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Boade Mandeng
Rise from the Blue
The book tells us the story of John Nobola, an immigrant of color who came to the United States of America with high hopes of finding refuge and happiness in a noble society. Once there, he realizes that many things have changed, over the course of a few years, from promising to deteriorating. Nobola witnesses various scenes of social violence and destruction; he is then critical of one wing of the political hierarchy which in particular favors those behind the social unrest. At the end, he feels the disappointment that the America he had dreamt of may be leaning backwards. Often, Nobola takes his frustrations out through public events, social media and conversations with friends and family. Still he remains hopeful for a better future of the country and praises the efforts of some very patriotic politicians.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Mandeng delivers an effective story of an immigrant's changing perspective on the country he once idealized. The work is somewhat weakened by a tendency to "tell" over "show."

Prose: Despite the intriguing and moving circumstances, the sentence construction and dialogue can come across as flat. 

Originality:  Mandeng offers a fairly fresh portrayal of one individual's experience adapting to a new culture and discovering its systemic flaws. 

Character Development/Execution: The characters' personalities can come across as rather on-the-nose at times. The dialogue doesn't consistently uplift the characters and ultimately weakens the realism of the narrative.

Date Submitted: August 10, 2022