Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley // Not My Kind of Read

Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Factory Girl, by Josanne La Valley
Publication: January 10, 2017, by Clarion Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½

In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to help her family and ultimately her people. A workplace survival story, this gritty, poignant account focuses on a courageous teen and illuminates the value—and cost—of freedom.

My Thoughts:

Josanne LaValley’s Factory Girl seemed like a kind of read I needed to get my hands on. I’m usually reading mysteries, thrillers or contemporary romances, so this was actually a new kind of story for me that I was quite interested in. It has a new setting — the mountains of China — that no other author has really wrote about before in the Young Adult genre, so I was quite excited to request this from the publishers. Although it originally seemed to be something I might be interested in, this was a disappointing read that is making me regret picking it up.

Factory Girl almost put me in a reading slump. I don’t think I need to say more — that’s quite negative. I decided to pick this up during the school year, and I couldn’t find myself getting into it because it is a heavy, deep read that needs time to get through. When the school year ended, I decided that I would pick this up once again and see how good it really is.

I was disappointed yet again. This book is extremely boring and I couldn’t find any emotion in the writing. LaValley is a great writer, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I felt that the premise was the main focus of the story, including the setting, but the deep messages and characters were just another aspect that needed to be written about.

“The taste of a few peas and nuts leaves a gnawing hunger in my stomach. For food. For home. For my life as it was” (32).

I kind of wish that I DNFed this because I expected that the ending would be phenomenal. But instead, it was extremely predictable and nothing special. I wanted this book to be a new favourite, a new outlook on the way contemporary stories, but I just felt that this was SO slow-paced. Agh.

In conclusion, Factory Girl featured a promising story about a girl named Roshen who is forced into slavery due to her social status. She has a life set for her, wanting to be with a man who she loves, however, everything changes when her family is unable to purchase her freedom. It’s a sad story, but something was definitely missing from this being a great story. I wish it was more interesting and unpredictable. I felt like I knew of all the answers and solutions.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is a contemporary story similar to this?

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