DNF Q&A: THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin

I received this book for free from Little, Brown. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin
The Walled City

Written by: Ryan Graudin
Published by: Little, Brown
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Source: BookExpo America 2014
Buy: B&N, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: All That Glows, Wolf by Wolf

730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.


The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!


Did you really give The Walled City a chance?

Yes. I made it about 37% of the way through.

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

Well, I’m not 100% sure what genre The Walled City fits into – it’s set in near-modern times. It’s not dystopian, fantasy, or sci-fi. Maybe just a thriller? A survival story? Whatever it was, it sounded like something that would be gripping, and gritty, and right up my alley.

[It was pointed out to me that maybe this is more “historical fiction” – it’s possibly set in the 80’s, and is definitely based on a real place and on people who may have lived there. (See the answer to my next question, below.) If it is historical fiction… hah. I laugh, because Historical Fiction and I don’t normally get along anyway, sooo make of that what you will!]

Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?

Yes. This book was one of my most exciting acquisitions from BEA, and I was really looking forward to reading it. The titular “Walled City” (called the Hak Nam Walled City in the book) was actually based on the Kowloon Walled City, a real city — or more like ungoverned cluster of buildings — that existed in Hong Kong, until it was demolished in 1994. The Kowloon Walled City housed 33,000 people within 0.01 square miles. (I’ll give you a sec to think about that. …Yeah.) It was a truly horrifying place, with extremely high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use. So a YA book set in this city? WOW OKAY count me in. It sounds dark and gritty and I really wanted it to be awesome.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Blackbird

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!


Waiting on Wednesday – Blackbird
Blackbird Duology #1

Written by: Anna Carey
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 256
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.


Two things. 1) I rarely read straight-up thrillers/mysteries; and 2) I was initially really really really skeptical about the whole… book-written-in-second-person thing. O_O However, having recently read (and loved) Half Bad, I’ve rather changed my mind about second person. There are a few sections in that book which are written in second person; and, to my surprise, I really, really liked those sections. (What?!) So honestly, the second person alone is enough to make me super excited and curious about an entire book written in that voice. And the whole thriller/mystery thing… well, I love fast-paced books… okay honestly I’m really just curious about the second person. XD

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

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Book Review: THE UNBOUND by Victoria Schwab

Exactly one year ago today, I started reading The Archived for the first time. It was one of my very first reviews on TWBI, and it has remained one of my all-time favorites since then. And today, one year after reading The Archived, I am so excited to be a part of Victoria Schwab’s blog tour for its sequel, The Unbound♥ I could not be more excited, and not just because of that lovely coincidence, but also because this book delivered on so many levels.

If you haven’t read The Archived, don’t worry — there are no major spoilers in this review! And there’s an extra-special giveaway at the end! So check it out…

Book Review: THE UNBOUND by Victoria Schwab
The Unbound
The Archived #2

Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: January 28th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 368
Source: Author
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.


There is something about Victoria Schwab’s Archived series that moves me on so many levels. The Archived and The Unbound are both incredibly, beautifully written, and they effortlessly pull on your emotions. They’re exciting, heart-wrenching, intense, and completely un-put-down-able, and they will give you feels like crazy. They’re just… utterly wonderful.

In this latest installment, Our Heroine, Mackenzie Bishop, is desperately trying to recover from the events that took place at the end of The Archived, but she’s suffering from horrible nightmares about the History she faced. This leads to long periods of time without sleep, which lead to blackouts… and worse. Mackenzie feels like her reality is starting to unravel. Add to that, the fact that people around her are disappearing, and Mac isn’t sure if she’s making connections where there are none, if she’s somehow the causes of these disappearances, of if there’s actually something sinister going on… and that people at the Archive may be responsible.

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Waiting on Wednesday – We Were Liars


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!


Waiting on Wednesday – We Were Liars
We Were Liars

Written by: E. Lockhart
Published by: Delacorte
Release date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 240
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


We Were Liars sounds amazing, and unlike any YA contemporary I’ve read recently. I don’t normally gravitate toward “mysteries”, but this just sounds way too good to pass up: A mystery/suspense novel set on a private island, where a tight group of friends are the main characters, and lies and deceit abound…? I don’t know all the recipes for “good book”, but that sounds like one way to do it! And the early reviews of this have all been amazing, if you haven’t noticed. I just need this book in my life immediately.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)