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Chenxi and the Foreigner
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Chenxi and the Foreigner

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3.17  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Love in the time of the Tiananmen Square.

Anna never imagined living in such a foreign place. Fresh out of high school, she has joined her father, who works in Shanghai. She's eager to see China beyond the bicycle-crowded streets between their apartment, her father's expatriate community and the art school she's attending. That's why she's thrilled when her father hires a c
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Annick Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Paula Weston
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Here in the West, we take our artistic freedom for granted, forgetting that throughout history - and in other parts of our world right now - men and women have died in the attempt to express themselves honestly through their art.

But, interestingly, there are also artists in our “free” society who censor themselves for fear of the reactions their works may elicit. Our artists may not be physically imprisoned, tortured or executed, but they can be attacked by critics and opponents in ways that det
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Steph Bowe
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chenxi and the Foreigner is set in China in 1989, in the weeks before the Tiananmen Square protests. It tells the story of Anna, an eighteen-year-old Melbourne girl, who is visiting her father in Shanghai and taking classes in Chinese painting. There, she falls in love with Chenxi, who is also a painter and engages in counter-revolutionary activities.

I found this to be an incredibly interesting novel. Very few Young Adult books are set in China (even though a fifth of the world’s population live
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Zombieleins-Bücherschmaus
Es ist was für zwischen durch.
Ich hab das Buch beim Ausverkauf unserer Bücherei mit genommen den der Klappentext hörte sich spannend an, aber irgendwie hat mir die Spannung gefehlt, das Buch war mir zu glatt O.o
Anna will die vier Wochen die sie bei ihren Vater in Shanghai ist auf die Kunstschule gehen, dort trifft sie Chenix und verliebt sich schon Kopf über Hals in den , wer meine Rezis kennt der weiß das mag ich ja gar nicht. Ich habe das Buch dennoch selber weiter gelesen da die Umgebung dort
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Rochelle
I read the version she re-wrote and released with text publishing, apparently when she first wrote it she held back on certaint things, fearing it wouldn't be published, but then got the chance to rewrite it the way she truely wanted.

I thoroughly enjoyed this version. It was well-written, atmospheric and full of true-to-life characters. I felt like I had been transported to China. Anna was strong willed and new what she wanted and wasn't afraid to follow her heart. Chenxi was an art student who
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Melissa
"She saw herself in Chenxi's eyes: the privileged foreigner with an endless supply of FEC and wondered if his ambivalence toward her was more about what she stood for rather than who she was. She would prove to him that she was different from the other foreigners. She was not a rich and greedy capitalist like the other expatriates here seemed to be - she was an artist. Like him. She would show him that they had more in common than their differences."


Chenxi and the Foreigner is set in 1989, ju
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Dakota Brugler
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hwl-books
Throughout the novel, the character Anna, whom for some reason I thought to be from Australia but is actually from the U.S.A., remains very static. She is extremely selfish and naive about the world. She is originally in China with her father to study art. While at the college for art she meets native Chenxi. Rather quickly she starts to fall for Chenxi, but he seems to grow more and more distant, maybe because of the way she refuses to adapt to his culture. She also meets a French student named ...more
Liralen
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Hmm. I'm really happy to read YA set in a place/time I don't know a ton about, but there's not really the growth I would have hoped for in this—even when Anna makes choices that go against her father's prejudiced, Western-centric views, it feels much more as though she's doing it to annoy him than because she actually sees real value in learning about another culture.

The writing is...okay. Kind of flat, and too 'tell-y' in places, especially in terms of background about China. The writing feels
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Crystal
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Xiaojuanwu
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
To be a foreigner is not an easy thing. But, going to somewhere once foreigners were abandon was harder than just to be a foreigner. Anna travels to Shanghai, China, to study traditional Chinese painting, while her father is a businessman. Anna gets to meet her translator, ChenXi and has to face reality of been called "foreigner" or "Wai guo ren" anywhere she goes. People touch her hair and staring at her. Until, Anna has deep falling in love with ChenXi, and discovers another side of ChenXi. Th ...more
Nadine
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wer es mag... Es ist was für zwischen durch.
Ich hab das Buch beim Ausverkauf unserer Bücherei mit genommen den der Klappentext hörte sich spannend an, aber irgendwie hat mir die Spannung gefehlt, das Buch war mir zu glatt O.o
Anna will die vier Wochen die sie bei ihren Vater in Shanghai ist auf die Kunstschule gehen, dort trifft sie Chenix und verliebt sich schon Kopf über Hals in den , wer meine Rezis kennt der weiß das mag ich ja gar nicht. Ich habe das Buch dennoch selber weiter gelesen da die
...more
Jaime
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, ya_contemporary
I have mixed feelings about this. I think the story has good bones — a privileged Australian teenager spends some time in Shanghai to study art during the lead up to the Tiananmen Square protests — but ultimately fell flat. It was hard for me to connect with Anna, who is self-absorbed and rather blind to the plight of others. She also lacks any sort of respect for her father, who just flits in and out of the story tossing money at her at every opportunity. You get some sense of the political cli ...more
Liam O'Donnell
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Sally Rippin's new novel, Chenxi and the Foreigner, teenage Anna sees the chance to travel to Shanghai after her high school graduation as a opportunity to immerse herself in the culture of China and study traditional Chinese painting. When she befriends Chenxi, a young artist with radical ideas and a knack for attracting the attention the Chinese authorities, Anna's actions put her friend in danger and places her under the spotlight of a regime with little patience for disruptive artists. Se ...more
Heather
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
The most interesting part of the novel is the description of Shanghai in the 1980s through the eyes of a privileged Australian teenage girl. There was political undercurrents, disparity of rich and poor, the privileges given to foreigners, etc. Anna was somewhat aware of all those things, but never explored them. The problem with the story was my inability to connect with Anna. She's incredibly self-centered and immature. That's to be expected of a 19 year old rich girl, but you never see her pr ...more
Vanessa.Willetts
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have heard nothing but good things about this book and it is recommended on many reading lists. I don't know what I was doing wrong but I think it is really bad. It is so obvious, I mean getting poked in the eye by a blunt stick is more subtle. "Mr White" - the paranoid, racists, money hungry father. Could you make your views on how we're supposed to read people any more obvious. Nothing in this was surprise - oh, wow, she fell pregnant, what a shock. Everything was heavy handed. I was plannin ...more
Amanda
Jul 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Picked this up at a library book sale, wasn't a fan of it at all.
Anna was a terrible person, so ignorant that it felt like she was intent on ruining everyones' lives, including her own. She constantly whines about not being able to understand people, but as far as I remember, she only learns like three words of Chinese after being there (and in a school) for a month. She hates on Laurent all the time, but it seems like he might be a better guy than her precious Chenxi. After all, he's the one wh
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Ania
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is full of heart. It's a great young adult read, because the author had the sense to set it in another country in a controversial situation. At first I was a bit doubtful about it, as Anna didn't seem like the kind of person you'd want to write a book about. Chenxi wasn't much better. As the story went on though, I got to know them better and and saw what they saw. The only thing I couldn't understand was Anna's overwhelming conviction that Chenxi was the guy for her. That seemed a lit ...more
Sophia
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this novel as I have been reading the authors children's series with my daughter. Having been to China in the late 1990s a lot of what the author wrote really resonated. I remember the frustration of living in a bubble unable to understand the language or even read a sign.

The author has updated this novel so make sure your version is recent. Also from reading the reviews the main character seems to be either American or Australian. I am unsure if this is due to the updating of the n
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La république des livres
J'ai très vite accroché à l'histoire et on s'attache très vite aux deux personnages principaux, même si on ne comprend pas toujours les réactions de Chenxi tant qu'on ne connait pas son histoire. Ce livre m'a fait découvrir la Chine tel qu'elle l'était au moment de Tian'anmen et tel qu'elle doit l'être actuellement.
Chantal
Interesting viewpoint of a foreigner in Shanghai - how they are received, their assumptions of freedom and rights and the realities of life of Chinese living in communist Shanghai.

Some young adult concepts include drug use, sex, violence, with the main protagnists being 18/19 years old.
Jessy
Feb 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
The level of privilege (not to mention cultural inaccuracies) in this book is driving me up a freaking wall. How much sushi do I get for Ugly American falls for Mysterious Chinese Artist in immediately pre-Tiananmen Square China memoir masquerading as teenlit?
Jill Harris
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Great read, sort of in young adult category but also an easy read for adults. Interesting backdrop, set in China and believable characters. I enjoyed it.
Shannon
A sweet, easy-to-read story. The ending was disappointing.
Abby
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was ready to chuck this book at the wall. Helen was SO ANNOYING!!!! School Study, nuff said.
Mostloyal
Mar 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Readable.
Karyn Silverman
For professional review.
Rhodelie PagLinawan
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE CHENXI AND THE FOREIGNER !!!!!!!!!!!! <3
Vanessa
Dec 03, 2011 marked it as to-read
If someone ever bought me this book! I can't find it in any library in Brampton! I found once in a library in Toronto though. But, I didn't get to finish it and the part I did read was pretty good.
Hiba Kanj
rated it liked it
Aug 21, 2014
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Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she lived in China for three years, studying traditional Chinese painting. Sally has over seventy books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her most recent work includes the highly acclaimed children’s novel Angel Creek and the popular Billie B Brown books, which becam ...more