This Book Contains Crude Language, And Graphic Scenes Of Sexual And Domestic Violence This Is Now The Official Prequel To The Light Of The World, But You Can Read Them In Any Fucking Order You WantIt SKimmy Ho S Never Really Been Happy And Thinks Her Life Sucks She S Not Really Good At Anything Or At Least, That S What Her Mother Says But Music Makes Her Feel Better, And Gives Her Something To Live For Then, She Gets Raped On The Day Kurt Cobain S Found Dead And Her Life Begins To Suck Even From His Death Comes Her Cross Dressing Imaginary Friend Joey, And Her Budding Romance With Walter, The Skinny Kid From Special Ed Walter Shows Her Love And The Ability To Feel Pleasure Again, But Even He Can T Make Everything Better Not When He Also Awakens A Lust For Violence And Revenge That She Never Knew She Had Inside Her I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago, but have struggled to write a review Reading it was a raw, visceral experience I laughed I cried I raged I don t know that I can adequately distill that experience into something akin to an essay after the fact This book is about what it feels like to be a woman in late 20th early 21st century America, and that s something you either understand or you don t I don t know that it can be explained Just read the book. This book is exactly what it claims to be a fun, messy romp through 90s pop culture, from the death of Kurt Cobain to post punk and goth It s also way, way .Miss World doesn t just lightly skim the surface of issues like not fitting in, sexual exploration, and growing up in a traditional Chinese household No, Miss World dives right into the deep end of the pool and smashes its head against the concrete twelve feet below Sure, all that typical teen angst stuff is a part of it and a fun part, too But the novel also explores tough questions like what is rape, how many times does a girl have to say no for it to count, where does tough love stop and parental abuse begin, and what happens to the recovery process when a girl finally says out loud what happened to her.For me, this novel is at its strongest when exploring the first faint stirrings of love It took me right back to a time when it was possible to not only meet a kindred, but to also let that kindred s presence heal you Besides the music, that s what I miss most about the 90s.Fair warning this book does not belong in the hands of wimpy readers It boldly and graphically describes things like vaginal discharge, STDs, sexual abuse, and mental breakage due to post traumatic stress disorder But as Kim slowly climbs out of the hot mess in her head, the story becomes triumphant in a small way This gradual recovery makes the whole accumulated disaster of her teenage years seem worth something, because she has survived on her own terms. I can see some may like this, but it s much too graphic and vile for my liking I feel very disconnected to these characters too I don t understand some of the choices Kim has made I despise her parents, her aunt and her friends I don t even know why she s friends with these girls I don t understand her uncle Is he really an uncle And she watches porn with him That just makes my skin crawl I would not consider this a young adult novel at all even if the characters are teenagers It s full of foul language and descriptive sexual scenes that I would only recommend to adults who are into raw, promiscuous novels It simply wasn t my cup of tea Forof my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads My initial interest came with the title for the book not gonna lie about that I grew up with Hole and Nirvana on the radio, so it s a comfort area for me Luckily, Randi was awesome enough to send me a copy of this for review The synopsis got me, and Ior less read it in one sitting Yeah, it was that good It lets everything hang out, and for that, I must applaud Black for doing what so many authors choose to not do tell ugly truths about young adults teens, no matter what the time period.This book isn t just about Kim s journey to healing after an awful event, but it s about the healing of a hurt generation, a generation that found healing in musicthan anything else Going into reading this, I knew that those born during the 1990s who read this now won t get a lot of theobscure and awesome pop culture references and thanked my lucky stars that I was a Gen Y Millennial baby But Black writes this so well that it transcends the generational divide, the pop culture divide, and speaks to the hearts of hurt and angry girls everywhere It certainly spoke to mine.The early 1990s was a very scary time I was 9 when Kurt Cobain killed himself, and I remember crying about it for days I had a huge crush on him, and I was nine Go figure Reading this book was like comfort food for me, if just for the pop culture content alone I listened to L7 I wanted to go to Lollapalooza I wished I was older than I was at the time so I could hang out with people that would get me I felt alien as an Aspie in my GATE classes with the highly gifted, so I pissed off the teachers and my mother got quite a few phone calls from the school.But luckily, my mom was loving We had some had times, but she was nothing like Kim s mom here I guess you could call Kim s mom a traditional Tiger Mother , the term coined by Amy Chua in her book about Tiger Mothers published earlier this year The line between wanting the best for your child and abusing your child through that wish is razor thin, and Black really emphasizes this It makes me wonder how much of this book is autobiographical in content.Black writes of the Northridge Earthquake as being a sign It felt that way to me too, as if the world was telling everyone to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down and behave Norace riots, nowildfires, noAIDS patient LGBTQ bashing Just shut up and get along with each other Through Kim s voice, speaking of the quake really rattled something in me, and in a good way It s hard to get that deep with an author of any genre, yet Black cut to the quick of me just with the mention of the quake alone Possibly because I still have nightmares about that late night early morning in Brentwood where we had to flee the building after a gas leak possible explosion I have to say I LOVED Joey I had quite a few imaginary friends myself and a lot of stuffed animals , but no one as awesome as him If I could, I d still love to have an imaginary friend like him, angel food farts and all He was Kim s rage, her inability to effectively express that rage and ultimately, the method in which she led herself to becoming whole or somewhat whole after the Kevin Incident Incidentally, the bit about the ads in the back of Spin and other magazines I remember looking over those and giggling and wondering what they were on about Up until I prank called some of the numbers in there one summer Just like today s predators use the internet, back then they used magazine ads and whatnot to catch their prey Kim, so desperate in her need for validation of a self separate from her parents and to be loved, used those ads until it all bit her in the ass The moment she accepted what happened to her even if it didn t stop the flashbacks , started standing up to Tiger Mom, the need for Joey ceased The moment she started to love herself, he exploded back into her subconscious.Ultimately, this book is about Kim s need to feel a sense of self outside of being a girl, outside of her Tiger Mother, outside of school and friends and what Kevin did to her And through 1990s American pop culture, her imaginary friend, and her love for music, she gets through to the other side The music, especially, is important Those born during the 1990s won t understand this, but Nirvana and Hole were a force of nature They healed all of the broken Gen X and early Gen Y kids, told them they weren t alone, that the world wasn t as fucked up as it seemed If you listen, even now, that message still echoes across radiowaves from nearly twenty years ago No one from the 2000s onward has achieved what Nirvana and Hole, L7 and Nick Cave and the rest of the alt rock movement did At least, not yet Kim couldn t scream, but Courtney Love screamed for her That s Gen X they couldn t shriek, but their music could and did for them And that very element of healing through music will always cross the generational divide.Black, through Kim s misadventures, tells us that it s okay to be messed up on the outside, that it s okay to be imperfect And as I constantly have self esteem issues especially body image issues , this, for me, was a very special important read Many authors have tried before and failed to get to me, but Black did it easily I m still trying to parse out why, but perhaps it s because Kim is unpretty , yet she s smart, she s courageous, and she doesn t give a damn about what you think about her.For those of you out there that have your noses up in the air because this is from an indie press that does have small copy edit mistakes involved swallow your pride and read this book I hope that some major publisher takes note and makes thisreadily available to everyone in bookstores, though it does have free reign over the net thank god for e books If you re Gen X or Gen Y, this book will bring back memories and immediately put you in a comfort zone that no longer exists If you were born later, this will all seem very foreign and strange to you But disregard all of that and read it This is what the contemporary young adult novel should be It s blunt, it s graphic in parts, but it s all truth We need a little less Sarah Dessen no offense to Dessen fans out there, but andRandi Black in our YA lit This is what reality looks like, and it s not always pretty on the outside but radiant on the inside posted to goodreads, librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com As William Burroughs and only William S Burroughs could have typewritten the brutal report on the 1940s underworld that is Junkie, Randi Black and only Randi Black could have created and unleashed upon the world the raw judgment of the 1990s that is Miss World When Lolita a book which at the time of its publication had a similar underground cred and zeitgeist shock value was originally distributed by Olympia Press, it was a two parter Two volumes Two sick pale green paperbacks And Nabokov took advantage of this staggerstep and ended the first volume with Humbert remarking You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go italics mine And Miss World the first of a planned trilogy the edition from Powell s includes an excerpt from the followup, Two Sides of the Beast pushes the pause button also in a haunted haunted hotel room with Kim a Lolita variant, I guess, having nowhere else to go at the moment by choice, by strength.In this symbolic crypt Americans know, they know, that the comfort and solitude of a roadside rented room has allowed the perpetration ofhorror and violence,mildewed shower curtains, per square inch than any modern war zone Kim waits solo for her birthday to arrive And the book s closing phrase, parting shot, notes Onehour is left italics mine We readers are not allowed into that hour Yet That hour, and beyond, we can only assume will reveal the shape of an altogether different beast than the beast that was previous 18 years Perhaps the spontaneous generation of a new animal made not of hair and fangs and scales but an animal of time and opportunity, the introduction of the Ghost Fox to an alternate universe Chinese Zodiac. Well I must say Miss World is like no other book I have read, Saying that its not a bad thing BUT The harsh reality of A teenager trying to fit in, feeling uncomfortable within herself and will do anything to escape the life she lives in. and of course somewhat scary and true Blending in the 90 s rockstars, guitars and pop a great mix of everything in quite a book The era where There was Sex, drugs and rock n roll Comes to mind Kim ho sleeps with men whom she thinks she can benefit from to leave home , to having imaginary friends, and suffering sex ploits at the hands of a older man Randy Black has not held back has dared to venture into the teenage world where life is not easy. Sex can be messy, friends can suck, parents trying to hold a teenager under there thumb to follow there chinese customs Harsh yet so true Its the 90 s Kim Ho wishes she were Courtney Love, her real life Kurt Cobain, comes along and Kim will do anything to keep him, till she realizes he is nothing like the real thing He exploits her, uses her but somewhere along the way he has made her feel somewhat special, but to Kims dismay he leaves her with something that becomes every girls nightmare Randy has put everything on the table in this book, hasnt held back just gone forth with alot of description and details If your uncomofortable with profanity, sex talk details involving sex then this book is not for you.It can be crude, suggestive, and f ing is througouht this book, This book is Kim Ho s journey, living within a chinese family, being chubby and feeling ugly and unwanted and constantly reminded so. Its ugly in some parts, and I must say I felt sorry for Kim on many occassions Her mother came across a ruthless bitch, uncaring at times , insensitive and the harsh reality is this could be true You will laugh, frown, and shake you head on many occassions. and even want to jump through the book and shake her mother silly A book about the becoming of age, and Kim s quest to get back what was taken from her I read this book in less than a day, certainly kept me interested the entire read I think as a reader I was interested to see if Kim got to see some light at the end of the tunnell THe storyline contains many truthful facts that young teenagers do come across, the hurt, betrayl, and feeling like an outcast, this was well placed throughout Defienlty an eye opener If you liked the 90 s era Sex, rock n roll, drugs and Kurt cobain etc then this read will certainly interest you I will be reading book two to see how Randy puts forth Kims new life. Every teens dream is to fit in. but at what cost to them There are many different reasons why we like to read books but there is one reason that I prize above all others and that is to feel a connection with someone It s difficult to predict when this will happen All the marketing in the world can t drum up an authentic human experience if it s not there in a novel and you can scour a bookshop in vain for something that will reach out and touch you.It often happens when you re not expecting it and when it happens you re reminded of why you re addicted to reading and why it s the best investment of your time ever.I downloaded this book to my Kindle some weeks ago and I skimmed through it out of curiosity At first I didn t think I would like it But I came back to it after a few days and settled down to read it properly Then I became totally absorbed.Usually I discuss what I m reading with my flatmate I ve got to stop doing that Sometimes the books I m reading disappear This time my Kindle disappeared.For days.Luckily I had a backup of Miss World on my computer and my iPhone.It s also lucky that I am a faster reader than my flatmate, otherwise she would have totally ruined the story for me because she couldn t stop talking about it over dinner every night even though the events depicted are not suitable for discussion at the dinner table.We both thought of Amy Tan when we read this novel In case you don t know her, Amy Tan was born in California to Chinese immigrant parents and is the author of the novel The Joy Luck Club.Being overseas Chinese ourselves, we enjoy the novels of Amy Tan But whereas Amy writes about connecting with her Chinese heritage, Randi writes about how it feels to be an American teenager, which makes her writing, to my mind, muchimmediate,raw andpersonal.But the Chinese influence is still there Anyone who is Chinese will immediately recognise the evil Aunt Tai and the controlling, hypocritical Chinese mother.It s an uncompromising novel Everything is laid bare The tone is deadpan but the writing shows great sensitivity and humour It is at once irksome and deeply pleasurable It s compelling, moving and funny In many ways, it s what novels were invented for. Do you remember the 90s The MC Hammer pants, the Vanilla Ice haircuts, that time when we all thought Guns N Roses was cool. Visit full reviewI wouldn t call Miss World a fun, light hearted, lets gush over the Grunge Era book While it does take place in the era I grew up in and loved , it isabout the darker side of a teen girls life that happens to take place during 1993 94 Old school Chines values battling New school American ones, imaginary friends, loneliness, bullying, rape, are a few of the things that take place in main character Kim Ho s life Kimmy Ho is not a bully, mean spirited, she s intelligent, caring, an all around good kid Only she wasn t good enough Not for her super strict, often cruel mother, the lemmings at school, not even for herself The all encompassing loneliness she often felt was a shining beacon that attracted jerks.The author brilliantly and poignantly captures Kim s emotions and life experiences She is a character I will remember long after the series is done Randi Blacks story is often dark and turbulent Like the sea before a terrible storm You don t want to be immersed in such a painful and raw story, yet its so compelling you cant help yourself Everything about the book from the writing style to the characters could be considered raw, choppy, unedited, a diamond in the rough Randi Black writes with this intensity and gruffness I have not seen before No matter the scene or character I always felt every.single.emotion as if it were me and not the character in question I was thoroughly encompassed by what was unfolding on the pages before me.The ending made it obvious a continuation is coming in 2013 I for one can t wait to see where life brings Kim and Walter.