Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See~★★★1/2

Author: Lisa See
Shanghai Girls
Release Date:
February 2nd, 2010
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction

Book Cover: "In 1937, Shanghai---the Paris of Asia---twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree---until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that to repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are---Shanghai girls."

Taryn's Review: This book found its way to me. A while back I had signed up through a link from a friend to receive a free book periodically from Random House. They even sent a bag of white chocolate with the book, which made me very happy for the rest of the day! Books and chocolate: perfection!

I really, really enjoyed this book...until the end. I hate when that happens in books and I was shocked by the direction the author chose to take at the end of the novel. Through sections 1 and 2 the book was written very well and I was captivated by the story. Pearl was a great viewpoint tell the story from, but there were times I would have loved to see things from May's point of view, as her and Pearl were such opposites in how they viewed life.

However, the big "secret" the cover eluded to is so, so, so obvious that I was became frustrated when the character Pearl didn't realize the truth of the secret. How could she not? Honestly, it wasn't a secret at all. It was more about Pearl ignoring the facts in front of her. The end was very cluttered with many things happening within a few pages of one another; part of the clutter most likely stemmed from the fact that See has plans to write a sequel to this book. If See doesn't write a sequel, the end of this book is a massive disappointment.

Overall, the book held my attention very well and was a very good story, but the end was filled with too many things happening at once. The book moved at a well-timed pace for the most part, but in the end time sped up. The commotion at the end kept the book at 3 1/2 stars for me.

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