Friday, August 4

Book Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Author: Lisa See
Title: Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 319
Published: May 2009
Where I Got It: My shelf (Aamazon)

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. 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 petty 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.

This has been on my shelf for a while. I'm not sure why I avoided it. Maybe because I knew it was going to be sad? Not sure, but I regret waiting so long to read this. 

Yes, I was right that this was sad. It was a realistic sad. May and Pearl come from Shanghai. They are close and love each other, but they are polar opposites. Bad things happen and they lose everything. More bad things happen and they are forced to flee China to the US. It was all sad, but there was always an element of hope which made all the sadness bearable. 

I liked Pearl and I saw a little of myself in her which made me like her more. May? Parts of me liked her, but as the story went on I liked her less and less. Yes, I felt bad for her in many ways, but she was a little snot. Same can be said of Joy. Joy needed a smack outside of the head. 

Not only was this entertaining and sad. It also really shows a side of immigration that people should read. People even back then were not the nicest to legal and illegal immigrants. It's horrible how racist some people can be. 

This felt so real and it was beautifully written. I really liked the author's writing style and I want to read more. Beautiful world-building...beautifully written characters...just great all around. 

There is a sequel and I want to read it. Not because I want to find out what happens to Joy, but what is going to happen to Pearl. Joy doesn't deserve a second thought...but who am I I guess? *grumbles* Spoiled, little brat. 

Anyways, this was great. I loved it. I highly recommend that you read this if you even remotely like Historical Fiction. Out of five stars, I'll give this a full 5.