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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 ratings  ·  188 reviews
As a Chinese adoptee in St. Louis, teenage Daiyu often feels out of place. When an elderly Asian jewelry seller at a street fair shows her a black jade ring—and tells her that “black jade” translates to “Daiyu”—she buys it as a talisman of her heritage. But it’s more than that; it’s magic. It takes Daiyu through a gateway into a version of St. Louis much like 19th century ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published October 9th 2009)
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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,227 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recently, I have read quite a number of books that I would call "readable". I only use this term to describe a book when I had a lot of problems with the story, but the problems do not stop me from finishing the book. However, this does not mean that I enjoyed it either.

Gateway would have been such an interesting novel. I mean, what a great concept. Daiyu is an adopted Chinese daughter of Caucasian parents. She buys a ring from a vendor and then is whisked away into an alternate universe (calle
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, diverse, for-review
Gateway by Sharon Shinn has a rather beautiful, colorful cover featuring two people hiding behind a red parasol. Frankly, that was the most striking thing about Gateway. It had all of the elements to be really awesome: parallel universes, cultural subversion, the fact that it's YA, and a romantical element. (Romantical is a word frequently used by Flava Flav). However, Gateway was one of those books which, well, I read it, and moved on to the next book without any sort of a second thought.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I almost want to give it a fifth star because I enjoyed it so much, but there were a few flaws so in good conscience I have to give it 4. Shinn as usual creates a great alternative world, creating amazing scenes in my head. It took a while for me to get acquainted with the main character, and sometimes it went slightly slowly, but overall I had a great time with this one. And what a gorgeous cover, taken from a very nice scene in the story.

Never mind, I'm giving it 5 stars.
Jamie Lau
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it

Gateway is a novel written by author Sharon Shinn. This story revolves around Daiyu, a teenage girl who was adopted from China as a young child. She finds herself in another universe after walking through some sort of gateway with a strange necklace. At first the plot of this book was kind of slow and I almost gave up on it. However once the story line started unfolding I started getting interested. I Have to say that the ending surprised me because it wasn't expected, but it was a good way to
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Oh "instalove"... how I hate you...

Let's start with the fact it is very clear where the author decided to actually take an interest with this book. We know absolutely nothing about Daiyu before she is thrown into another universe and told she has to get rid of this evil man. Her character is never truly developed. Most of the time, when something happens, I'm sitting thinking "umm, okay." I don't know if her actions are within her normal character because Shinn never told us what that is! The on
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review first published on my blog:

Gateway tells the story of Daiyu, a Chinese-American teenager living in St. Louis, who suddenly finds herself transported to an alternate world. In this world, Jia, as Daiyu quickly learns, it is the Han, a people very similar to the Chinese, who explored the new world, and Shengleng--the city Daiyu knew as St. Louis--is the most important city in the world. Because her Chinese heritage lets her pass as Han, Daiyu is
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Sorry if I'm repetitive in my review but I have nothing else to say. :P

Gateway had a wonderful premise sounded somewhat original, so I was hoping that I would love it but it did not meet my standards. When I first read the summary, I expected Gateway to be fast-paced with lots of action going on as she was recruited a spy. But the entire book was slow for me and I felt some chapters could have been edited out.

There was a lot of background information provided which I felt that it gave the reade
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
Daiyu, who was adopted from China when she was a baby, lives in St. Louis and is spending her summer as an intern at a headhunting firm. She spends her 4th of July beneath the St. Louis arch, and when a jewelry vendor shows her a ring of black jade, known in Chinese as "daiyu," she impulsively buys it. She soon after passes beneath the arch and is swept into a parallel universe where the ruling class is Chinese.

Alone and confused, Daiyu is rescued by a white (cangbai) boy who seems to be expecti
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
An intriguing little YA story about a girl who crosses into another world and is given a mission to bring down a tyrant there -- whom she's not entirely convinced really is one -- and her very human adventures along the way. Aside from the magic of the gates and the existence of multiple worlds (and some convenient translation-y business that's not entirely explained) there's no magic here - just a sweet little YA romance/adventure.

As with everything else by Shinn, it's well-written and the char
Rachel Boling
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I had trouble really liking the main character. She travels to another world, but spends most of her time being used in a plot, which she doesn't completely support, and most of her role revolves around being pretty. She has some moments of being strong later in the book, but most of her thoughts center on a boy she meets just after arriving in the world, who she has apparently fallen in love with. There is also a scene where her boyfriend suggests she get naked with him/ expose her breasts to h ...more
Jul 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Yes, but no, but yes.

I enjoyed the story and characters, and the book was definitely worth reading, even though I put it off for weeks and weeks, but the ending was a lot less thoughtful and more dawww! than I prefer. I really liked the uniqueness of the perspective - an adopted Sino-American girl - and the alternate world the author built. But the ending was just a tad too predictable and pat.

I would still recommend it for people who like alternate worlds and Chinese stuff.
Liza Gilbert
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: bfya2011, young-adult
3.5 stars

This was a sweet romance story under the guise of a time-travel, dimension-travel, spy novel, mystery story. Shinn did an excellent job of creating a sense of place. Some of the characters seemed a little too saccharine, but that may be a problem in describing Chinese culture from a few hundred years ago to a modern American audience.
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Shinn book! An amazing love story!
Re-read Nov. 14. I love this sweet story. Shinn has a great way to create a whole new world you believe in. I love the whole story line and I love the way it is written. I wish this book had a sequel about finally catching the bad guy. Most likely one I will let my girls read.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-collection
A charming, light fantasy with a gorgeous, evocative cover that perfectly captures elements of the story. Some of the major elements reminded me of Sharon Shinn's Elemental Blessings series (which starts with Troubled Waters), especially Zoe's stay on the river in the first book. And the scene with the tower and the final showdown strongly recalled Corene's story in Jeweled Fire.

Despite that, this is a quick, entertaining book that flows smoothly and is a lovely read! It is the perfect length fo
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was very disappointed by this book. It was clumsily written and pointless. Daiyu (American raised Chinese) is whisked away to a parallel universe where the Han Chinese are in the majority. She is met by a Cute Guy, who she trusts because he's cute, and taken to the Good Guys who can move between the parallel universes (called iterations). They tell her there is Bad Guy who can also move between iterations, and she must send him back to his own iteration. She will then be returned to her own it ...more
Carolynn Markey
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I really love Sharon Shinns writing. I do! I love her world building and her stories and her depth of character... and I also loved Gateway.

But there was something lacking in the love story. I don't like instalove, and this felt too much like it to me. I would have liked them to spend more time together before he effortless love story happened. It just seemed too easy.

And she really (view spoiler)
May 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, 2017
This never quite clicked for me.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting concept. I wish she'd done more with it, but it was intended to be a light ya book and for that it was very well done. Mint even use Daiyu as a new muse. ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
This one just didn't grab me, unlike just about everything else Shinn has written. ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I think this is the first Sharon Shinn book I've read that I didn't love. It wasn't bad, just OK. ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
St. Louis references were fun.
plot and characters were okay
It looks like this is trying to be a series, but I'm not really excited about more of them.
Nov 03, 2020 added it
This was a cute story, very imaginative and containing positive themes, but I definitely would have enjoyed it more if I'd read it when I first got it over a decade ago haha. ...more
Apr 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2010
This review was originally posted on my review blog :

Daiyu was adopted when she was very young by an American family, and being the only Chinese member of her family can sometimes be a little stressing. When she is shopping at the local fair in St. Louis she meets an elderly Asian woman, who happens to be selling jewelry. She tells Daiyu that "black jade" translates to "Daiyu", and this sparks a significant interest in her. She is drawn to the ring, and eve
Rosario (
was very excited when I discovered there was a Sharon Shinn title out there I hadn't heard of, and one which sounded quite different and had an absolutely gorgeous cover, too.

Our heroine, Daiyu, was adopted from China as a baby and has grown up in St. Louis. She's a serious, well-adjusted, sensible young woman, the kind who'll happily spend her summer doing internships before going off to university. On a little break, she decides to wander round a festival in downtown St. Louis, and she finds
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Daiyu, a girl who had been adopted from China, is a hard-working St. Luis high schooler. One day, while at a fair, she walks through the Arch and... ends up in some other world, some other St. Luis, where rather than being in the minority, she finds that most of the citizens are Chinese (or Han). When she gets there, she meets a young white (cangbai) boy, Kalen. He takes her to meet Ombri and Aurora. Ombri and Aurora want Daiyu's help--They want her to get close to the current Prime Minister, an ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is probably about a 4.5 star book, with half a star docked for not quite living up to its worldbuilding potential. But I'm rounding up because it read well and hooked me despite the teenage protagonist. In a way, it reminded me of the Westmark Trilogy, but quieter and more introspective. At first, I thought the ending was flawed, but then I figured out how we could have gotten there. Definitely left me with a sweet but melancholy taste in my mouth. ...more
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Daiyu is a Chinese teen who was adopted by an American couple and moved to St. Louis when she was a baby. She was happily leading a normal teenaged life when one day at a street fair, she met an old woman who convinced her to buy a black jade ring and gave her a rose quartz necklace with a request to deliver it to another merchant on the other side of the Gateway Arch. Wearing the ring and carrying the necklace, Daiyu passed under the famous American landmark and was instantaneously transported ...more
Sarah Miles
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ooooh, this book frustrated me. I was pulled in by the cover and decided to read this after checking the synopsis. In my opinion, it's slightly misleading. Daiyu's said to become a spy, but I wouldn't really call what she did spying or becoming a spy. At best, I'd say she became an asset.

The characters weren't as flushed out as I'd like to see, either. Daiyu forms these very strong opinions of the new people around her quickly, but we have almost no info on why she swung that way. She had almost
Anna Ranario
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gateway is written by Sharon Shinn. The main character in this novel is Daiyu. Some side-characters are Kalen, Chenglei, and more. This book provides a fantasy plot, with having the idea of traveling to different dimensions, and having a side of romance. Daiyu originally lives in St. Louis but , she has been sent to a dimension of what is a twist to China and meeting characters that become her friends and enemies. She was sent there to do the job of sending away a horrible person. Through that ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the story, Gateway, the author Sharon Shinn expresses the theme, you family is more important than the people who you meet and end up loving. In story, Daiyu, the main character live by the arch located in St. Luis. What she didn't know is that the arch is a gateway to a different world. After buying a ring and taking a ruby pendent, she is teleported to another world where she is going to be used to stop someone who is causing a lot of harm to their world. In this different world, she falls ...more
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