IT seems like the future of local literature is bright after all, with a wave of upcoming writers popping up every other day. Although numerous commentators have noted the decline in local literary culture, especially among the youths, there are young writers who are firing warning shots and showcasing what they can do with the pen. As the saying goes, “dynamite comes in small packages”, and this seems to be the case in the in the recently launched book, “Chaotic”.

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Written by ‘O’ Level student Samantha Chihuri, the book has an interesting plot, with twists and turns that kept me guessing until I flipped the last page.

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It is hard to believe that such a young mind can display that level of artistry, structuring a storyline that is both entertaining and insightful.
\nThe writer highlighted that her imagination knows no bounds, coming up with scenarios which would make any seasoned writer proud. The characterisation also added interesting elements and the writer managed to paint vivid pictures of each character, thanks to her descriptive abilities.

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It was easy for me to create a mental picture of the first person that the narrator comes into contact with from the way she was described. “She wore dark jeans and a stripy top that was too big for her, so one shoulder was slipping off her actual shoulder. Her dark hair was in a messy ponytail and was already falling out of it.”

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Written in first person narration, the central character takes readers on a winding fast paced teenage adventure that traverses both New York City and Mexico.

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“Chaotic” is the story of a young girl, Amari, who has recently moved to New York City with her family and the relationship she builds with her new-found friends ends up reshaping her personality.

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From being a good girl who obeys her parents’ and is terrified by everything, she is transformed into a fearless and rebellious individual through interactions with her friends who give her a taste of freedom.

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The adventures they embark on end up landing them into trouble and the story takes a turn into a cat and mouse chase after being kidnapped by hard-core criminals who ship them across the border to Mexico.

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The way in which Amari’s first day at school is authored clearly shows that the writer has an understanding of how kids behave during such scenarios.

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While the narrator is stating the long list of things she is afraid of, she starts posing questions that any normal newcomer would — “what if I do not fit in? What if I never find any of my classes? What if I do not cope with all this… madness? Would it drive me completely insane?”
\nSometimes Chihuri throws in a bit of humour even under tragic situations.

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Most of the scenarios depicted in the book go beyond the obvious taking interesting turns as the writer introduces fresh angles.
\nOne moment the teenage bunch is sneaking into a Will I Am concert, which seems to be an adventurous manoeuvre at the time, the next they are running away from jewel thieves after Amari accidentally ends up in possession of a stolen jewel.

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Although there are traces of a teenage hand behind the authorship, especially with the short sentencing sequence and the pace at which the story moves, this book is not bad at all.

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For both the young, and the young at heart, this inspirational tale would be a good read.
\nUnderneath the storyline are numerous lessons to be learnt with the author reflecting showing that even if life throws obstacles at you, there is a chance of overcoming them and coming out stronger in the end.