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Scar of the Bamboo Leaf

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  32 reviews
"That boy is like the bamboo...foreign and unknown in this environment. But like the bamboo, if you plant and nurture it in the right soil, it has the potential to grow vibrant and strong."

Walking with a pronounced limp all her life has never stopped fifteen-year-old Kiva Mau from doing what she loves. While most girls her age are playing sports and perfecting their tradit
Published July 9th 2014
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Paula M
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, arc
You can also read my review here.



I can't remember the last time I've cried this hard. It's beautiful, people! It's heartbreaking and beautiful.

I'm sorry in advance if you think this review is short. It's just, it's SO GOOD I DON'T THINK MY REVIEW CAN JUSTIFY HOW GOOD IT IS.

If you read the blurb, you'd think that it's another bad boy and good girl love story. But it's not. It's so much more than that. The timeline of the story starts from Kiva and Ryler when they're young and still understan
Sahar Sabati
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are books that make you dream. Then there are books that sweep you off your feet and welcome you into a dream.

Reading Sieni A.M.’s second novel, Scar of the Bamboo Leaf, was a little bit like the latter. Regular readers of my reviews will no doubt remember how much I loved her first book, Illumine Her. Although sporting some typical first-time author mistakes, the book made me dream. Sieni surpassed herself with Scar of the Bamboo Leaf, in which she manages to touch the hearts of readers t
Billie Lawson
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a hard book for me to review. The prose was beautiful and heartfelt with an abundance of culture dispersed throughout the story. Although at times the dialogue felt a little too "mature" for the age of the characters, I still connected to them and appreciated the lyrical nature of her writing. The ending completely caught me off guard, and I am still processing where the author went with their story. I am very thankful for my friend who recommended this book...this author definitely ...more
I had to stifle my sobs because I was in my dorm room. Y U DO DIS???? I HURT... HAHAHAHA


More review at my Jules Bookshelf


I never thought that this book would really touch me in any way because at first, it wasn’t the kind of book that I thought I would like. But it proved me wrong because its one of the most meaningful and touching books I’ve ever read.

I had to admit that at the start I was getting a little bored, it was all an introduction at first, but af
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't put into words how this book made me feel, or how it has tweaked my perceptions. This book struck my soul. It showed me the reality of what strength and beauty and grace are. Kiva is who we should all try to be. Her character is unparalleled.

Read this book.

After more thought I am changing my rating to 5 stars. I just can't get over how utterly amazing this book is.
Tracey Poueu-Guerrero
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have now had a few weeks to recover emotionally. It took me about a day and a half to finish. This book tugged at my heart and soul like no other. There are stories that are entertaining ... then there are stories that will stay with you for far greater reasons. That is how I feel about Kiva and Ryler's story. I love how Sieni includes so many details about the Samoan culture (the good and not so good lol). As an afakasi growing up in the states, I've only had the pleasure of visiting Samoa on ...more
Litiana ✨
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sieni, you are a puppet master of my emotions rite now that I can't seem to contain. This book was definitely a roller coaster ride filled with tears. Thanks a lot (sarcastic tone) lol by far one of my favorite books because I relate it to it more than anything. I especially loved the words of encouragement. Very well thought out. At some point I felt like I was reading my own story. Beautifully written. ...more
Big Book Theory
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this beautifully written novel with real and lovable characters. The story's vivid imagery made me feel as if I was there in Somoa with Kiva. I could clearly imagine her gait, the busride from school, her doing the washing and hanging it. I was immersed in a world of tradition and culture. This is a really, really nice story and it touched me deeply. It made me cry! ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read it in 2 days. I loved the story even though the ending was heart-wrenching. Beautifully done, Sieni :)
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
Feb 11, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: young-adult-ness
A copy of this book was gifted to me by a BVR book junkie. Thank you ♥
Francine Brunt-Collins
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I read Sieni's first book "Illumine Her" and thoroughly enjoyed it so I figured I'd read this too... And I am so glad that I did.

Each and every character in this story, has their own story and you cannot help but to like them all.
The story centers around Akiva. You get to read a few chapters from Ry's perspective but the story is primarily Kiva's.

Kiva is a beautiful soul... Her track of thought, her innocence, her purity - you cannot help but to love her and to want her to be happy. I think
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback
5 "Bamboo girl" stars!

Such a beautiful, honest, heartwarming and inspirational story! WOW. Words cannot express how moving this epic story is.

This book has been on my radar since it came recommended by Amy Harmon. Now, months later, I was desperate for something new, longing for a story that would rock me to the core. And boy did it rock me!

I finished this in the wee hours of the morning, tears streaming down my face. I don't get easily emotional when I'm reading, and ironically enough, the last
Genesis Sheli (Whispering Chapters)
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of The Fault In Our Stars
Shelves: arc-print, blog-tour
If you love The Fault In Our Stars , then you must read Scar of the Bamboo Leaf .

This is a story about finding ourselves, where we belong, what we we're meant to do. Kiva is a great young woman who got a rough start in life when she was born with a leg shorter than the other. Kiva has lived with her uncle Mau and aunt Naomi for her whole life. Her mother, Viola abandoned her and left her with Naomi and she left Samoa, never to return.

Ryler "Ry" got sent to Samoa's Toa Boys' Academy to fini
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to admit when I began the book it kind of dragged, but I endured and was happy that I did. I enjoyed it and being able to connect with the atmosphere in SAMOA and the culture was a big plus for me. I was able to relate to all the situations that occurred. I try to support our Polynesian authors by reading and purchasing their books- so I'm glad I did!

Mativa, born and raised in Samoa, was my favorite character in this book along side her partner Ryler. She was a young artist with a leg len
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, kindle
In this story we follow Kiva from about the age of 15 to around 22. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle in Samoa. This is the first time that I have read anything located in this area of the world, and I loved how the author not only told the story of Kiva, but also weaved in some Samoan culture and tradition, it really opened my eyes to what life is like there.

Kiva walks with a limp as when she was born her legs were not the same length. She feels left out of some of the culture and traditions li
Hannah Harvey
Note: This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review
Scar of the Bamboo Leaf is a book which is best described as stunning. The words flow on the page like works of art, which is apt considering there are such strong links with art in this book.
I found myself pulled in by Kiva's story, and drawn into her world. I loved that through her story I could explore a different culture.
This book has an effortless beauty to it. The writing style tugs at your emotions and gets you really attache
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review **

There are no words I could possibly use that could ever adequately describe how epically beautiful Scar of the Bamboo Leaf is. If you are debating whether or not to read this book, debate no more. Take the plunge my friend! Kiva's story will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

I could write my own version of a synopsis but that's already been done so instead I will toss random phrases at yo
WTF Are You Reading?
Scar Of The Bamboo Leaf is the bitter-sweet tale of one girl's journey to self-discovery, belonging, and acceptance.
Kiva is a girl who has always longed for a place. A place in her family. A place in her society. A place to belong.
Being born with one leg shorter than the other, a condition which gives her a pronounced limping gait, and excludes her from much of the youthful activity of "normal" youths of her age.

For her it is art that has provided her with the much needed refuge that her tender
Ravioli Rachel
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, romance
The second novel by Sieni A.M. takes us back to Samoa. Different than her first book in that we don't have the paranormal twist-- We are however, introduced to a story about growing up, family, and finding yourself.

Once again Sieni is able to capture our attention and describe Samoa with such realism that you want to hop on a plane and visit. This bittersweet story will also capture your heart as we enter the life of Kiva the artist. A girl who doesn't let her disability stop her from achieving
Trisha Perry
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it

This is a very deep and serious book about a girl, Kiva, who could have very well lost herself in the black of the world, the anger, the storm, the despair, the everything dark, as she was dealt a pretty lousy hand as a baby and a child growing up. But her birth mother did one thing right, she gave Kiva to her sister, Naomi, as a baby to raise as her own and to care for and nurture, to love. Naomi and her husband loved Kiva and helped her to grow and see past her disabilities to her abilities as
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sieni A. M.'s first novel, Illumine Her, was richly vivid with Samoan culture, language and scenery. Although a work of fantasy, you felt you as though you were in the very heart of Samoa in a way you would never experience as a tourist. Scar of the Bamboo Leaf also envelopes you in the Samoan way of life but this novel is more real. And I'm not just saying that because there's no fantasy element to this novel -- I say this because its characters are more believable and loveable, its plot more t ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful written, heartfelt and touching story of a young Samoan girl and the boy who stole her heart and soul.
The ending gutted me and I wasn't expecting it but the stunning prose and lyrical descriptions of Samoan life were so realistic, you felt as though you lived there, experienced their life and took this journey with them.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book!!!! THIS BOOK!!! It came out of nowhere as "Would you like to read my book" and it became part of my soul!!!

Full review to come.

It's rare to find diversity in contemporary literature but even more rare to happen upon a book this beautiful.
Trina Hoggan
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roller coaster ride of epic proportions!

A story that was engaging and filled with so much emotion and deep meaning! To see someone overcome so much and still press forward is inspiring!
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There is not much to say except speechless in a good way. Loved the story from beginning to end. I would recommend to anyone
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Been a long time since a book made me cry! Beautiful story!
Marie Joy Arao
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pacific Young Adult Lit

This book was beautifully written! I loved how the different cultures were brought as one. It's 5AM and found myself crying because of this book 😭 I would highly recommend this book to my friends and to my future students. 😊 I've never had this feeling long time ago. I missed this type of pain xD Enjoy reading!❤️
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

Ry and Kiva’s love story is definitely one to not miss. The ending was so unexpected! I cried! Poor Kiva 😭
T.H. Hernandez
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Powerful is the first word that comes to mind, followed by heartwrenching. Scar of the Bamboo Leaf is a coming of age love story that transcends genre. It’s young adult, but it spans more than just the teen years. The story is flawlessly crafted, skillfully told, and evokes all the beauty of one of Kiva’s paintings. Vivid imagery and emotional depth thread through the novel bringing the story powerfully to life. Sieni A.M. has done her research, which is apparent throughout the novel. The s ...more
Miss Mod
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
~~* Miss Mod *~~

Spoiler Free

When I was growing up, I remember movies like The Piano and Whale Rider leaving an undefinable mark on me. There was something about the beautiful, yet lonely landscapes of New Zealand. There was something about the people who have struggled to survive on a new land to some, an old land to others. A people that have been marked by colonization. A people struggling to straddle that line between authenticity and the inevitable evolution of culture.

I'm a bit torn about t
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Sieni A.M. is a world traveler, avid reader, and aspiring writer. She was born and raised in the South Pacific, graduated from the University of Canterbury, and is currently living in Australia with her husband and two daughters.


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