“Shanghai Girls” Review

Amber Robinson, Business Manager

Two Chinese sisters are forced to live a life that neither had ever thought of living. An arranged marriage, an angry father-in-law, and the fear of never living their own lives. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See is a must-read for anyone who loves an adventurous, romantic, or heart-breaking story.

Once I started reading Shanghai Girls, I was surprised that it wasn’t a completely awful story. The majority of stories that I have been required to read for English have been boring, so I assumed that Shanghai Girls would be the same. Two sisters thrown into arranged marriages to strangers just didn’t seem ve­­­­­­ry interesting to me. I was proved wrong.

Because of their father’s debt, May and Pearl are forced into marriages to two American men they’ve never met. They do everything in their power to stop the marriages but are unsuccessful. After their husbands leave for America again, the sisters stay behind, hoping no one will come back looking for them. But once the Japanese army invades China and the Green Gang threaten their safety, the girls are forced to leave for America and go “home” to the husbands they never wanted.

The majority of the story was really good. There were a few parts that were boring, but they never lasted more than a few pages. Until part three. It was the exact same length as parts one and two, yet it felt like it dragged because nothing happened. The author basically said the same thing over and over again, and what she said was of little importance. Don’t get me wrong, stories with lots of detail are great, but this was taking it overboard.

For the most part though, there were only a few dull moments in Shanghai Girls. After all, running for dear life, avoiding danger by mere inches and emotional rollercoasters are enough to keep any reader captivated.