Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Shanghai Girls

The year:1937 Shanghai at that time was the Paris of Asia. This story is a journey of 2 lovely sisters who I imagined as the Paris and Nicole Hilton of Asia when reading the book. Until I got to the middle of the pages ofcourse. :) Pearl Chin, 21 years old and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, May more so than Pearl, modern, very RICH and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he is marrying them off to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles. They also found out that they are basically being sold to repay his debts as he has gambled away their wealth. 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. The author has written beautifully. Making sure that Shanghai is painted nicely and not much concentration of the Japanese invading Shanghai, the book is an easy read and my imagination was fully satisfied by this book. Ratings: 9/10

The Expats

The book was interesting the first few pages. And then it became a page turner, not in a good way. In a way that you want to complete it quickly as you just HAVE to finish the book to know the ending. But towards the end, it got better. The write up was unpredictable, however, the story line was. Having said that, I will still read another book by Chris Pavone. The Expats was my first book by him. And because of the way it was writen, I will read another one. The story: A mom who left her CIA job to follow her husband who has gotten an expat job offer in Luxemberg. Tough she has left the investigative job with her old lifestyle when the family moved, she could not leave her old habbits behind. The book brings us to wondering who is the "agent" here. Her new found friends? Her own husband? Does she even know her husband at all? Who supposedly took a job offer as an IT consultant to help curb hackers hacking into bank security systems. Why I was initially attracted to this book? A couple of years ago, we were introduced to a family of (then 3, now 4) from US who moved to my country as an expat. I got close to the wife and we got pregnant together. Her husband was working as an IT consultant for a Welsh company. He was here to set up or assist companies to prevent hackers into their security system. I was invited to his office, it was a one man show office, in one of the highest towers in the city. It was very basic, one PC, one printer, one desk that kind of office. Due to too many double agent movies and series (I am a fan of Alias and The Blacklist), I kinda imagine him being CIA. :) There were too many conincidence of things happening in SEA that requires him to travel at the last minute to these countries. But then again, due to my very active imagination, I wish that he was an agent investigating SOMETHING here. hahahaha They have now moved to another country after being here for 2 years. Back to the book.... Ratings: 5/10