Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Jungle and I have for you all my review of this book that gripped me from the very first page.
First though, here’s some information about the book.
About the Book
There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers?
Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world’s most inhospitable environments the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many ‘unaccompanied children’, the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality all of its own.
A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. But despite his ambitions to escape, Mico is unable to buy his way out from the ‘Ghost Men’ the dangerous men with magic who can cross borders unnoticed. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing.
But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll show you the way out as well.
There is a lot going on in the world today. Yesterday something awful happened in London. Every day awful things happen in third world countries and this is what this book really gets you thinking about. Set in the migrant camp in Calais it allows you to take a step out of modern world comforts and into the thoughts of those who suffer and seek asylum every single day. Often in the media, refugees and migrants are not looked upon as humans who just want a better life than the one they had, they’re portrayed as vermin who are trying to steal our jobs and homes. This book is powerful in portraying just how human refugees and migrants are.
Pooja Puri has picked a very sensitive topic to write about but in my opinion has written a book that really works and automatically pulls at your heart and emotions. This book is different to other YA books out there as it doesn’t follow a traditional plotline but it also doesn’t need to. This is a book about hope. It is a book about desperation and despair. A book about friendship and family and a book about dealing with life the best way you can. And Pooja has managed to do this incredibly well.
There was a vast array of characters in this book and it really shows the differences between people and how we can all come together, no matter our backgrounds. Our main protagonist is Mico who goes on a very interesting journey in the book. I found him to be a unique character to read about. My favourite character though is Leila. She is fierce and strong but also weak and vulnerable. She has been through a lot and goes through a lot but still has a fiery passion underneath. A marvellous character to read about.
Safe and Alive
All in all this book is powerful and unique. I would definitely be interested in reading more books like it. It’s a relevant topic and a book that can make people more empathetic towards refugees and migrants. This book gives them a story and it makes them real and human. It reminds us that they are not bad people, they are just people trying to live a better life. This book is one that I would highly recommend. It is a book that will really make you think.
About the Author
Pooja Puri first tasted publishing success with her short story, ‘Chess’, and later graduated from King’s College London with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature. Whilst at university she read for a publishing house and has since worked in the education sector. In 2014, she was chosen as a winner of the Ideas Tap Writer’s Centre Norwich Inspires competition. She will soon be embarking on a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.