27 June, 2024

The Legendary Mo Seto by A Y Chan - [Book Review]

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Book Details:

Title: The Legendary Mo Seto

Author: A Y Chan

Genre: Children's book, Middle grade fiction

Publisher: Aladdin

Print Length: 320 pages

Source: A free review copy from the author


A fast-paced, high-kicking debut that’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Stand Up, Yumi Chung as a young taekwondo artist uses an ancient book to help save her dreams—and her father.

Twelve-year-old Modesty “Mo” Seto dreams of being a taekwondo champion. Even though her mom disapproves, Mo can always count on her dad, who is her number one fan and biggest supporter. Lately, Mo has been on a losing streak, and it doesn’t help that she keeps losing to her archnemesis, Dax, who’s much bigger than her. If only she were faster, stronger, not so petite. Mo can’t even lean on her dad like usual with how distracted he’s been lately.

When Mo learns about the chance to audition to star alongside her idol and legendary martial artist and movie star Cody Kwok, she knows this her chance to prove to her dad, to the world, and to herself that she can compete with anyone, no matter her size. Unfortunately, Dax is auditioning, too. As Mo and her nemesis progress to callbacks, someone attempts to sabotage the movie set and Mo’s dad disappears—and both events seem linked to a mysterious book, the Book of Joy.

The book contains information on Xiaoxi Fu, a secret dance-like martial art developed by Mo’s ancestral grandmother. Armed with these secret moves and an unexpected ally, Mo embarks on a high-octane adventure to rescue her father, save the movie, and discover an unexpected joy in being small.

Purchase Link:

My Review:

This is the story of a 12 year old girl Mo Seto/ Modesty, an ambitious person training to be a Taekwondo Champion. She loses against Dax in the championship and is disappointed when her father also disappears from her life temporarily. 

She finds one book about an ancient martial art at home and gets intrigued about the link between the martial art and her grandfather. With help from her friend Nacho, she tries to translate and understand the technique shown in the book.

She gets an opportunity to audition for a movie by her favorite actor Cody Kwok. Since her dad is not there to guide her and her mom is not interested in martial arts, she gets into audition by lying about her height.

Is Cody Kwok really a hero in real life? Can she realize her dream of working with her favorite actor? Where is her dad and what's the connection to the book and his disappearance? The remaining story answers all these questions.

What I loved?

The plot, characterization, narrative and twists are all very well done. The last half of the book seems like a good thriller. 

Characters are genuine, honest and relatable. I love Modesty - her attitude of taking risks, and her determination to achieve something. Nacho is a lovely friend that anyone would be fortunate to have. Dax, Jun and Cody are all relatable to the persons we see in our daily lives. 

I love the message from the story. A good and inspiring read for middle graders.

My Rating: 5/5

PS: I received a review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Until next time,

19 June, 2024

The Measure by Nikki Erlick - [Book Review]

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Book Details:

Title: The Measure

Author: Nikki Erlick

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Fiction

Publisher: William Morrow

Print Length: 348  pages

Source: A copy from local library


Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

Purchase Link:

My Review:

Loved this book.

The concept or theme behind the story is a very interesting point. Everyone above 21 yrs old in the world receives a mysterious package with just a string inside. Later, they all realize that the length of the string is the time left for them on the Earth. That means, short stringers die earlier and the length of the string denotes longevity.

All hell breaks loose. A few Short stringers being disappointed want to end their life and others, whereas a few long stringers become selfish and rob opportunities from short stringers as the latter are going to die soon and a few show humanity and support each other.

 It seems like the author researched the scenario in different aspects of life and connected with readers well. It is interesting to read and think about how humanity reacts to such things. I remember how people reacted to covid. 

I felt, the strength of the book is characterization. The pace of the book seemed slow to me. It felt boring in the middle of the book. The pace of the last part of the book is good though and the ending is fine too. The narrative is good. The book cover is ok.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:

Nikki Erlick is a writer and editor whose work has appeared on the websites of New York magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Indagare Travel, BookTrib, and Verge Media. 

As a travel writer, she explored nearly a dozen countries on assignment—from rural villages in France to the arctic fjords of Norway. As a ghostwriter, she has lent her voice to CEOs, academics, and entrepreneurs. She graduated Harvard University summa cum laude and is a former editor of the Harvard Crimson. She earned a master’s degree in global thought from Columbia University. The Measure is her first novel.

Until next time,

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