Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society - Adeline Yen Mah Yet another review by yours truly! So here's the story: I went to the library to pick up a few books, like I usually do, and I saw this amazing beauty on the shelf. I just love the cover. It has a dragon people! A dragon! Do you know how much I bloody love dragons? (It's one of the main reasons I love Eon but Allison Goodman so much!) Anyway, when I saw that cover and read what it was about, I just had to take it home with me. I mean, it's about a girl who is treated harshly by her stepmother whilst being thrown into what the Chinese went through during WWII with some fantasy elements mixed in. How could I resist? However, I was disappointed once I started to read it. As a historical book about the war, it's an amazing read. Buy as a fantasy book with a Cinderella twist, it was sorely lacking. There really isn't much to the plot and the characters are bland as hell. I was hoping to get a lot more out of it... too bad I didn't.

Adeline Yen Mah's writing style was very simple. Almost juvenile. I'm not too big of a fan on her writing style. I thought, given the subject matter, it should have been a bit more complex. Although, considering this is meant more for children than it is for, say, a historian, I do not fault her for writing this book so simply. The historical facts are written clearly and to the point. No one will be able to overlook something because of it. And trust me, I did enjoy those aspects of the book. Now, for the parts of the story I thought Mah could have improved on. The fantasy parts. Where's the fantasy? There were only two scenes that had some kind of fantasy twist to it and even then, it is very hard to see it. If Mah's main goal was to let people know how the Chinese suffered during the time of WWII then she should had written a book solely on that. But no. She wanted to write a "fantasy novel that included a lot of realism." you even know the meaning of "fantasy?" Oh well, I'm just being picky. Another thing should could improve on were her characters. I'll explain why below.

They. All. Had. The. Same. Personality. I'm not even kidding. There were no distinctions between the behavioral patterns or how they talked. Every single one of them was so boring I had to force myself to keep my eyes open. Besides having one trait that made them stick out from the others (one was great in martial arts, another was very smart, etc.), they all acted the same... as if Mah didn't know how to change her characters personality. Not even Ye Xian(or CC), our protagonist, had anything remarkable about her. (The only thing that made her awesome was when she bit her stepmother... was that a spoiler?) Speaking of stepmother, she's the only other character that had a different personality but that's because she is supposed to be overly bitchy. I didn't like her... What can I say? I was not a fan of the plot of CC being abused by both her stepmother and father and the characters being all the same with the exception of one. Come on, Mah! You could have done better in that aspect!

I can't really talk much more about the book. It's very short and I fear I might let something slip if I keep going. As I've said, it's a decent book. If you are looking for a book that shows the Chinese side of things during the war then pick this book up. It will not disappoint you then. However, if you are looking for a fantastical adventure that incorporates the story of Cinderella and WWII, then you're are going to be disappointed. I know I was. Then, you must be wondering why I gave it a three? Well, it's great with the historical facts, you get to picture China in your mind, and I just love Marat (he's one of the few characters I loved in this book on account of the fact he knew a whole bunch of languages)! And we all know how much I love languages. (I may be a little biased towards his character... XP) Anyway, if you're curious, go ahead and pick this book up! But I advise to get it from the library first then purchase it if you really like it. Well, that's all from me today! See you soon with my next review! ^_^