Number of pages: 328
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 3
Here is yet another book to add to the list of books that are perfect, that I just didn’t like. I always feel conflicted when rating these kinds of books. Do I go with five stars because everything in the story fits perfectly together and I don’t think I can find a single fault (especially not after finishing this book weeks ago), or should I rate it three stars based on my personal experience with it? Naturally, I’m going with my I-have-no-idea-what-to rate-this-so-this-doesn’t-necessarily-mean-I-liked-it rating of three stars.
Maybe what didn’t click was the fact that this book is supposed to have some deeper meaning/ hidden metaphor, and I’m just not that kind of reader. When reading The Great Gatsby for my English class last year, I had absolutely no idea that any of the supposed symbols (ex. the eyes on the billboard) had any significance/ deeper meaning. I simply thought the eyes on the billboard were just eyes on a billboard, not the eyes of God or whatever Spark notes says all those minute details supposedly mean. I didn’t get a deep, inspiring message from this book; all I got was a book I didn’t enjoy.
Like I said above, everything in this book fits the story perfectly. The slow pacing, the characters, and the writing all came together to create a legend-like tale that is a rare find in YA. Speaking of writing, I feel like E. K. Johnston is a very versatile writer. Granted, this is only the second book of hers that I have read, yet her writing style appears to change to fit the story, which I find really interesting (side note: I recommend you check out her other book Exit, Pursued by a Bear. It is one of the few contemporary books I have enjoyed). A Thousand Nights truly reads like a legend that has been passed down through the generations.
Also, do not compare this book to The Wrath and the Dawn, the other YA 1001 Nights retelling. They are nothing alike. In fact, I thought I would be comparing the two more, but I don’t think I did so more than once. A Thousand Nights reads more like a classic than a YA book.
Overall, A Thousand Nights was ambitious and well executed, but it just wasn’t for me. As a result, I give A Thousand Nights 3 stars out of 5.