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Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel
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Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  300 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Bestselling Chinese American author Adeline Yen Mah weaves her authentic accounts of life in China into an absorbing novel about a Chinese girl and her vision of a previous life.

After a fall, CC is whisked away to a hospital. As she drifts in and out of consciousness, she is haunted by vivid dreams that seem strange—yet somehow familiar. Thus begins CC’s emotional journey
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Ember (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 918)
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Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Along the River is really the story of Mei Lan, a privileged chinese girl in the Song dynasty. There is a sweet friendship between her brother Gege, and the servant boy- Ah Li who is an amazing artist with lots to teach Gege, and Mei Lan.
CC is a young woman and the conduit to our story. When she slips and falls, she wakes up drawn to a painting from ages ago, and with strange dreams. Through hypnosis, she relates to her doctor her memories, which is the life of Mei Lan and her adventures.
Jun 20, 2012 Levi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adeline Yen Mah's book, Along the River, for young adults was a pleasant read. She created a fictional world based on some historical facts from China's Song Dynasty.
Adeline, I thought, did a good job bringing the reader into the story. CC is a young girl who takes a fall and has to go to the hospital. While there, she undergoes hypnotherapy and tells the story of a completely different person, Zhang Mei Lan, who supposedly lived during the 11th and 12th centuries in China. The weaving of the
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
More of an infodump about Chinese culture--especially during the Song Dynasty when most of this novel takes place--than an entertaining story. I actually thought this was MG for a while, but it's apparently YA? Eh. I gave up after about 70 pages or so when I started skimming.
Aug 20, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars

Reviewed for

Along the River is a quick read that explores the importance of art and the challenges of growing up. Author Yen Mah offers vivid descriptions of ancient Chinese life during the Song Dynasty. Readers will be entertained by the book's fascinating details about cricket fights, calligraphy, and jade carving, to name a few.

Though the amount of detail was astounding, the pages were often too heavy with facts and lacked enough dialogue to keep the stor
Mar 22, 2012 和泉美優 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aloka
In the 1940s of China, a young girl named CC has an accident of falling down a roof and she regains visions and hallucinations of her past life while recovering in rehab. So one day after her doctor has recorded his conversation with her past life spirit (?), he lets her listen. So begins the tale of a young daughter of a nobleman in the capital city and her friend, Ah Li.

I started reading this book because I thought it would be interesting, and give me a lot of historical facts, but I was wr
Khantey Lim
Feb 15, 2015 Khantey Lim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read any Asian books before in English and this is a great start of Asian books. At first, when I chose this book from the shelf, I got attracted to it with this beautiful Chinese woman and the title, Chinese Cinderella.
However, when I first read it, it didn't sound the same as the Europe Cinderella at all. Later on, it's getting more and more fascinating that I couldn't put it down.
May 04, 2015 Melli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg this book was so good, although it was short, it was great, not going to go into the story, I don't want to spoil it. But the detail and descriptions given in the book and time period were very vivid, as I was reading I could actually picture in my mind the places and people. For me this is what makes a book great I felt like I was there in the story. Definitely would recommend..
Mar 03, 2015 Mikayla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This books had some real flaws in the writing style. Parts of it were super childish and other parts the author was clearly trying too hard. A good portion of the book gave me the impression that it was written by a child.

Might be okay for young kids but considering her other works this one is just strange.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Monica Sheffo for

CC is a young Chinese girl whose own misfortune landed her in a hospital in a coma. When she reawakens three weeks later, she feels and appears fine.

That is, except for an unusual obsession with a painting called "Along the River at Qing Ming".

A session with a hypnotherapist reveals the unthinkable. CC is possessed with the spirit of Zang Mei Lang, a young girl from the Song Dynasty, desperate to tell her story.

Just finished this book for the #underhypedreadathon it had less than 300 goodreads ratings. It was great: 5 out of 5 stars. Historical fiction, Chinese culture, some words in Chinese characters (English translation in parenthesis), art, poetry, reincarnation! Fantastic book!
Nov 25, 2013 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3 1/2 stars.
Intriguing story. The beginning was a bit boring, but once they got to Mei Lan and everyone, it got pretty good. I really liked Ah Zhao and Mei Lan, and how she grew over the course of the story.
One thing I don't understand, though, is why it's a Chinese Cinderella. The only similarity was the stepmother and she didn't seem evil to me exactly. I mean, there were some nasty things about her to be sure, but she hardly seemed like the main antagonist. Actually, it just se
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana Nguyen
The premise for this novel was a romance set in Song Dynasty between two lovers in different social classes. A girl from a well to do family and a barbarian orphan fall head over heels for each other.

I loved the premise for this novel, but the author focused too much on historical details such as the ranking system for nobles, castration, foot binding, and etc. It mentioned the origins of several famous Chinese paintings. Granted, there aren't many historical fiction books out there for young a
CC is running away from a woman who scared/startled her while at the Chinese market in Feng Jie. She almost makes it, but then she falls and is knocked unconscious. She wakes up in a hospital. Recovery seems to be taking longer than expected so the doctor decides to hypnotize her and see if there is something else going on. Listening to the tapes of her session, it's revealed that CC has memories of being a young Chinese girl named Mei Lan over 800 years before. Mei Lan was the daughter of a wea ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting this book to be better than it was. It was an interesting concept, but just seemed to fizzle out. The story just seemed to end without anything really happening. It's probably good it was such a short read or I would have lost interest and stopped.
Jan 20, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this YA novel to everyone who enjoys reading about different cultures.Set in China, this story combines modern and ancient worlds of Chinese culture and family life in a tale of love and friendship.
Feb 23, 2012 Malia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
This book was written for young adults, but it seems very basic, compared to other excellent young adult books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, etc. There wasn't a lot of character development, but even more annoying is that I didn't feel like it really captured any of the flavor of 11th century China. The characters behaved much like modern people and it just wasn't believable to me. I should have stopped reading it, but I'm one of those people who j ...more
Rebekah Sheppard
Very good for young readers. For me, the story was finally moving at the back half of the book. Excellent insight for how life was in China until the 20th Century.
Nov 07, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book 4.5 stars for its lovely descriptions and insightful meaning about art.
Kathy Chung
different cover different title but same story as the Mystery of the Song Painting
Jul 10, 2015 Shelley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish it...didnt' read very much. Didn't seem worth my time...
Jenelle Zhong
Aug 18, 2015 Jenelle Zhong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Favorite book out of all Adeline Mah's books. Loved it.
JiaMin Luo
Jun 12, 2011 JiaMin Luo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CC fell down from the roof. She sees herself living eight hundred years ago, during the Song Dynasty in China. Her name was Mei Lan, she had an older brother and a good friend/servant named Ah Li. And Ah Li was very good at painting and calligraphy.
I love the transition part of the story from the character CC to MeiLan. CC fell and hurt her head. Therefore, out of unconsciousness, CC was able to see herself living as MeiLan during the SOng Dynasty. Then MeiLan fell down while escaping from the s
Rachel Lim
Aug 21, 2013 Rachel Lim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated it and I if could help it, I'll put no star at all. This book is a far cry from Falling Leaves which I've read many years ago and if my memory serves me correctly, it was a great book and nicely written. I dislike the way the story was written. I dislike how the story evolve so quickly without depth. I dislike the fact that there're not much dialogue in this book. Okay... I barely reach 1/10 of the book and I'm judging so harshly. Seriously...... CC(Chinese Cinderella)??? I'm gonna have ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate how they leave you cliffhanging.
Sep 26, 2011 Annamarie rated it did not like it
i thought i would try a second Chinese Cinderella book and i disliked it more than the first i had read. this one basicly has her fall of a roof hit her head end up in a hospital where she stares at a painting and the doctor hypnotizes her and she "relives" a past life that has to do with said painting. was not impressed.
Jan 13, 2014 Richelle rated it it was ok
Interesting in terms of Chinese history and culture, but slow, plodding plot sort of makes it a boring read.
Jem  Langford
The plot had so much potential, but I'm sorry, it's just didn't cut it for me. I was looking forward to a fiery romance between star-crossed lovers, but there was none. I was disappointed and the way the emperor acted did not do well with me.
Feb 16, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
very simple story told well, but there isn't much drama or tension in the novel. I think it might even be read by 5th or 6th graders. I enjoyed the translations and seeing the writings.
Elizabeth Coleman
Aug 18, 2013 Elizabeth Coleman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick, easy, and deeply moving are the three words I would use to describe this book. I love the premise, and the ending (don't worry no spoilers) was breathtakingly different!
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Adeline Yen Mah (Chinese: Yen Jun-ling; Pinyin: Mǎ Yán Jūnlíng; Yale (Cantonese): ma5 yim4 gwan1 ling4) (official birthday 30th November 1937, however real birthday not known, this is in fact her father's birthday) is a Chinese-American author and physician. She grew up in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong with an older sister, Lydia; three older brothers, Gregory, Edgar and James and a younger half ...more
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