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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  5,030 Ratings  ·  541 Reviews
YOUNG XING XING IS BOUND.Bound to her father's second wife and daughter after Xing Xing's father has passed away. Bound to a life of servitude as a young girl in ancient China, where the life of a woman is valued less than that of livestock. Bound to be alone and unmarried, with no parents to arrange for a suitable husband. Dubbed "Lazy One" by her stepmother, Xing Xing sp ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by Atheneum (first published August 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

It’s not even February and I’m already eight reviews behind for the year. There’s not gonna be a whole lotta thought thrown in to this one. So basically, it’ll be just like all of my other reviews.

Bound was another tale that fell under the criteria for the library challenge “Classics Re-Mixed.” The spin this go ‘round was on the story of Cinderella. Xing Xing was once a cherished first daughter, but since the death of both of her pare
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
3.5 stars

Finished in a few hours. A unique spin on the Cinderella myth.
Lacey Louwagie
It's been so many years since I've read anything by Donna Jo Napoli -- I think more than a decade -- so I was pleased to find that she still "held up" after all this time, especially since I stopped reading her because I seem to have OD'd and found her books not "doing it" for me the same way they used to.

It's clear from Napoli's retellings that she has the utmost respect for her source material, and I admire that. She doesn't try too hard to find a "gimmick" or "twist" to make her retellings se
It's funny how opinions change as the years pass. A book you so loved from a few years ago could turn out to be rather disappointing in the future. And unfortunately with this book, that's exactly what happened.

Donna Jo Napoli is a master at fairy-tale retellings. I ate them up when I was an early teen, and I still enjoy most of her work today. Her earlier works are the ones I like best (my favorites being Zel and Beast, which are masterful works). However, this retelling of Cinderella wasn't on
I thought this was a cute and original retelling of the Cinderella story. It wasn't super special, but it was enjoyable just the same. I loved the ancient China twist to the story. It was a quick story and worth a read. 3.5 stars

This was the first thing I read by Napoli, and though it started strong and had a great sense of place, in some respects it was a letdown. Not completely, and I would still recommend it, but...
I'll just get right into it. I thought it had a very strong start. The Cinderella aspects were clear and the sense of place was beautiful. It was reinforced with the language, too, so that it didn't seem like a Western character and sensibilities dropped in an Eastern setting. Everything matched and fel
Bound is the story of fourteen-year-old Xing Xing, who lives with her evil stepmother and needy half-sister in a cave. Both of her parents are deceased and these two women are all the family she has left. Her half-sister, Wei-Ping, has bound feet and has high hopes for getting married. Her deceitful step-mom also wants Wei-Ping to get married to a decent man, and completely ignores the hopes and dreams of Xing Xing. In this retelling of a classic tale Xing Xing may be able to prove that she has ...more
A retelling of a VERY old Chinese variant of the Cinderella tale. Ye Xian -- wiki article

I really enjoyed this variant of the story and I thought Naploi did a wonderful job of working in some traditional Chinese beliefs that weren't explicitly part of the Ye Xian tale or at least the versions of Ye Xian that I've found so far don't explicitly link the beliefs, though they might well have been implicitly linked by the people of that era.

I really liked how Napoli pulled in the belief of ancestor
Apr 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
My high school girls love this book because it retells Cinderella in a different culture and time period, but it's cheesy and stereotyped at best. Most of the novel chronicles the girl's miserable life with her stepmother, and the Cinderella part doesn't really come into play until the very end.
The title itself serves as a metaphor for the bound life that the main character leads, which parallels the symbol of a girl's bound feet in ancient China.
This book does give more complex personalitie
Erin Howard
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5

Bound is a coming of age story with a Cinderella twist. Most reviews I have seen have put the shoe before the story, but this was truly not about Cinderella at its core. It was about Xing Xing, a not-quite-girl but not-quite-woman being raised by her stepmother in Ming Dynasty China with her older half-sister. Her father and mother had passed away, leaving her at the mercy of the dominant female of the household who had little respect or care for the young Xing Xing.

During this time i
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I freely admit my ignorance in Chinese history. What I do know is mostly gleened from Disney's Mulan, Katherine Patterson's novel (Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom) and that which my coworkers at my job taught me for the Chinese New Year. My knowledge of the Cinderella tale, and its incarnations, is vastly larger however, but I had never come upon the Chinese tales (which according to the Postscript are some of the oldest known).

I have mixed feelings for this book; on the one hand the story moves
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books, ya
4.5 - A Cinderella retelling that takes place in China during the Ming times.

I lucked upon this book when browsing the library. Beautifully written.
[originally reviewed on my blog the happily ever after... in February 2009.]

Bound is a stark, realistic retelling of the commonly known Cinderella type fairy tale. The setting of the story in ancient China, along with the historically accurate traditions of ancient Chinese culture help make this story incredibly realistic and offer the reader a stark look into the unfair expectations and treatment of women within the society. While the hardships faced by women during that time seem unjust and de
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Reading this retelling of the “Chinese Cinderella” story was a painful experience for me. I could not even tell if it is well told, as stories go, because I was so distracted by all the inaccuracies in Napoli’s portrayal of Chinese cultures, customs, characters, and philosophies.Here are some examples of my understanding that does not coincide with Napoli’s text. Granted, I need to do more research and see if maybe my understanding is not universally correct.. A second wife of a man is not the “ ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This retelling of Cinderella is distinguished by Napoli's lyrical prose--her style is both descriptive and spare and the book almost feels like an extended poem. It's a joy to read, and easy to accomplish without stopping. At the same time, she doesn't sacrifice characterization--what's great about Bound is not only how developed the characters are, but also how complex their personalities and motivations are. For example, the stepmother is not completely evil; she is trapped in a difficult situ ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, pizza-and-pages
A fantastic rendition of the classic Cinderella tale. Years ago I took a class on fairy tales and we explored how many different cultures all across the globe have very similar stories and traditions, one of the most common is Cinderella. Last month we read Cinder which is a futuristic cyborg rendition of the Cinderella trope and this book, Bound, is a twentieth century Chinese retelling. Xing Xing lives in a cave with her stepmother and her stepsister Wei Ping and due to her feet being unbound ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy Lawrenson
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it
A quirky and original take on the classic Cinderella story, returning to the Chinese origins of this particular tale. This is certainly not the most gripping book I've ever read, but it is sweet and sad and perfectly lovely.
Ella Dang
Bound is a version of the classic Cinderella story about a fourteen year old girl, Xing Xing, who lives with her stepmother and half sister in a cave. Both her parents passed away. Her sister, Wei-Ping has bound feet, in order to have better chances of getting married, all that her and her mother hope for. All that her stepmother wishes is for her daughter to marry a "decent man", while she completely ignores all dreams of Xing Xing. Throughout the novel Xing Xing tries to prove that she could b ...more
Jennifer Smalley
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book by the name of ‘Bound’ might not automatically register as a retelling of the age old story of Cinderella- but that is exactly what it is. This novel by Donna Jo Napoli follows a girl named Xing Xing tending to her stepmother and stepsister after the death of her father.

‘Bound’ is set in Ming China, during the time period that foot binding was a popular practice. Xing Xing’s stepsister, Wei Ping, has her feet bound throughout the duration of the story and is incredibly vain about it. Beyo
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cat Conner
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairy tale fans.
Don't let the cover of this book fool you, for it did me. One might think that this is a novel about foot binding in China. While foot binding is an element of the novel, the word "bound" comes to take on several meanings.
"Bound" centers around Xing Xing. Xing Xing has recently experienced the death of her father and her mother died when she was seven. Xing Xing is now fourteen and lives with her stepmother and half-sister in a cave home in Ming China. Xing Xing had a close relationship with her
Felicia Caro
"Bound" is a book that includes descriptions of Chinese history during the Ming times. The book is also a captivating story of a young woman living under the social conditions of that era, where most traditions deemed women as items to be used, sold, bought... and bound. During that time, many Chinese women were forced by their mothers to bind their feet tightly in cloth, as it was said that men were more attracted to tiny feet. The main character's half-sister, Wei Ping, has to undergo this "pr ...more
Text Summary
Xing Xing, a teenage girl living during the Ming Dynasty, is bound...
to a life of servitude and loneliness now that her father and mother have passed on. She is left in the “care” of her stepmother, who shows no care for Xing Xing at all. Xing Xing is expected to complete all chores around the cave, including cooking and cleaning, and ironically Stepmother still refers to Xing Xing as “Lazy One.” All of the care and attention is given to Xing Xing’s stepsister, Wei Ping, who is bein
A very weird retelling of Cinderella.
There was a lot of attention to detail used while describing the animals and scenery.
Strangely she keeps a distance in the development of the plot and characters.
I think this would have presented better in the form of a children's book.
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty cover! I'd like to see something incorporating the whole thing with being bound, but it's very nice regardless.

I had mixed feelings on this one. I'm generally not the biggest fan of books based on fairy tales, especially those that try to make them modern fairy tales. Although this one took place in the past, it was rather predictable. I understand that might be the point of basing a book on a fairy tale in the first place, but I didn't find any places whatsoever where there was a plot tw
Jamie Lau
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bound by Donna Jo Napoli is a one of a kind historical fiction that takes you on both an adventurous and emotional journey. It begins with a young girl named Xing Xing, who is right around 14 years old and lives during the time of the Manchu Dynasty in China. Both her mother and her father have died, leaving her in the care of her Stepmother and the company of her step sister Wei Ping. Not only does Stepmother treat Xing XIng more like a slave than a daughter, she also has selfish and unethical ...more
Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound (2004)
Boundis a novel based on a Chinese version of the Cinderella story. It is the story of Xing Xing, a young girl living with her stepmother and half-sister in ancient China. Since her father’s death, she has become the household slave. As her stepmother binds her daughter’s feet in hopes of a marriage prospect , Xing Xingrealizes that she is bound to a life of servitude and neglect with no possibilities of marriage and a life ofher own. I have mixed feeling about this
Dec 31, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adult women
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book. The imagery was cool and fresh, and the characters were very convincing. The plot was pretty awesome. The author did a good job of letting me feel with Xing Xing through its ups and downs.
Though the book isn't billed as one, it's a retelling of the classic Cinderella story. It's really impressive how, though the characters' personalities are basically the same as the generic Cinderella characters (Xing Xing is compassionate towards people in spite of the way they trea
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Into the Forest: Bound Spoilers 22 24 Dec 23, 2017 05:03PM  
Into the Forest: Bound Spolier Free 10 13 May 19, 2015 08:52AM  
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6DRAKE: 2 book project 1 5 Nov 15, 2013 03:35PM  
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Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's and YA fiction. She loves to garden and bake bread, and even dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist.

At various times her house and yard have been filled with dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits. For thirteen years she had a cat named Taxi, and liked to go outside and call, "Taxi!" to make the neighbors wonder. But dear dear
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