Category: Book Reviews

Raffles Reads: The Heartsick Diaspora

By Huang Beihua (20A03A) and Mah Xiao Yu (20A01B)

A piece of toast held between two chopsticks. It is perhaps an awkward image, but certainly an appropriate cover for The Heartsick Diaspora: this is a book with an appreciation for subtle humour—and certainly much involvement of food. More significantly, however, is the cover’s underlining of the friction, and loneliness, at the core of the book, both of people struggling to come to terms with cultures so foreign to them, yet ones they are bound to pick up.

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Raffles Reads: Holiday Book Bonanza Giveaway

By Raffles Press

Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote reading culture among Singaporean students. For the past two weeks, as part of our Holiday Book Bonanza, we’ve been posting reviews of a variety of books, from Young Adult dystopian fiction to thought-provoking commentaries on the world we live in today.

We loved reading them, and now we want you to have the chance to love them too. Or maybe a family member, a friend, a loved one who wants nothing more than a book as a gift.

And what better way to pass on the joy of reading these books than through a giveaway?

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Raffles Reads: How We Disappeared

By Clara Shen (20A01A) and Kelly Leong (20S07C)

Wondering what to get for your loved ones for Christmas? To us, books certainly make great gifts. And you’re in the right place—Raffles Reads is a new column which aims to promote reading culture among Singaporean students. The books, reviewed by Raffles Press writers, have been provided courtesy of Times Reads.

No one wants to remember the Japanese Occupation, most certainly not Wang Di. In fact, even at the deathbed of her ailing husband, Soon Wei, she still tries to completely avoid the topic of her war experiences. 

This inability of Wang Di to confront her past sets up the novel. From where her husband goes every year on the 12th of February, to what happened to the child she was not to speak of, How We Disappeared is full of secrets that need uncovering. Through the eyes of two very different characters, one is taken on a journey to understand the scars that the Japanese Occupation has left on many in Singapore. 

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Raffles Reads: Wilder Girls

By Emily Ni (20S03C)

Wondering what to get for your loved ones for Christmas? To us, books certainly make great gifts. And you’re in the right place—Raffles Reads is a new column which aims to promote reading culture among Singaporean students. The books, reviewed by Raffles Press writers, have been provided courtesy of Times Reads.

At first glance, Wilder Girls has all the trappings of an apocalyptic novel. A mysterious illness? Check. Quarantined on an island? Check. A rash protagonist? Check.

At the edge of Maine, USA sits the fictional Raxter Island, home to the Raxter Boarding School for Girls. Quarantined against a mysterious illness, the girls only have the wrought iron school gates for defence against the encroaching forest that has twisted in unnatural ways. Adapting to their dire situation, the girls have traded normal academics for firearm training and 24/7 guard shifts. As they use their wits and ingenuity to survive, the girls hold out hope that help is coming—as the line emblazoned on the book cover says, “They told us to wait and stay alive.”

And they have, for one and a half years.

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