed Cindy Pon’s descriptions of food, most of which I have never eaten before, but her delicious writing made me incredibly hungry! As someone who loves food, I really appreciate the incorporation of food into novels; it makes them more interesting and relatable!
Another thing I loved about hr storytelling, the use of Chinese! Granted the book was published by an American company, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from including different languages into their writing. I did see a few people complain about it, but there are fantasy novels with paragraphs of elvish, and no one complains when a writer includes a little French in their writing. So, I think it’s great that the author included some Mandarin in her book!
Speaking of, the society we explore is divided into two major social groups. The mei and the you. Mei means without, while you means to have. Our friends, Zhou and company are mei, while our love interest is a you. I really enjoyed trying to figure out the relationships and love triangles in our story, plus the interactions between Zhou and you was really amusing, as I saw a lot of myself in Zhou. He likes books, and displayed knowledge in both Western (he likes Poe) and Eastern (he could legit quote lines off of Dream of the Red Chamber) classics. He has a tragic past, and finds himself challenging the upper-class’s sheltered morals; he wants to change the world.
As far as favorite characters go, Victor was my favorite! I think the number one thing I like about Want is that the author included diaspora characters living in Taiwan. Victor is Filipino, and Arun is Indian. You rarely, if ever, see other ethnicity’s in books/media set in Asia because it’s normally a monolith of that country. So, this made me extremely happy to see!
Out of all the girl’s, I liked Lingyi the most. She was the brains of their mission, and I wish more characters like her existed. She was their leader, and I liked that about her. A momma bear watching over her cubs. The other characters were nice too, but I feel like they lacked character development (or maybe they just didn’t have enough screen time?); so it was hard for me to form the same attachments to them. Hopefully in book two we’ll see more of them!
All-in-all, I found WANT to be an action packed, refreshing read! I would recommend it to everyone! Especially of you enjoy intricate relationships (I had fun trying to figure out everyone’s dating history), action, diversity, and great writing!
Overall rating: 4.8/5 hearts!
Cover: 5 hearts
Plot: 5 hearts
Characters: 4 hearts
Pacing: 5 hearts
Writing: 5 hearts