The book Oranges in no man’s land by Elizabeth Laird was horrible, hands down one of the worst books I have ever read, and I’m not trying to be Gordon Ramsey, but get off my reading list. Nothing in the book made you want to read it, and the plot line was predictable. The reader finds himself in Lebanon during a war, bombs dropping, people dying, and food in short supply. The protagonist Ayesha is a ten year old girl who is living in the warzone with only her two brothers and a grandma who has health issues. Unfortunately, Ayesha’s grandma has run out of medicine and it is up to Ayesha to find it. She must travel from one territory to another avoiding the rival soldiers. On top of that, when she gets there she has no idea where her grandma’s doctor is. She faces the threat of asking a child and getting identified by her accent. What will happen when the doctor’s family finds out she's an enemy? How will Ayesha’s grandma survive without her medicine? Sadly, the answers to all these questions can be inferred within the first few chapters. This was a classic Walt Disney ending: happy and predictable!
The book was based in 1982 during the Lebanon war against Israeli defense forces. The main idea of the book is family loyalty. For example, Ayesha watches her brothers, feeds them, and makes sure they are safe. If Ayesha wasn’t dedicated to her family she wouldn’t even try to help her grandma in the slightest. Secondly, another theme is the tragedy of war. When Ayesha’s mother is killed by a bomb falling on the house, they are forced to become wanderers until they find their new home. This shows that most of the book will be based around the war. This book is about social justice, because no one thinks about the people trapped in the war who are the real ones getting injured.
The author uses a writing style of long flashbacks that make up most of the book. It is written mainly in 3rd person; the reader is given Ayesha’s point of view, and I find that it gets annoying after the word “Ayesha” is used too much throughout the book. The simple language reflects the age of the character very well, however, it becomes too basic making it boring to read.
This book is one of the worst books I have ever read! I personally would not recommend this piece of bad literature. Firstly, the book didn’t even spark a bit of interest for me, with its cliché plot, its basic writing style, and bland characters. In addition, the reason why the book has good ratings is because it is based around sensitive situations that are used poorly to entice the reader.
Book Reviewed by Joe DeLano
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