Book Reviews

Review: Girl Giant and the Jade War by Van Hoang

I’ve tried to read more middle grade series this year and while I haven’t exactly succeeded…I am trying! Girl Giant and the Jade War continues the Girl Giant and the Monkey King series. And this one is full of themes about trust, betrayal, and friendship. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


In this sequel to Girl Giant and the Monkey King, Thom and her friends set off on a far flung adventure to save the Heavens and the Jade Emperor from certain destruction.

Thom Ngoh thought the Monkey King was her friend―he taught her to control her super strength and to stand up for herself. But really he was just using her. He tricked her into stealing from the Heavens and releasing him from his 500-year prison. Now the Monkey King is waging a war against the Heavens and Thom must do everything in her power to fix the mess she made.

Determined to prevent a war, Thom and her dragon friend Kha set off on an adventure across the Heavens to search for allies. But with the stakes higher than ever, the price for help may be more than Thom is willing to pay. . .


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

While it was easy to get swept away with the action in Girl Giant and the Jade War, I loved the themes the most. It begins with action and high stakes almost immediately. For Thom she has to contend with the consequences of her actions plus the realization of her betrayal. Because while not everyone can relate to a huge war brewing, we can relate to trusting someone and having them betray us. Of feeling foolish for believing in someone.

In Girl Giant and the Jade War, Thom questions just how much of us we inherit. She has to figure out how much of us are defined by our nature. That people aren’t inherently all good or bad. It’s a big truth to reconcile. To have to see all these shades in between And while there’s these high stakes, it’s also a book about hurt and revenge. About being pushed further than we want to be and feeling like we have no choice.


Girl Giant and the Jade War explores themes of hurt, revenge, and forgiveness. It’s a thoughtful sequel which stresses the importance of teamwork, of how we can rebuild trust, and how we make amends. At the same time, it illustrates how far we will go to feel seen, when we feel we’ve been pushed too far. It’s such a fabulous sequel which balances these themes and action.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Girl Giant and the Jade War on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite book that delves into friendship?

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