After completing the fantastical novella, The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho, I immediately went in search for another to dive right into. Amazon recommended The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo to me, so I hopped on the opportunity. Yet again, my mind was utterly blown by how magnificently this story was told.
The novella follows a young woman, Jade Yeo, through various journal entries, as she navigates through her mid-twenties during the 1920s in England, working as a writer for a local periodical, and the few people she encounters along the way.
This is something I could rave about for walls of text, but in an effort to keep you all from getting bored out of your mind, and to keep your interest from waning, I’m going to keep this review very short and simple (very much like the novella itself!).
The best part about this narrative is our main character, Jade. She is exceptionally well-read and highly intellectual. Her commentary on the pompous nature of British society as well as the unrealistic expectations her conservative Chinese parents have for her, are offered in a candidly sharp and witty demeanour. Jade’s humour is positively contagious with brilliant quips and retorts. Most of these revolve around the obvious, and sometimes more ambiguous, fads practised during the era, particularly involving the opposite sex.
The journal-like format creates an absolutely delicious atmosphere for reading. She describes in great detail her interactions and isn’t afraid to be intimately honest about her feelings and responses, negative or positive. Most of her notions and beliefs could be construed as terribly taboo and scandalous, as they are very much pro-Feminist ideals. A concept that didn’t receive much warmth or acceptance during the Roaring 1920s. It’ll make you giggle, laugh-out-loud, and maybe even just stare at the pages with your jaw-dropped.
Lastly, the storytelling is so bloody fluid, charming, and highly enrapturing. It’s a simple story about a girl who’s not nearly as simple as everyone thinks (or hopes) of her to be. But the execution is stunningly natural, flowing from one entry to the next with a complete and feel-good fragrance. Also, the humour that I mentioned earlier, is so beautifully British with its sass and jazz that it just makes my heart melt.
Jade Yeo is the type of unrestrained feminist that we need today. I can picture it, and she’s a total ass-kicker. If you like powerful, intelligent female perspectives, a story that spans about 90-pages, and an unforgivably fun reading experience, go check out this novella today!
5 secret kisses outta 5!