Author’s Note: The following book review was previously published on my old blog on January 22nd, 2014. All content in this post is exactly the same as it was in the original post, except for prices, which have been updated as applicable.
I made an unofficial plan to read more this year than I did last year. To be fair, it wouldn’t be all that hard to read more than the 8 new books than I did last year, however I still set the goal for myself. Since I’m embarking on a journey of my own to become a published writer and write my own ebook, I figured what better place to start than to read a few books from writers I know personally (and by personally, I mean people I know from the internet via blogs/Twitter).
My first finished book of the year (I’m at two so far) was One Word Says It All: Stories From My Year Abroad in China by Amanda Osborn. Amanda is the author at Break the Sky, and occasionally shows up in the comments of various posts of this blog. Upon finishing Amanda’s book, I decided I’d do a book review for her book, along with the other books I finish this year written by people I know. There’s just one minor problem to this — I’ve never written a book review before. Much like the example video below, it’s just not part of my job description.
That said, I figured there’s no better place to try writing my first book review post than with One Word Says It All. The book discusses Amanda’s time in China as part of a study abroad program. I too took part in a study abroad program in college, spending the summer between my first and second years of university in Spain. Because of that, I was drawn to the subject matter of this book, even though China is a country I’ve never been to (or frankly dreamed of travelling to).
One Word Says It All is a very quick read. My Kindle app had it at 51 pages, and I finished reading the book in just over an hour. It’s written in a format very reminiscent of how I told stories about Spain to my own family when I returned from study abroad, though admittedly I didn’t have nearly as interesting of a time abroad as Amanda did.
If I had to pick a specific chapter that anyone interested in buying the book should read, I’d say that the chapter entitled “The Train Ride from Hell (Or, That Time a Baby Peed on Someone’s Pant Leg)”. Public transportation woes are rarely something that cause laughter, however when baby pee and an awkwardly exposed breast are involved, the story quickly becomes amusing in retrospect. The chapter’s content aside, the book’s tone does a fantastic job of illustrating Amanda’s emotions during her time abroad — both the highs and the lows — and truly makes the reader feel as though they’re being told the story by a close friend.
One Word Says It All: Stories From My Year Abroad in China is available for $2.99 on Kindle devices as well as the Kindle App on Android, iOS, and Windows 8. It’s a recommended read for all, though especially for those who have been through study abroad themselves, or those who will be taking the dive and studying abroad themselves in the future.