Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: Shanghai Girls

Initially, this book caught my eye when I was browsing in a bookstore with a friend. I picked it up and began reading it (something I never do in a store), and found myself intrigued. I didn't buy it because I don't buy books I haven't read before, but did get it from the library. Upon completing it, I was very glad that I hadn't bought it...
This historical novel is set in China in the 1930s, and portrays two girls, Pearl and May, who consider themselves modern Shanghai girls-- until their father tells them that he's gambled away the family fortune and that they must travel to America to become Chinese brides. However, then the war begins as Japanese bombs start falling on their beloved Shanghai... The girls' flight from China brings them together in a way that nothing else ever could.
Unfortunately, despite all of their trials, I never really got to the point where I could care about what happened to the characters. Perhaps it was done intentionally by the author to represent the Chinese aversion to touching, but overall, the book seemed flat, empty, and depressing, and the ending left me dissatisfied. I didn't realize it was over until I turned the last page and found that there wasn't any more ("That's it?" I thought). There seemed like there should be another chapter at least, because there were a lot of loose ends. Not really worth reading; much less actually buying.

1 comment:

missprint said...

Not actually related to the post at hand, but this is an official invitation to join my "Finding the 'good' parents in YA Lit" challenge and post your own list of books with "good" parents.

You can find all the information here:
http://wp.me/p6kfM-LB

Thanks!