Dreams of Joy is the sequel to Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. We read Shanghai Girls in February and had a good time discussing it. When I saw that a sequel was out and I could get a chance to review a copy, I jumped on it, because I could not handle the hanging of the ending in Shanghai Girls!
Dreams of Joy begins pretty much right where Shanghai Girls ends. Joy has run away to China to find her dad, Z.G. and Pearl is hot on her tail. Of course when Joy gets to China she must declare herself stateless and give up her passport. Why anyone ever would think this is a good idea I don't know. But I also decided that Joy, like her mother and aunt when they were younger, is super naive and self-centered.
Basically, Joy finds Z.G. quickly and they leave Shanghai for the countryside. Pearl gets to Shanghai and can't find Pearl or Z.G. or where they went and must settle into the good lil communist life. Work a crappy job, share food and meet with a police officer once a month to supply her info, denounce capitalists and prove she is back in China to help rebuild the country.
I got very irritated with Joy in this book because of how dumb she seemed for such a smart girl. She didn't fully understand communism or ACTUAL living conditions of China until it was far too late. She even admits at one point in the book that she heard people say things but never really listened. For a girl who was attending the University of Chicago, she's pretty stupid.
I think Pearl really grew up and redeemed herself in my eyes from Shanghai Girls. There was very little about May in the book but it was hinted that she was making more mature choices as well. I flew through the book once I got started and really liked it. I would definitely recommend it to you if you read and liked Shanghai Girls or wanted to know what happened. I think it is even better than Shanghai Girls. ;)
Do you tend to like sequels or the first book in a series better? I know I tend to like the first book so this was a pleasant surprise that the sequel didn't ruin it for me!
I received this book from Crazy Book Tours, all thoughts and opinions are mine.