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A Tangled Web Kindle Edition
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Based in Japan, in the year 2011, the story revolves around seventeen year old Taiyo, who has lived with her grandmother since the age of five, following the death of her mother in a car accident. Her father’s inability to cope with parenthood following this tragic accident and the infrequent visits he pays to her, means her grandmother, Oba-chan, is really the only parental figure who has remained a stable in her life.
Twin brothers Kairi and Ryuu, who Taiyo has grown up with, are her best friends, along with another girl Ayu, and now they are all teenagers, their interest in one another has progressed from mere friendship to something else. While Taiyo starts to acknowledge that she has feelings for Ryuu, she instead finds herself dating his brother, while her other friends have become involved with one another. Soon enough, the Tangled Web from which the book draws its title emerges as Taiyo begins to play a game of deceit and duplicity, dragging all the friends into it.
This escalation of teenage lies soon makes way for something far more ominous and unstoppable, as Japan is first struck by an earthquake, which is followed by a tsunami that cleaves a dreadful path of destruction and devastation across the country (Though the novella itself is fiction, the earthquake is based upon the actual natural disaster that struck Japan in March of 2011).
Young love and teenage dramas are overwhelmed by life and death situations, and here is where M.L Sparrow ramps up the intensity of the story. The prose flows well, the author has an engaging style of writing that has the tendency to hook the reader and draw them in, and the character development is solid. The book is a slow-burner to begin with, which could be a drawback considering as a novella it is only short, but it is built up well and the interplay between characters is nicely realised, before those later sections where the brutal force of nature that is the tsunami swamp things in well-worded drama.
Plenty of emotion, action, and pathos are on display here, and if I had to issue any sort of criticism, it would merely be that I feel it could have worked even better as a longer piece. Given the slow burn beginning, and the fact that the tsunami has such a major impact on lives, yet is really only explored in the latter part of the book, perhaps a novel, even a short one, could have helped the story breathe more and given it more room to expand. Nonetheless, that is just a minor quibble, nothing that takes away from the story at all.
Highly recommended if you dig Young Adult reading that features ordinary characters forced to deal with extraordinary situations.
Set in Japan and leading up to the Tsunami of 2011, the story focus on Taiyo and her two best friends Kairi And Ryuu. Kairi and Ryuu are twin brothers and have known Taiyo since childhood. When they both begin to show an interest in dating Taiyo things get a little complicated. This is mostly due to Taiyo trying to keep everyone happy and not being truthful to those she loves. Lies and not love become the problem and the despair of this turns especially sour when the tsunami strikes. Lives are changed forever.
I read this book in one sitting, not because it was a novella but, because the writer makes the story flow well and it is an easy read. The story is realistic, charming and intriguing. There is a serene quality to it that made it a pleasure to read. The characters, though young, are written with real qualities rather that filled with too much teen angst that are in many stories today. I found this very refreshing and it made me warm to the characters even though they, on occasion, made their foolish mistakes rather than being annoyed by them.
This was the first thing I've read by this author and I have to say, it was an absolute delight to read.
Set just before, during and after the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan a few years back, the book follows the life of young teenager, Taiyo, who becomes caught up in a web of lies when she finds herself torn between two boys - twin brothers with whom she has been friends with for most of her life.
As Taiyo finds her lies becoming ever and ever more involved in her bid to avoid hurting anyone's feelings, her world is quite literally rocked by one of the biggest natural disasters in all Japan's history as Taiyo finds herself coming close to losing everything she loves...
This was a short read but one that was nonetheless highly intense. The characters were highly believable, memorable and well crafted, and it is a testament to Miss Sparrow's writing that after only a few pages, I almost felt like I knew them - so quickly was I absorbed into their world.
If I had one complaint, it was that I thought the book was too short and I thought that at some points, M.L Sparrow could have gone into more detail about the tsunami and it's after effects considering they play such a crucial role in the story, but this was a small aside. Also, I would have liked to know about what happened to the characters after the story ended, but the truth is, Miss Sparrow here has managed to do what so many authors spend their whole career trying to do and then miserably failing - leaving her audience craving more.
Like I say, this was the first thing I had read by Miss Sparrow - who describes herself as an author who refuses to restrict herself to one specific genre, instead choosing to write whatever she feels like at the time - but you know what, I'd happily read her again and in the end, who can ask for a better recommendation than that?
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A tangled Web is a novella by M L Sparrow. It is an emotional story about a Japanese girl Taiyo, a normal high-school girl who lives with her Grandmother.Read more