This is one of those books that is very hard to forget. While I had some issues with this book, and at times found it a little predictable, it doesn’t much matter. This is one of those books that matters because of what it talks about: in particular the issues presented to teen trans girls in a world that isn’t ready for them.
Having read Like Hell by Madeline Stanford some time ago, I was expecting this story to be good, and it didn’t disappoint. The story is centred around Aurora, whose Grandmother predicts the dates on which the pair of them will die. When her Grandmother’s prediction for her death date comes true, Rory starts a countdown to her own death and starts trying to live life to the full.
I’ve had this book for a while, and I put of reading it for some time. Mostly because I’ve become very wary about books focused on being transgender. Not because the stories are bad, or unimportant. Mostly because they tend to be very similar. It’s only been two weeks since I read Meredith Russo’s debut, If I Was Your Girl, and so I was worried the story lines would be too similar. However, this book gave me a very pleasant and refreshing surprise.
While on first glance The Walled City appears to be a dystopian fiction, the book is actually based on a very real place: The Kowloon walled city in Hong Kong was once home to a Chinese military base. There was no architectural plan, which led to makeshift buildings being thrown up without a proper plan. The result was a haven of drug lords, poverty and a home for black markets and brothels.
The Walled City is based entirely on this premise.