Tag Archives: China

NetGalley Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

Self Published Published July 20, 2014 350 Pages
Self Published
Published July 20, 2014
350 Pages

A young girl living in blissful ignorance during the last days of the imperial Peking, gets a rude awakening when she finds out she is the bastard of a English devil and a Chinese courtesan. What life is there for her? The only choice is to become a expert in martial arts which will help her gain her independence. 

A young boy living in England world changes when his family is torn apart due to the unexpected death of his father. Imprisoned in his own home by his uncle, he must find a way to escape and find his friend who is somewhere in China.

Little do they know, their lives are intertwined and change is the least of their worries.

This book gets a A for effort. But other than that I wasn’t too pleased with this read.

My biggest issue with this book was how slow it was. There is really nothing to say after that. It was very slow and that slowness in the story dipped into the personalities of the characters. They both were brats and felt not only entitled but they also were know it alls.

I could not stand either one of them however, I wanted to know more about where they end up which is why I kept reading.  I liked how the author drew me in with just a hint of what to come.

But ultimately that couldn’t save this book. Even the romance part of it . . .  just couldn’t save it.

Overall, this read was eh. 2 Pickles

Book Review: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

        William Morrow   Published Aug. 6, 2013             368 Pages
William Morrow
Published Aug. 6, 2013
368 Pages

Li Lan, daughter of a genteel who went bankrupt, lives in the Chinese colonies ruled by the British. Although most of the Chinese have given up ancient customs there are a few that still practice.  For instance, the wealthy and powerful Lim family, whom have taken an interest in Li Lan and has requested she become the ghost bride for their dead son.

Li Lan is completely against this. Although she would taken care of for the rest of her life, being the bride of a ghost is complicated. When he husband to be begins haunting her and when Li Lan begins to take interest in her fiancé’s cousin, Li Lan begins to question why the Lam family wants her to be a ghost bride after all.

This was neither a good or bad read. It was interesting.

Firstly, I was surprised at the lack of details and richness in the book. It was as if the world was modern; which was weird considering the story takes place on 1893 Malaysia.  I didn’t feel inspired to know more about the culture. I didn’t see colors in my head throughout the entire book. All I saw was dull black and white.

This made the book boring. There was a lack of excitement; thrill and to be honest love. It is considered a romance but there was no romantic vibe towards it. Not even when the random romance came out of no where. Which really bothered me because for most of the book Li Lan wanted the cousin. Towards the end I though Li Lan was very selfish. There was also no depth about her character. She was plain, fickle, a bit two faced and way too gullible. I was disappointed in her from beginning to end.

The book was slow. For a woman who has the freedom to move about (her father allows her to) there wasn’t much action in finding out the secrets of her fiancé or his family. There wasn’t even a whole lot of suspense either. When things did begin to pick up it was over complicated and all I could do was stare at the wall. Sometimes simple is best and considering that the author decided to write about a ancient tradition with romance and mystery adding characters after characters on top of a fickle, boring woman is just wrong.

I really wanted to like this book. I mean look at that cover its beautiful! The author had a good idea but it wasn’t executed correctly. Overall, the book gets 6 out of 10.

Love, Pickles

Graphic Novel Review: Saints by Gene Luen Yang

         First Second  Published Sept. 10, 2013             176 Pages
First Second
Published Sept. 10, 2013
176 Pages

I loved “Boxers” and had high expectations for “Saints”.

Its 1898 in China and Four-Girl is being raised in a family that does not want nor likes her enough to give her a proper name. After being told constantly by her Grandfather that she is evil she begins to believe such and decides to convert to Christianity which is considered evil to those of that time.

I wasn’t too pleased with this side of the story because it wasn’t a girl deeply in love with Christianity and to be honest I am not sure if she understood the religion completely. I feel that she joined the bang wagon because she had nothing else to go to. Her family didn’t love her and she thought herself as evil. I also don’t feel she died for her religion. I feel she was so stuck in her ways that she went with it.

What did like about the book was the ending and it pissed me off. I feel that the boxers didn’t really believe in what they were doing . . . well some of them and my point was proven at the end.

This book also didn’t prove much details or care as Boxers did. Saints lacked passion and it almost feels like an after thought. There was no personal struggle and really Fourth Girl was boring.

Overall the book gets 7 out of 10. Art work was great I expected nothing less; but the story just didn’t grab me even from a historical point of view.


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