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An Ocean Apart, a World Away

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  279 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
While most 16-year-old girls are planning their weddings, Xueyan, known as Yanyan, has no interest at all in marriage. She is fascinated by medicine. In China in 1921, women rarely attend university, let alone medical school. Still, Yanyan is determined to become a doctor. But Yanyan’s feelings about marriage change when she meets Liang Baoshu.

An outstanding scholar and ma
ebook, 208 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Laurel Leaf (first published June 11th 2002)
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Xueyan aka Yanyan is eager to finish at the American missionary school near her home in Nanjing, China and go to college to become a doctor. She is envious of her best friend Ailin who is leaving for America. When Yanyan goes with Eldest Brother and his friend Liang Baoshu to Shanghai to wave goodbye to Ailin, Yanyan gets more adventure than she bargained for and finds herself strangely attracted to Baoshu and him to her. She must make a difficult decision about her future. Can she have the life ...more
An Ocean Apart, A World Away is basically a story that deals with a young Chinese girl who wishes to take medicine. The story takes place about 10 years after the 1911 Revolution (toppling of the Qing Dynasty). The main character (a Chinese girl) is born into a fairly liberal well-off family who sends her to a Western-run school. Experiences at home, with a close friend, and with what one can call a “lover” leads the main character to re-think her decision to take up medicine. Eventually though ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1. This book is about a chinese girl Yanyan from Nanjing, who is torn between following her dream to become a medical doctor or running away with her brother’s friend. She went oversea to American and started studying more about medicines. Life in america was different than living in China, as she slowly adapts into her new enviroment.
2. I give this book a 5 star because I enjoyed reading it. While I was reading this book, I did not want to put the book down. I found this book to be entertaining
Jan 25, 2009 Jinbin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: advisory08-09
Yanyan, a sixteen year old Chinese girl, plans to attend university and become a doctor in the future. While many girls in China in 1921 get married at this age, Yanyan takes no interest in marriage. However, she later encounters Liang Baoshu and changes her views about marriage. Being with Baoshu is both dangerous and adventurous, but Yanyan realizes that she would have to give up her dream of becoming a doctor if she is with Baoshu. Yanyan makes a decision to go to America to fulfill her dream ...more
Ajlaa Ahmad
Mar 12, 2015 Ajlaa Ahmad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took my like 2 years to finally get my hands back on this book. Its totally worth it. Im kinda trying to read more historical fiction like this because it was so interesting. The way the author give messages about the historical occurrence are so simple and understandable.
Ivey Gaona
May 15, 2017 Ivey Gaona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a young girl named Yayan living in China in 1921. She wants to go to a university to become a doctor. She does not think about marriage or even love until she meets her older brother's friend named Baoshu. Her family approves of Baoshu until he gets into trouble. The police chase after him after he and a group of friends get together to restore the Manchu dynasty. Before running away, Baoshu secretly meets up with Yayan to ask her to go wit him. Yayan loves Baoshu but decides ...more
Mar 28, 2010 Ari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only problem with it was that I found it tedious. This is rare, I don't usually find historical fiction boring, but this novel moved so slowly. Also, I don't think it helped to have half the story take place in Ithaca, New York. After all, nothing happens in Ithaca! There's no diversity and hardly anything to do. Yanyan was bored and lonely and I was bored with her. I wanted more China time or to really delve into the experiences of Chinese students in America. Yanyan is an outsider, so she d ...more
Second Lensey Namioka book and I have yet to be impressed. The Chinese culture infusion within the plot can be attractive, but Namioka is not the first one to do that. Even with that distinct setting of the 1920s, I feel like the author could have done better to make this one into a much more meaningful read.
Jan 03, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
China remains in chaos after the revolution of 1911 and young Xueyan benefits by having a progressive father who encourages her to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor of medicine. Yanyan, called Sheila, attends an English school and doesn't have bound feet, and looks forward to making her own love match, instead of having an arranged marriage. When a political exile that happens to be a former school friend of her elder brother is wounded escaping from the police, it is Yanyan who bandages his ...more
Nov 25, 2009 Em rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Young Adult Fiction are not pure fantasy, some of them are also historical. An excellent example of that is Lensey Namioka‘s An Ocean Apart, a World Away.

While all the girls her age were planning for their weddings, Xueyan was not interested in marriage and was focused on her ambition to become a doctor. She was willing to break culture and tradition just to achieve that goal. Until she met Liang Baoshu, the man of her dreams.

Xueyan was forced to make a choice between love and dream. Her decisio
Chloe Harvey
"An Ocean Apart, a World Away" is a wonderful book taking place in china after the revolution in 1911. There are different types of Chinese cultures that are touched in this book. Yanyan Zhang put enough determination and time into her dream to make it come true. Along the way she met the boy she thought she would marry who later turned out to betray her. She traveled around the world to attend Cornell university to become a doctor. She traveled alone and lived in America for 4 years. She met a ...more
Feb 07, 2009 Tigger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
It was an easily readable but wholly unremarkable book, most easily portrayed by the fact that I couldn't remember the name of the novel when I finished it a few hours ago, and I had to put in the name of the main characters and locations to try and find it.

The story revolves around a 16 year old Chinese girl in 1921 who wants to be a doctor of Western medicine, but has to struggle against the stereotypes of women across the globe, the racism of the Western powers and her own feelings to be abl
I dont know why, but I wanted to read the book the second I saw Jin Bin holding this book. My friend and I went to the library and when she got this book, I asked her right away if she would let me read the book first. The book is about a girl name YanYan who first just wanted to go visit her friend, Tao Ailin. She went with her brother and her brother's friend, Liang Baoshu. The first tiem she met Liang Baoshu, she got embarressed and she even liked Liang Baoshu and that changed her opinion of ...more
Xiao Yan
An Ocean Apart, A world apart revolves around the 1900's in china. 16 year old Xueyan or Yan Yan is not like a regular girl who likes to plan their wedding and stay at home. But she has no interest at all in her marriage and goes to medical school, determined to be a doctor. thing start to change when Yan Yan meets Liang Bao, an excellent scholar and martial arts student. Yan Yan starts to develop feelings for him. But Yan Yan soon finds out that he is trying to restore the manchu dynasty and ge ...more
It’s 1921 and Yanyan’s well-to-do family lives in Nanjing, China. Sixteen-year-old Yanyan, unlike nearly all girls her age, shows little interest in marriage, does not have bound feet and wants to become a doctor. Through her older brother she meets an intriguing young man, Lian Baoshu, who finds Yanyan’s unusual ways interesting. Yanyan’s graduation from an English-speaking high school coincides with growing political unrest in Nanjing. Yanyan discovers that Lian Baoshu works for a Manchu polit ...more
Lisa Chung
i really admire the protagonist's character. Xue Yan (Yan Yan) has a dream in mind and would try to reach it. although for that very dream, it made her lose someone she liked. good thing that she found another guy that would treasure her. the face that she was away from her home country half the world away from her family, she still found her will to continue on with her dream. during this time period, there were still sexist ideas that females are not smart enough to take advanced classes like ...more
Dan Ying
During the 1920s in China most of the girl marry at around sixteen years old. The main character Xueyan finshed missionary school at age sixteen instead if getting marry she decided to go to Cornell Unverisity to continue her study. Everything was working fine until she met Liang Baoshu a guy that she liked. Xueyan didn't know what to do. If she picked the guy that she liked that mean she has to sacific her dream and if she went to America then she has to sacific her relationship. I think pickin ...more
English Education
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I really enjoyed it.
A great coming of age story about a young chinese woman in the early 20s. Yanyan has to choose between running away with a man who lives for the adventure or pursuing her dream of studying abroad an eventually becoming a doctor.
Although it was very fast-paced I got to know Yanyan well enough to like and understand her. I was really interested in the aspect of her being chinese, as I haven't read many books with chinese main character, and her figuring out her life in a cult
Amy C.
Apr 12, 2009 Amy C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, Lensey Namioka writes about a Chinese girl breaking the boundaries of the Chinese traditions to pursue her dreams. Similar to TIES THAT BIND, TIE THAT BREAK, Yanyan seeks for a better future in America. As much as I love reading about this topic of feminism and the Chinese culture, the ending is very unsatisfying. Although this entire novel is more like a diary, I still expected a more fully developed ending. If not for this subtle ending, this story would have left me a greater impressio ...more
Xue Yun
Nov 04, 2007 Xue Yun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that likes advanture of a mind
THis book is about the main character's struggle in promoting the stop of sexism. she proves in this book that women can have education and they are smart like mens, can take classes like physics and matematices and not just take home eduacation. The main character shown great fortitue in pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor and showing others that she can also take course that boys are titled to.
Jul 06, 2012 W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, re-read
Another winner by Lensey Namioka. I did not like it as much as Ties That Bind, Ties That Break, but it was still a lovely coming of age story. I especially liked the fact that Yanyan was brave and self-cognizant enough to realize that love wasn't as important to her as other things to her at that point in her life.
Anna Motteler
Jul 22, 2010 Anna Motteler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in about two & a half hours, & I fell in love with the story. My freshman & sophomore years of high school I took Japanese & I learned a lot about not only the language, but their customs. This book focused more on the Chinese & I could already tell there was a distinct difference.

I'm a fan of historical fiction & I could not put this book down. I learned a lot, and that's a good thing to say after finishing a book (:
The synopsis that’s printed at the back cover of the book urged me to buy and read it. It’s about a gutsy 16-year-old Chinese girl from post-Revolution China and she needs to make an important choice. A) Go to medical school to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. B) Run off with the exciting Liang Baoshu who has confessed his feelings for her.
Sarah NightOwl
I read this in middle school, and this is a spin-off to the book, Ties that Bind, Ties that Break because it follows the good friend of the main character from the original book. I remember liking it a lot less than the original book because it was more political, and I think also the character relationship, in my opinion, was a bit weird. Anyways, that's what I remembered.
Short and quick. The thing is, while I found it vaguely interesting in a "huh okay" kind of way, the culture/history is just not where my interests lie. So I was never fascinated, and I *like* being fascinated. I also found some of the way it was written a bit jarring, most notably the usage (or lack thereof) of people's names.
Jan 15, 2014 Viv rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It's about one woman's remarkable journey to the west to persue her dream, while handeling her feelings about ________. In the end, will she decide to pursue her dream and ignore her conflicting feelings, or will she jump to the chance of an adventure with ______ and a chance at love? I deffinatley one of my favorites and I's such a shame that I don't own it. :(
Feb 02, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals a lot with the struggles one assimilating to a different country goes through. There is a lot of information given about Chinese culture compared to American culture. The struggle of Yanyan to face her independence shows how following one's dreams is not always easy. Especially when you are alone.. The book is a quick read, but the ending is a little disappointing.
When I tutored ESL students, this was one of the few books I saw them reading that seemed relatable to their experiences: Yanyan, the main character, wants to be a doctor and gets a chance to go to school in the U.S. and struggles with the language, making friends, college.
Suzanne Libra
Interesting topic, well developed characters, but I was a bit disappointed at the end. It seems rather abrupt and I wanted more. Certainly never considered not finishing it, but felt it could have been better.
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The Young Adult H...: An Ocean Apart, a World Away - June's Group Read 2 9 Jun 17, 2016 02:58PM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Setting 3 6 Mar 06, 2015 12:55PM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Conflicts 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 11:32AM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Characterization 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 11:25AM  
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Namioka was born in Beijing, the daughter of linguist Yuenren Chao and physician Buwei Yang Chao. The family moved often in China. In 1937, the Chaos were living in Nanjing, and fled westward in the face of the Japanese Invasion. They eventually made their way to Hawaii, then Cambridge, Massachusetts. Namioka attended grade school in Cambridge and excelled at mathematics.

Namioka attended Universit
More about Lensey Namioka...

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