Today I'm going to do a review on one of the first autobiographies I've ever read - Ever. I didn't quite understand what an autobiography meant and I always thought that a book about someone's life, and even about the author who was writing the book, would always still be categorized as a biography. I now prefer an autobiography rather than a biography because I think that autobiographies have more detail in them and things that would not be stated in a regular biography.
Yoshiko Uchida, also the antagonist in this novel (duh -_-), writes about being a young Japanese-American girl in California. Although she was pretty different in looks and ethnicity to the others, she still felt like an American. Things changed though after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and America going into war with Japan. Yoshiko's whole life changed when her family and hundreds of Japanese Americans were sent to live in a concentration camp just because they were Japanese.
For the most part, I really liked the book. I liked reading about Yoshiko's daily life in California and about her family consisting of her parents and her older sister Keiko. I thought Yoshiko had a cute personality and was very fun to read about. I also liked her rants and how she stated her opinions on things, although I did not like how she was very insecure about her features and looks, since most people didn't think she was American since she looked Japanese. Then it came to the whole situation with the camps, and things just turned depressing. Yoshiko and her family had to sleep in stables and use open bathrooms. They had to eat food that was not always clean and was cold. I really felt bad for Yoshiko while reading about her time there, and although I wanted to put the book down since it was just too much for me, I still really wanted to know what was going to happen to her and her family.
Yoshiko Uchida's message to us is very significant and meaningful. We must remember that looks and outer appearances are not what matter and are not what we should judge a person by. I've also had times myself, where I was looked down on for looking different from everyone else and covering my hair. This novel really divulged how I feel at times and how I just want to fit in with the rest of the bunch.
I give this autobiography 6 stars. I thought that it was very happy at the beginning, somewhat depressing in centermost, but very heartwarming and happy again at the end. I think that a lot of people who wants to know more about World War II or about Japanese heritage would love this book. The greatest part about it, is that it's written by someone who actually was Japanese during the war and who actually did endure all the hardships that were experienced by the victims of the camps. Although it was a slow read for the most part, it gave me a good lesson which is the most significant objective for me.
I don't know who my favorite character really was in this novel. Although I liked Yoshiko, I also thought that she was a bit boring at times. I also liked her mother in the story who I thought was a great figure to her daughters and was very considerate and gentle. It would either be Yoshiko or her mother if I were to choose my favorite character in this book.
This novel gave me an imagery of a desert and I was even able to depict a sandstorm or something of that sort that Yoshiko had described happening at her concentration camps. Her camps were located at deserts, so my imagery reflected mostly on them and barns and stables.
(This picture is from michael-balter.blogspot.com. No copyright intended)
Favorite Quote from the novel:
"The secret to wisdom is curiosity" - Yoshiko Uchida