{ARC} Book Review: Journey To Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao

November 5, 2013 Review 0

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: Journey To Rainbow Island by Christie HsiaoJourney To Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao
Series: Standalone
Published by BenBella Books on 2013 November 11
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 383
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end—until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island’s Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones—without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.

With the help of her master teacher, Metatron, Yu-ning embarks on a dangerous journey to overcome not only the darkness attacking her home, but also the scars of sadness that mark her own heart. And while most people just see a normal kid, Metatron—and a few other unlikely allies—pledge their lives to the dark-eyed little girl with a magic bow and a crooked grin.

Words could never describe how I despised Journey to Rainbow Island.  I never thought that a middle grade book could rouse such hatred in me.  I mean look at that cover. Isn’t it one of the gorgeous things ever? But good lord, I was far from feeling gorgeous while reading this book.  As a matter of fact, I will only recommend this book if you are under the following situations:

  • You hate your kids and would like to ruin their childhood forever.
  • You are poisoned and you want to induce wretching to take out the toxin from your body.
  • You missed Harry Potter so much and it’s alright to read an icky HP wannabe.
  • You want your kids to hate you forever.
  • You want your school assignment or house chores done.
  • You desperately want to take a break from a reading frenzy.

Journey to Rainbow Island is a story of an eleven year old girl named Yu-Ning. She lives in Rainbow Island where everything is literally perfect.  Everyone loves one another and the island inhabitants only know one feeling, LOVE.  When Rainbow Island and the rest of the surrounding land were threatened by a dark wizard named Hobaling and his conjured obsidigon, Yu-ning—being a Darq Render—must step up and stop him from concealing the land under endless darkness.

I really forced myself to at least enjoy this but alas, every fibre of my being screamed for deliverance from this book. Sure, the premise was really enticing but once I got into it, everything went sour.  I don’t even know where to start.  I might as well enumerate all the things that worked and didn’t work for me with this book.

The BAD…

  • Characters- I LOATHE YU-NING WITH A FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS and STARS. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. There was no development in her character at all. All throughout the story, she spends her time going from one place to another armed with only one saying to solve problems.

“You just have to believe that you have light in your heart and darkness will be eradicated.”

The saying is paraphrased of course but the idea is the same.  I don’t know but she gave me this feeling that she desperately wanted to be the next Harry Potter or Albus Dumbledore spewing endless declaration of love for one another. That the best weapon is love. The way she conquered all the obstacles thrown her way were inconceivable.  She acquired her POWERS with little to no transition at all. I was like, REALLY? REALLY? Not to mention that my eyes are on the verge of popping out from their sockets. Grrrrr.

Imagine an eleven year old girl going from one place to another, solving problems here and there just by speaking the cheesy saying and its derivatives. You’ve gotta be kidding me.  And honestly speaking, Yu-Ning is much better off becoming a Social Worker apprentice rather than being a Darq Render. Every time she solved a problem with her cheesy sayings of love and light, she would then offer the persons involve a home in Rainbow Island.  I never thought that I could feel this kind of hatred for a character.

The others are not even worth mentioning because they’re just useless decorations meant to provide a temporary break from Yu-ning’s cheesiness.  Even the villain seemed like a warm up act.

  • Plot- Jumpy. Saturated with sub plots that are nonsensical. Very linear. Dull. Boring.
  • Interactions and Dialogue- Puke inducer. Icky. Ewwww. Too much melodrama that it will put soap operas into shame.


  1. World Building- Very vibrant. And the maps were awesome. Christie ensured that Rainbow Island is a tempting place to live in.
  2. The illustrations- Lovely. As a matter of fact, it was the cover that made me consider requesting this book. It’s just frustrating that I got deceived.

And so…

Journey to Rainbow Island was a traumatizing ordeal for me.  Middle Grade books are supposed to be one of my comfort reads but after this, I don’t think so.


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