Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun

Miles from Nowhere is one of the most startling and brutally honest books I’ve read in a long time. Author Nami Mun skillfully takes her readers deep into the heart of New York City’s world of young runaways. Using and episodic approach through the eyes of a young Korean teenager named Joon, she brings us face to face with some of Joon’s darkest days.

In so many ways this book was very heartbreaking as Joon moves through the episodes unloved, unwanted, and alone. At times she is surrounded with junkies, thieves, prostitutes, and sexual predators. Through most of the book Joon is using drugs and living day to day in shelters, motels, abandoned buildings, and on the street.

As horrific as all of this sounds, Nami Mun has almost poetically written these stories in such a beautiful way that I found it very easy to relate to her character Joon. She tells just enough for you to feel the pain and the episodes bounce off of each other so well it’s not hard to fill in the blanks.

I don’t want to let on too much about the book because the book because there is beauty and hope to be found in this book, but only Nami Mun can tell this story well.

My only two criticisms are that I would have liked to have seen each chapter dated to give the reader a better idea of how much time has elapsed between each chapter and how much Joon might have matured. There are hints, but I would have still preferred a stated date at the beginning of the chapter. I also wish the book was longer. This book is a short, easy read, and the pages flew by quickly in anticipation of a better life for Joon.


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