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review 2017-07-05 00:00
Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter - Adeline Yen Mah I liked this book a whole lot more until the last fifty-or-so pages. At that point, it devolved into a laundry list of perceived slights, petty bickering, and old grudges. The narrator, Adeline, went from being winningly naive about her family to being determinedly oblivious, to the point that it made it difficult for me to buy a lot of what she was saying. It began to feel very one-sided, as she portrayed herself as being entirely innocent while everyone else ganged up on her.

Prior to that point, it was a mildly interesting story about a woman who accomplished a lot despite a highly dysfunctional upbringing, set against the rapidly changing culture of China in the second half of the twentieth century.
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review 2017-04-07 00:00
The Attraction of Adeline
The Attraction of Adeline - Lisa Wells ARC Review: The Attraction of Adeline(Off the Wall Proposal) by Lisa Wells

A firmly embedded memory that stays on the mind. Like learning the words to a favorite song or playing a tune out of time. Adie and Jack, bewitched my heart and proved be like a fine wine. The Attraction of Adeline is an emotional roller coaster ride. Adie has all the makings of a beautiful treasure, but her heart and spirit has been broken down by life. Lonely, heartbroken and never good enough, has taught her what it means to be tough. Until shelter from the storm arrives with a relationship of convenience. Jack shares a similar outlook with Adie. Betrayal has taught him to keep his heart on lock down and his head out of the clouds. With one look Adie has made him rethink that. Her shields seem impenetrable. Yet he wants to break them down. Her eyes are pools of heartache, in which he wants to drown. Her heart may be off limits, but his is down for the count. Alluring, heartbreaking and endearing, The Attraction of Adeline is a hauntingly sweet yet soulful journey of courageous hope.
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review 2017-03-20 02:50
Save me
The Attraction of Adeline - Lisa Wells

Adeline is asked by her best friends brother, to play a fake engaged couple.  He needs to impress his boss.  His boss refuses to give him a partnership if he does not have a better half.

 

Jack is seriously attracted to Adeline.  He knows he shouldn't be.  She has agreed to play a part.  He knows how dangerous it is to want more from someone who cannot give it to him.

 

This book was so much fun!  It was funny, sad, sweet, & hot.  The characters seriously made me laugh.  This author always makes me laugh.  This book was a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given to me by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-01-28 05:55
China: Land of Dragons and Emperors by Adeline Yen Mah
China: Land of Dragons and Emperors - Adeline Yen Mah
My knowledge of Chinese history is haphazardly sketched, a combination of what I learned in school, some frantic Google searches, and books. When I was in 10th grade, I was forced to memorize all major Chinese dynasties in order. As I'd grown up somehow thinking that they numbered in the thirties and forties, I was surprised to find that it only took a few minutes, and it turned out to be super helpful later on when trying to mentally categorize information. This little volume will probably be useless to those who have already developed a deep and serious interest in Chinese history, but for me, its clear chronological layout and descriptions of major shifts of power, culture, technology etc. was an excellent refresher.

Following the Warring States Period, China established an imperial dynastic system that would endure for the next two millennia until the rise of the Republic of China in 1912. The major ones:

Qin, 221 BC-206 BC
Han, 206BC-220 AD
Sui, 589 AD-618 AD
Tang, 618-907 AD
Song, 960-1279 AD
Yuan, 1279-1368 AD
Ming, 1368-1644 AD
Qing, 1644-1912 AD

As you read Mah's book, you start to grasp the story of a civilization's progress from thousands of years ago to the country it is today. The establishment of a stable and legitimate government during the Qin and Han, the construction of the Grand Canal during the Sui, flourishing of culture and foreign trade during the Tang, Song, and Yuan, the development of isolationism in the Ming and Qing. The last bit would end up as one of the causes of the humiliation endured by the Chinese at the hands of Westerners during the 19th and 20th centuries, as the world grew more connected and the prestige of Chinese culture became slowly outdated over the years.

The extreme simplicity of language reflects that this is targeted at young adults, which sat well with me. Lots of pictures make it fun and easy to read. The first chapter, describing the meaning of lucky colors and numbers in Chinese culture, is clearly tilted toward appeasing the potential boredom of kids, but after that--by the standards of a general introduction--it gets fairly meaty. (Although at one point, Mah says something like "don't read the next two paragraphs if you're afraid of gruesome violence!"--indicating, again, who this is directed towards.)

There are two periods I wish the book had spent more time on: the period of division between Han and Sui (220-589 AD) and the Five Dynasties Ten Kingdoms period (907-960 AD) between Tang and Song. Both are skimmed over in a matter of sentences. This is understandable considering the way she tries to sketch a coherent narrative over the years, of which extended chaotic periods would be considered interruptions rather than noteworthy times of history in their own right. This is not a criticism, just an indication of small personal curiosity than can easily be fulfilled elsewhere.

Otherwise, I can imagine loving this when I was younger and it makes a very accessible as well as colorful timeline for such a huge subject matter.
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review 2015-11-06 00:00
Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter
Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter - Adeline Yen Mah It was a very sad book. With the tragic event of her mother dying a few days after her birth, Adeline's start to life was already destined to be doomed. With only her Aunt Baba giving attention to her, Adeline is already a very depressed child. Later on , Her Nai Nai dies and this was someone close to Adeline. With already, tow tragic happenings in the short time of Yen Mah's life, you couldn't think of anything worse. Seeing as her mother had dies, she has a cruel and wicked, step mother. It just so happens that in The real Cinderella the 'step sisters' are rude and here the 'stem mum' is rude. Many things happen but the ending was most satisfying. A great but sad book. Excellent Masterpiece.
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