November 27, 2014
Tangled Vines by Kay Bratt
Linnea has just opened her clothing shop and her vintage t-shirts are a smash hit. She's made a few new friends and her boyfriend is as attentive as ever. So when she finds out about her adoptive parents missing daughter, she wants to make sure everyone is happy and goes out in search of her. The missing daughter, Li Jin, has troubles of her own though, in the form of an abusive, manipulative boyfriend who is causing great harm to her and her son.
I never really felt as if I was in China with this book. The characters seemed no different than anyone I would encounter at home. I would expect that there would be some cultural differences, but there didn't seem to be. Maybe this is true to life, but I can't imagine there would be some difference. Everything always went easy for the characters too, they never really had any strife and I felt that this made it harder for their characters to develop. Linnea, the main character in this book, seemed kind of selfish this time around. Li Jin, she had a sad story, and I could empathize with her to a point, but I never felt connected to her character.
Everything was too easy in this book. I can't stress that enough. And it was predictable. I do like that the tone of the book was older though. It was much more graphic than the first book and there were details on sex, rape, domestic violence, and a few other adult themes. Definitely more grown up than the first book. And I think they were important topics, although I was disappointed to see that some of the plot lines weren't resolved. By the way the book ended I don't expect to see them resolved in the next book either. Some history was thrown in. The Author has definite views on Mao and the cultural revolution, but some details were added in and there were points about female sterilization and other atrocities committed that I had never even heard of before.
Not as good as the first but definitely not bad enough to make me stop reading the series. I do want to see what happens to the rest of the daughters and where their stories will take them.
*This review is part of the Amazon Vine program*