I’ve talked a lot about light novels from Japan and wuxia novels, so I should also talk about light novels from Thailand, where I’m from.
I have mixed feelings about this book, and I’ll tell you why.
My Girlfriend from Russia (I don’t know what the official English title is so I’ll call it that) is a light novel published by Palo Publishing.
One day, Cha, a single romantic novelist received a phone call from his ex, asking him to meet up at her old house. There, he met Anastasia Yada Palov, a half-Thai-half-Russian elementary school girl who is his ex’s daughter. It turns out that his ex needed to go abroad to treat her illness, and asked Cha to take care of her daughter for the time being.
Cha then had to take care of this young girl and help her adjust to a new country and a new environment, with both struggling with cultural differences, and the two learned a thing or two and grew along the way.
Honestly, I bought the book because I thought Yada was cute and didn’t bother looking at the summary. When I found out that it’s about a guy and his ex’s daughter that had a crush on him, I was scared. But it wasn’t that bad.
This book, like other light novels, have illustrations inside which were really cute. Yada’s design on the cover is different from her design in the illustrations, though. I don’t know why that is.
Okay, so let’s address the elephant in the room: is this book about child grooming? No. At least I don’t get that vibe. Although Yada had a ‘crush’ on Cha, Cha considered himself strictly as her guardian and tried to guide her through her feelings. He’s also always supporting her as a guardian should. I see Yada’s feelings more puppy love, but maybe I could be wrong. The author tried very hard to evade the child grooming landmine, and I think he did it pretty well.
The book is mostly about the daily lives of the main characters. The main conflict was about Yada getting bullied in school because she was a halfy, and because she spoke English on her first day of school. I had a similar experience. I was mocked for speaking English in a bilingual school, and when I moved to an international school, I was mocked because my accent when speaking English was very Thai. That’s why I respect Cha’s serious efforts to help her from the bullying.
What bothered me was the font they used for Russian text… it’s, like, why can’t you use Calibri light or something? I learned Russian before so I’ve had times where I had to type Russian, but there are other fonts that looks less… boisterous? On the page than the one they’re using.
Another thing was the price. I get that it’s an indie publisher so the price will be higher than others, but man, it felt really short for a 300 baht book. And why are the other editions only 280 while mine is 300? I don’t understand.
One last thing, and this is the point why I have mixed feelings about this book, was my experience when I bought it. I usually buy my books either online or at my regular store, but this is one of those times I went to a book convention to get this book. And to put it simply, the staff didn’t talk nicely with me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the wrong demographics (this book is meant for guys, and I’m a girl) or because I’m not familiar with their style or I’m overreacting or what.
All in all, pretty good book, a bit too short, minus the thing that happened when I went to buy the book, it was pretty good. This has a sequel which I’m not gonna read because I don’t wanna read about mother and daughter liking the same guy. That’s it. Thanks for reading my review. See you later.