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Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion - anthropology - and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arriv Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion - anthropology - and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she's been looking for?


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Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion - anthropology - and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arriv Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion - anthropology - and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she's been looking for?

30 review for The Great Call of China

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yoonmee

    Can this book have any more stereotypes in it? I kept wanting it to get better but it seemed as if every single stereotype about Asians, Chinese Americans, Asian Americans, Chinese people, etc. was in the book. Spoiled, rebellious, boy-crazy, bratty Chinese American girl? Check. Hot half Chinese half white boy as love interest? Check. Chinese boy who's nice but can only be seen as a friend and is obsessed with American culture? Check. Neutral white girl as best friend? Check. Chinese people eati Can this book have any more stereotypes in it? I kept wanting it to get better but it seemed as if every single stereotype about Asians, Chinese Americans, Asian Americans, Chinese people, etc. was in the book. Spoiled, rebellious, boy-crazy, bratty Chinese American girl? Check. Hot half Chinese half white boy as love interest? Check. Chinese boy who's nice but can only be seen as a friend and is obsessed with American culture? Check. Neutral white girl as best friend? Check. Chinese people eating "weird" "exotic" food that makes protagonist sick and disgusted? Check. Overly strict Chinese father forcing his daughter to attend Ivy League schools while ignoring her natural talents for other things? Check. Gah. I could go on, but I won't. To give the author credit, the main character is a likable Chinese adoptee whose feelings regarding her adoption and birth family search process were believable. I also liked that C. Liu created a believable adoptive mother. But these few redeeming qualities cannot make up for the fact that this book only reinforces all the stereotypes you've heard about Chinese Americans and Chinese people in general.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    I think I really only give it 3.5 stars, but I'm being generous today. This YA (aimed at the preteen+) stars Cece, an American-adopted Chinese girl who travels back to China through the S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas) program. Through the anthropology program, Cece goes to Xi'an (home of the famous terra cotta warriors) and learns about her cultural history. I am an American-adopted Korean, who now resides in Beijing, China. So I take particular interest in the part where Cece returns t I think I really only give it 3.5 stars, but I'm being generous today. This YA (aimed at the preteen+) stars Cece, an American-adopted Chinese girl who travels back to China through the S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas) program. Through the anthropology program, Cece goes to Xi'an (home of the famous terra cotta warriors) and learns about her cultural history. I am an American-adopted Korean, who now resides in Beijing, China. So I take particular interest in the part where Cece returns to China to search for her birth parents. I am terribly disappointed by how Cece was written to handle her experience. I've known several adopted Asians who did try to search for their birth parents, some as young as Cece, and NONE of them did it with so little research or common sense. On top of that, this book has some major discrepencies that I found hard to ignore. For being published in 2009, I can't believe the exchange rate wasn't better verified. 12 kuai hasn't equaled "under $1.50" since the late 90s. And while I may be nit-picking there, the broad explanation of China's new "one-child policy" as "if you have a girl, you can try to have a second child" is absolutely misleading (and for the most part false). China HAS adjusted its policy to combat the abandoning of its baby girls--it is illegal to abandon your child, it is illegal to have an abortion based on the fetus' sex (which is why parents are not allowed to be told the sex of their baby). Penalties include a stiff fine and possible jail time. The only likely scenario I can think of where a couple would be allowed a second child is if they were farmers and they could prove that a boy could help out (manual labor-wise) better. BUT, as all Chinese couples must apply for a license to have a child (no license and your child is not legally recognized and you will be fined for having a child without a license), most of these laborers can barely afford the first license, let alone a second. And the reason why I am so angry that this wasn't better researched and explained is that I feel that these misrepresentations of China continue America's negative misunderstandings about this culture and its people. So why do I still give this book four stars? Because overall, I think this is a great opportunity for young people, especially Americans (who live such isolated lives), to learn about the world. I think Liu does a great job at capturing the wonders of Xi'an and introducing other important historical sites besides just the terra cotta warriors. I also think that with as many American-adopted Asians as there are, it's important for them to have characters with whom they can identify with. Cece is a typical American girl and she doesn't identify with her Chinese roots. And I (grudgingly) gave into the fact that I identified more with Cece than I cared to admit. I've read a lot of stories about adopted kids. Most of these stories are written by people who are not adopted. And while you can interview adoptees and get emotions, these writers can't get the exact tone as to what it's like to be adopted. (And by the way, NOT all adopted kids share the same feelings.) So, in the end, I think Liu would have had a stronger story had she stuck to what she knows, which is what it's like to be Asian growing up in America. I think this story would have been a perfect 5 stars had she written it from Jessica's point of view--she's just as American as Cece, but has the other struggle of dealing with her Chinese parents' Chinese expectations. How does Jessica balance the two sides to herself and still manage to figure out who she is and how she fits in? But I highly recommend this series to anyone with a preteen kid. The S.A.S.S. series covers many other counries and I think does a good job at getting people interested in places outside their comfort zone.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    I'd love to know how much direction the authors were given for this series. Was the directive just study-abroad in China, or was it Chinese-American studies abroad in China and tries to reconnect with her biological parents? I'm curious in part because -- and this is commentary on the series, not on this book specifically -- I find the whole thing rather whitewashed. Yes, it's probably true that white students make up the bulk of study-abroad participants from the U.S. But...it's disappointing to I'd love to know how much direction the authors were given for this series. Was the directive just study-abroad in China, or was it Chinese-American studies abroad in China and tries to reconnect with her biological parents? I'm curious in part because -- and this is commentary on the series, not on this book specifically -- I find the whole thing rather whitewashed. Yes, it's probably true that white students make up the bulk of study-abroad participants from the U.S. But...it's disappointing to look at the series list and note that 1) 9 of the 14 books take place in Europe (plus one in Australia and one on a pretty white-bread semester at sea), 2) 12 of the 14 heroines appear to be white, and 3) the two Asian protagonists (and only the two Asian protagonists) are doing a semester abroad in part as a way to get in touch with their heritage. It's possible -- even likely -- that the individual authors didn't have much forewarning about the other authors' books, but it seems like a lapse on the part of the publisher. Anyway. Back to the book at hand: Cece is spending a semester in China, where she hopes to learn a lot about anthropology -- her passion -- maybe break out of her work-hard persona a bit...and of course see if she can find out who her biological parents are and why they gave her up for adoption. A number of things work here: Cece's interest in anthropology, and the intensity of her programme, means that we get a lot of tidbits about Chinese history and culture. Unlike certain S.A.S.S. heroines I could mention, Cece spends a fair amount of time with people from China, not just other exchange students. She manages to figure out a lot about herself over the course of the book, as do some of the other characters. The stereotyping was weird, though. It was a little like the book was throwing out a stereotype, shouting Aha! A stereotype!, chuckling indulgently at the reader, and...carrying on. I don't know what to make of it, really. And the resolution with Cece's search was way too good to be true. But hey. Expect fluff, get fluff. These books don't claim to be anything else. More general look at the series here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I liked it! Very cute and obviously the travel aspect was so on pointe. Only thing that bugged me was the author saying ni hao meant how are you which it does literally but pretty much always means hello. But apart from that I enjoyed it and the Mandarin was really accurate besides that (haha thank u Chinese classes).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joel Kirk

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A good book can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. People of different ethnicities and ages enjoyed Harry Potter; I wasn't one of those people, however. While TGCC was very possibly marketed to teenage girls, Cynthea Liu's book appeals to those interested in Asian/Asian American culture, Chinese culture, romance, or even Asian American romance. The story is about a Chinese-American girl named Cece Charles, an adopted girl (by a white couple) who lives in Texas. Cece is going to Xi'an, China on the A good book can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. People of different ethnicities and ages enjoyed Harry Potter; I wasn't one of those people, however. While TGCC was very possibly marketed to teenage girls, Cynthea Liu's book appeals to those interested in Asian/Asian American culture, Chinese culture, romance, or even Asian American romance. The story is about a Chinese-American girl named Cece Charles, an adopted girl (by a white couple) who lives in Texas. Cece is going to Xi'an, China on the S.A.S.S.(Students Across the Seven Seas) anthropology program for high school students. She is not only going to her country of origin, but she is also trying to find her birth family before the program's end. Cece's her adoptive father is with her on the decision to find her birth parents , but Cece's adoptive mother feels that may distance Cece from her adoptive parents. In China, she meets Will, a half-Chinese/half-white(?) boy she falls for after meeting him on the plane. Will is also pursued by a Chinese Asian American girl named Jess who has stereotypically tough Chinese parents who want her to be an anthropologist. Jess is depicted as a cocky girl, somewhat materialistic girl who sees life through blinders and would rather go clubbing than go studying . Cece also meets a white-American named Kallyn who - with Will - become her 'go-to' friends who give her second opinions on decisions made during this trip to China. Peter is a student Cece meets in China who acts as Cece's translator, and is assigned to show Cece around the city; all the exchange students are assigned a Chinese partner. There are simple Chinese words towards the end of the novel as Cece interacts more with the Mandarin-speaking Chinese community. As someone who is studying the Chinese language, this was a little practice for me. The students in the book have to take lessons themselves, and as Cece ventures out on her own to find the orphanage she came from, she picks up words here and there....even though it is Peter who does the talking for her. There is some very deep emotion in this book, especially towards the end. When Cece finds her birth father and we hear the story of what happened that led to Cece being adopted I personally had that 'awww' feeling. (The writer did her job!) I like that the writer broke stereotypes, or seemingly broke stereotypes. Many times in it seems like the white adoptive parents are trying to 'Americanize' or even 'white wash' the adopted Asian children, particularly the females. In TGCC, the white adoptive parents learns she has an 'American' culture (e.g. Asian American) and Chinese culture. In the end, her adoptive mother even speaks to Cece in Chinese, realizing that while Cece loves her adoptive parents, she also loves and recognizes her birth parents and where she came from. On the other hand, with Jess, even though she comes off as somewhat domineering, irresponsible, and she rather go clubbing than study, she turns out to be a lot smarter than she leads on. Jess is told by her parents that she will be an anthropologist to make it worthwhile that her parents came America for a better life. However, like most individuals who have parents who want to direct their life (no matter the age their age) that person has to find their own way in life. Hence, Jess plans on pursuing a degree at a design college after going through several arguments with her parents, over the phone in the course of the story. She also pursues a boy named Chris once she finds out that Will (whom she was also interested in) actually had a mutual affection with Cece. Given her rebellious nature towards her parents, particularly her father, I want to think that 'Chris' was a black kid, even though he is not racially described. For example, if 'Chris' was white, Jess would seemingly be 'white washed,' distancing herself from her Chinese culture or 'Asian-ness.' If Chris was Asian - Chinese - that would seem like she is still embracing the Chinese culture and changing from her initial comment that she doesn't date Asian boys; she is only rejecting the rigorous, stereotype her Asian parents embody. Lastly, with Will, his parents are getting divorced. It is assumed, even though Cynthea Liu doesn't describe it, that Will is half-Asian and half-white. Like Chris, it's not clear in regards of the ethnicities of the mother and father, but based on American media, it is assumed to be a white male/Asian female relationship. If we were to go on this assumption of the white male/Asian female parentage of Will, it breaks a stereotype that these relationships are just like any other, and they are not 'better' or 'seamless' because these particular ethnicities are coupled since American media tends to view the white male/Asian female coupling as 'normal' or non-controversial versus other relationships such as Asian male/white female or even black male/non-black female. I found the book to be somewhat cinematic, and could see this being turned into a charming movie that focused on Asian American teenagers if done right. As for the book itself, I definitely recommend it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol Baldwin

    This is the fourteenth in a fifteen book series published by Penguin from 2005-2010, S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas). This multi-author series features a student studying abroad in a different country. Liu's book stars Cece who travels to China to study her passion--anthropology. But the trip has special meaning for Cece. She wants to go to the Beijing orphanage where she spent her first two years. She hopes to find her biological parents--without her parents knowing about it. Cecil's g This is the fourteenth in a fifteen book series published by Penguin from 2005-2010, S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas). This multi-author series features a student studying abroad in a different country. Liu's book stars Cece who travels to China to study her passion--anthropology. But the trip has special meaning for Cece. She wants to go to the Beijing orphanage where she spent her first two years. She hopes to find her biological parents--without her parents knowing about it. Cecil's guilt and ambivalence of finding her biological parents is a theme throughout the book. Her search for her family is an interesting backdrop to her love for anthropology. Both involve her digging for the truth; and both present challenges and obstacles. In a moment of reflection in the middle of the book, Cece is visiting The Bell Tower in Xi'an where four major roads cross. (Note: this is a great example of using a setting to reflect a character's emotions. In this case, the crossroads show Cece's indecision. I just discovered this symbolism in One Stop for Writers!). She is thinking about Jess (her roommate) and Will (her crush who seems more interested in Jess than in her.) Cece leaned against the balcony rail, studying them [elderly adults doing tai chi] a while longer. Then she looked past the square, at the citizens crowding the streets, the signs written in Chinese and the bikes, buses, and cars...It was all so different from everything she knew, and it made her wonder if China would ever feel like a place where she could belong. Like she could be a part of this country, too. She listened to the bell ring over the city. Then she saw her purpose here with more clarity than ever before. Who cared what happened with Will and Jess? It was trivial compared to what she was about to embark upon in Beijing in a couple of weeks. She would be getting a chance to learn more about herself, and that was what she should be thinking about. (p.100) Jess's story is an interesting counter-balance to Cece's. A little on the wild side, Jess is only in the summer program to try and make her father happy. When her grades don't meet his expectations, she pulls out of the program with a decision to follow her dreams of attending design school. In a candid conversation before she leaves, Jess tells Cece: "You're so lucky, Cece. Your parents--they don't care about all that. They're just glad they have you, right? And they probably loved you unconditionally since they got you." (p.215) Seeing herself through the Jess' eyes, Cece grows in self-awareness and realizes what she still needs to do. The romance which eventually develops between Cece and Will is sweet, does not overpower the story, and is written without sexual overtones. Although the book is listed as young adult, I think girl readers in the upper range of middle school will enjoy it also. If you want to win my gently-read autographed copy of The Great Call of China for yourself or your favorite 7-9th grade female reader, leave me a comment by June 3, 2016. Please leave your email address if I don't have it. As usual, if you share this on social media or become a follower of my blog, let me know what you have done and I'll enter your name twice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great Call of China is great for a short and entertaining read. I loved how quick the story flew by. Cece was an interesting main character. Though there weren't too many details about her and her personality, it could be portrayed through the way she steadfastly went looking for her real parents in Beijing. And even though she knew that she might face negative answers and responses, she had a determination and courage that allowed her to find out about her family. I also loved reading some parts Great Call of China is great for a short and entertaining read. I loved how quick the story flew by. Cece was an interesting main character. Though there weren't too many details about her and her personality, it could be portrayed through the way she steadfastly went looking for her real parents in Beijing. And even though she knew that she might face negative answers and responses, she had a determination and courage that allowed her to find out about her family. I also loved reading some parts of the program because I can totally relate to it. I'm leaving to Taiwan for this camp and though it's not going to be so academically oriented, it's interesting to see who Cece's roommate is, the lifestyle, the workload and et cetera. It kind of makes me nervous about my roommate...hmm. Though Cece was a realistic character, the others weren't so much. There didn't seem to be much depth and personality to them. The only one out of all her friends that seemed more real was her roommate, Jessica. She's the only one who seemed to face troubles and was the only one who changed at the end of the book. She became more independent and learned to get out of her comfort zone to do what she really wants. All the other characters...were just there. The ending was quite predictable. It seemed like the typical happily-ever-after type of ending. Overall, Great Call of China is a great story about family and learning to become more culturally aware.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I really enjoyed this book, especially for a YA semi-chick-lit story. Cece, a Chinese-born high school student who was adopted by American parents, spends her summer at an anthropology program in Xi'an, China. While she's there, she attempts to learn more about her own heritage and her birth parents. The book contains many little snippets of information about China and Chinese culture, woven in as Cece and her classmates see the country. The characters are fun, and the romantic thread of the sto I really enjoyed this book, especially for a YA semi-chick-lit story. Cece, a Chinese-born high school student who was adopted by American parents, spends her summer at an anthropology program in Xi'an, China. While she's there, she attempts to learn more about her own heritage and her birth parents. The book contains many little snippets of information about China and Chinese culture, woven in as Cece and her classmates see the country. The characters are fun, and the romantic thread of the story is not too cliche.

  9. 4 out of 5

    michelle | 鍾翠清

    One must not look for answers that fit the observation, but ask the questions that arise from the observation. Only then will the truth reveal itself. 3.5/5 stars This is my second time writing this review because the first one got deleted. This book was quite an enjoyable read for me, however, there were some aspects that took away from that reading experience. Starting with the scenes in which Cece had to eat traditional Chinese dishes. Reading these scenes almost made me drop the book quite a One must not look for answers that fit the observation, but ask the questions that arise from the observation. Only then will the truth reveal itself. 3.5/5 stars This is my second time writing this review because the first one got deleted. This book was quite an enjoyable read for me, however, there were some aspects that took away from that reading experience. Starting with the scenes in which Cece had to eat traditional Chinese dishes. Reading these scenes almost made me drop the book quite a lot of times. Cece's description of the dishes as "weird," "exotic," and "foul-smelling" only feeds the harmful stereotypes and stories of Asians. It's untrue that every Chinese dish is a weird one that just the sight of it makes Cece fill with nausea. While I do understand that Cece is only Chinese ethnic wise and that she probably had little to no experience with Chinese food, as she was raised in a predominantly White household, her awful reactions to Chinese delicacies felt unnecessary, stereotypical and harmful to Chinese culture. (Touching the subject of the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and harassment, one of the main tactics utilized to bully Asian-American kids is by describing how their food smells bad and is terribly looking, making Asina kids embarrassed to bring their own food to school. Food that their parents wake up very early to cook for them, might I add, and I say this from past experience.) Now onto aspects of the story that I did enjoy. The story itself was a very beautiful one. I felt the author did a good job when touching the subjects of adoption and orphanages in China during the times where the one-child policy was active. Reading the perspective of a child how was placed into the system during those times, whether it was because of the policy or not, was very eye-opening to me. Cece's story with her birthparents was incrediblly beautiful and one that shows that not everything is as it seems. It goes without saying that I shed a tear or two. I loved the pinyin that was added, and how these were basic phrases that anyone learning Chinese will be able to understand. It felt like I was emerging a little bit more into Chinese culture. (view spoiler)[ I especially appreciated the pinyin during the scene with Cece and her birthparent. (view spoiler)[ Though I see that "Nǐ hǎo" was translated to "How are you?" and while that is somewhat the direct translation, we just use it as a "Hello." Peter's characters had to be one of my favorites in the book. It was very refreshing to read about Peter and Cece's friendship being just that, close friends, without the need of adding romantic feelings. You could really tell how they cared for one another and would do all they could to assure the other's happiness. In many ways, I felt I could relate with Peter because of our shared Chinese customs, especially the one where we always invite people to have dinner at our places whenever they do something for us. No, Cece, this is how we do it in China. You do something, I do something, you do something, I do something.... It goes on forever. As does the friendship. While I really enjoyed reading Will's scenes, especially the ones with Cece, I did feel like the author could've broadened Will's description a little bit more as it felt quite vague. I definitely would've enjoyed reading more about his character because at the end of the book, I still only knew what I had learned about him at the beginning: half-Asian and a realist. (view spoiler)[ His relationship with Cece, though, was a nice one to read. It felt so refreshing to read a romance that did not include unnecessary drama. (view spoiler)[ The story itself was a very nice one to read. Because it was a fast-paced book, I did wish at times for the author to have broadened more on certain aspects, though it was still enjoyable to read. Maybe she really could do anything she set her mind to. Maybe China was showing her that she did belong here in some way. (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ana Bun

    This book is so good!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Shelley

    One of the best books I’ve ever read It was amazing It had so many twists and terns I really liked it end it was fun to read

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1) The reason why I read this book was because the title amused me. 2) The character that I found interesting is Jessica. Even though she was not the lead of the story I found it interesting how the author haw written her in ths book. In this book, Jessica is a Chinese teenage girl who lives in San Francisco with her very strict parents. At first Cece, the lead, wasn't very friendly to her because she thought that Jessica was a mean, bratty girl but she's actually very friendly. As the story goes 1) The reason why I read this book was because the title amused me. 2) The character that I found interesting is Jessica. Even though she was not the lead of the story I found it interesting how the author haw written her in ths book. In this book, Jessica is a Chinese teenage girl who lives in San Francisco with her very strict parents. At first Cece, the lead, wasn't very friendly to her because she thought that Jessica was a mean, bratty girl but she's actually very friendly. As the story goes on, I saw the change that Jessica's personality changes from being an actual bratty person to a responsible teenager who puts other people's sake before hers. An example of this was when she was i charge of costumes for a group presentation, during that period her strict parents were making her go back home as she didn't meet their expectations, but she insisted to stay just until she finishes the costumes. She made sure to finish costumes and she made them very well before she said her goodbyes to her friends. Also, at the start it seemed like Jessica only cared about make up, clothes, boys and partying. But as time went on, she found out what she should do to be happy even if she had to go through her parents. I like her courage. 3. The quote that I found interesting was "But you can't let that fear keep you from finding out the answers to your questions.". This was said by Cece's friend Kallyn to Cece to help her decide whether she should gace her fears and find out the truth about why her birth parents left her at the orphanage even if there is that voice inside her head that tells her not to. 4) The thing that this book made me think about is how some parents leave their child behind. It just seems so cold. I don't understand why they would give up their child just because of their old beliefs. I just don't get it, maybe it's because I'm still young and still haven't seen enough to actually judge.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com The good and the not so good: The main story of Cece finding her birth parents was excellent. Cece had to face her fears and by the end of the story she not only appreciated her adopted parents but also she knew the story behind her birth. She was a very believable character and I really enjoyed her search for friends and her family in China. What I didn't find believable was that she didn't have any jet lag after flying for about 20+ hours from Tex Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com The good and the not so good: The main story of Cece finding her birth parents was excellent. Cece had to face her fears and by the end of the story she not only appreciated her adopted parents but also she knew the story behind her birth. She was a very believable character and I really enjoyed her search for friends and her family in China. What I didn't find believable was that she didn't have any jet lag after flying for about 20+ hours from Texas to China. I have hosted many foreign exchange students and my own two girls went to Germany and Ghana and they all needed to sleep for about two days from the jet lag. Cece barely slept and went to class the next morning. She also didn't have much culture shock. Yes, she described some of the differences in the culture, but she really wasn't shocked about it. I know that when our students go to China they have to be briefed, and many don't make it because of differences between the cultures. The rest of the story in THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA is great. Cece is a very likable character and the rest of her friends are, too. There are problems that are solved but very realistically. I would love to read more about Cece and how she adjusts to life in the states after being away. I find that re-entry into our own culture is the more difficult of the experience. My own two had a harder time coming home than going, especially my daughter who went to Ghana. She has been back for over a year and the lessons she learned there are still causing havoc in her life today. I liked this story a lot, had some problems with it, but still would rate it 4 Stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A pretty cute book! Immediately decided to borrow it after seeing a few key words in the blurb- China, anthropology, student. I just visited China this year so I'm interested to kinda relive those moments, and am curious to see how it would be described, since I visited some of the tourist spots mentioned as well. You sure she climbed to the top of the Great Wall? Puhlease- it's not so easy and dude they cordoned off many areas as well... Anthropology was okay, plot was okay, romance- didn't play A pretty cute book! Immediately decided to borrow it after seeing a few key words in the blurb- China, anthropology, student. I just visited China this year so I'm interested to kinda relive those moments, and am curious to see how it would be described, since I visited some of the tourist spots mentioned as well. You sure she climbed to the top of the Great Wall? Puhlease- it's not so easy and dude they cordoned off many areas as well... Anthropology was okay, plot was okay, romance- didn't play out very well HAHA. But all in all a quick read, enjoyable at the least! Sometimes I felt the characters were a bit... 2 dimensional. Take Jessica for instance. At first she is portrayed as a brat, and then as if as an afterthought because the author felt that she was making evil asian stereotypes, decided to give her some human qualities etc. There wasn't any real action to bond the two characters and considering she's her roomie.... well wow. Must have been really weird spending time together??!! Would have liked to see the characters being developed more!!! The reunion scene was nice thouggh :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adzua

    The book Great Call of China by Cynthea Liu is about a girl named CeCe who was adopted from China when she was two. Now that shes older and has the chance to go to China. When she leaves she hopes to visit the orphange that she grew up and in and try to find her birth parents. A internal conflict which should go to find her birth parents or obey her mom and not go looking. A external conflict that CeCe faces is with Jessica her roomate. In a certain part of the book tension rises between them. I The book Great Call of China by Cynthea Liu is about a girl named CeCe who was adopted from China when she was two. Now that shes older and has the chance to go to China. When she leaves she hopes to visit the orphange that she grew up and in and try to find her birth parents. A internal conflict which should go to find her birth parents or obey her mom and not go looking. A external conflict that CeCe faces is with Jessica her roomate. In a certain part of the book tension rises between them. I can connect this book to the world. This is because some people who have been adpoted sometimes want the truth about there birth parents or wants to know where they are from. Or try to diccover themself as a person. I can connect this to the book because CeCe tries to figure out the truth of her birth parents for her self. I gave this book 3 stars becuase even though I was pulled in a little it still really capture me in to it. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure books.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leeankh

    I say this every time, but I really like the S.A.S.S. series because they feature better teenage female protagonists than so many other books out there. It's great to feel good about recommending this series to teen girls. :) Having said that, I must confess this wasn't my favorite installment. The program attendees did not have the diversity I've come to expect. Usually, the students come from a variety of backgrounds and I like that. This one, however, dealt with Chinese people almost exclusiv I say this every time, but I really like the S.A.S.S. series because they feature better teenage female protagonists than so many other books out there. It's great to feel good about recommending this series to teen girls. :) Having said that, I must confess this wasn't my favorite installment. The program attendees did not have the diversity I've come to expect. Usually, the students come from a variety of backgrounds and I like that. This one, however, dealt with Chinese people almost exclusively. I found that bothersome and a touch unrealistic. Yes, the program was set in China and the main character chose that program partially because of her Chinese heritage. However, I thought it was odd that almost every character was Chinese. In real life, these kind of programs should promote diversity and choose students to represent that, so I was a touch disappointed when the book didn't depict that. Overall, however, I liked CeCe's story and the way it all worked out. At the end of the day, I look forward to reading more of this series in the future as well. :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    A.L.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had originally given this book a lower-star rating because I thought certain parts were so unrealistic I could hardly stand it. (I lived in China and have a daughter adopted from there.) But I am amending my rating and this is why: my Chinese daughter LOVES this book and has read it about 10 times, no exaggeration. I thought the ending might give her false hope about finding her birth parents, so I let her read it, but with caution. We also had long discussions about this issue. So, I guess in I had originally given this book a lower-star rating because I thought certain parts were so unrealistic I could hardly stand it. (I lived in China and have a daughter adopted from there.) But I am amending my rating and this is why: my Chinese daughter LOVES this book and has read it about 10 times, no exaggeration. I thought the ending might give her false hope about finding her birth parents, so I let her read it, but with caution. We also had long discussions about this issue. So, I guess in that way, the book has been very valuable as far as allowing her to raise questions and talk openly about her birth parents. With that said, I'm balancing the five-star review my eleven-year-old would no doubt give this book, with the lower star rating I would give this book. (Update: And now I'm taking out my rating completely!) Other SASS books I've read have seemed wonderful! I love how they open kids' eyes to the world around them. Very cool. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this one. But I'm glad my daughter loves it. :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    A fast read, but felt superficial at times. I liked Cece as the narrator of the story as she seems genuine and likeable. She has her moods and her uncertainties. Other than Cece though, I felt like there was a lack of connection with the characters. I didn't understand why she liked Will and the fast connections that you develop with people on these sorts of trips felt like it was missing. I enjoyed Cece's search for her birth parents and its conclusion, but felt the essay she was writing for th A fast read, but felt superficial at times. I liked Cece as the narrator of the story as she seems genuine and likeable. She has her moods and her uncertainties. Other than Cece though, I felt like there was a lack of connection with the characters. I didn't understand why she liked Will and the fast connections that you develop with people on these sorts of trips felt like it was missing. I enjoyed Cece's search for her birth parents and its conclusion, but felt the essay she was writing for the program a little silly. I loved the details of Xi'an, but had to roll my eyes at the dramatic reaction she had to Chinese food. The idea that you are in China and you want to eat at McDonalds just boggles the mind. Her voice also sounded younger than seventeen to me in terms of how she processed the different culture and the assignments and how she dealt with her parents and her finding out about her past. She sounded more like a fifteen year old instead. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was: a feel good story with a little bit of culture shock thrown in.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kerith

    Lovely story about a teen who spends her summer abroad in Xi'an studying anthropology. This is part of a larger series of books featuring teens studying abroad, which is a fun idea, but this one is special since there are few YA novels around that feature teens adopted from China. A must-save for my daughter. The story itself has the usual hallmarks -- a cute boy, some friction with parents, the studious friend & the party-girl friend -- but also shares some of the issues of an internationally ad Lovely story about a teen who spends her summer abroad in Xi'an studying anthropology. This is part of a larger series of books featuring teens studying abroad, which is a fun idea, but this one is special since there are few YA novels around that feature teens adopted from China. A must-save for my daughter. The story itself has the usual hallmarks -- a cute boy, some friction with parents, the studious friend & the party-girl friend -- but also shares some of the issues of an internationally adopted daughter. She is able to go back and find her orphanage and ask questions, and here the story takes a turn for the sniffly. A very nice surprise to find in a YA series!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Istiningdyah

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I usually judge the sass book by its destination first. I feel indifferent about China so I didn't get excited about this book. However, the anthropology program that's in this book sounds exciting. I'd love to join that kind of program. This book mainly focuses on Cece's attempt to get in touch with her heritage and to find her birth parents. She's adopted and she knows nothing about Chinese culture. The characters are likable. Although most of them seem li I have mixed feelings about this book. I usually judge the sass book by its destination first. I feel indifferent about China so I didn't get excited about this book. However, the anthropology program that's in this book sounds exciting. I'd love to join that kind of program. This book mainly focuses on Cece's attempt to get in touch with her heritage and to find her birth parents. She's adopted and she knows nothing about Chinese culture. The characters are likable. Although most of them seem like the author is stereotyping, as I read more of the book I could see that there's more to their personalities. It's a fluffy read. Even though this book may seem like it touches on heavy subject, don't expect too much.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary Wyman

    I may not know what it's like to have adoptive parents but, I do understand what it is like to want to know something, to find answers to my questions. Some of them got answered, some not. I'm glad that Cece got her questions answered. I've some of the other S.A.S.S. program books and the girls in them always end up in a happy relationship. Some of them have bumps, while others have a clean sweep (if you know what I mean). Cece's was a clean sweep and I 'm happy. It's so cute. I haven't read the I may not know what it's like to have adoptive parents but, I do understand what it is like to want to know something, to find answers to my questions. Some of them got answered, some not. I'm glad that Cece got her questions answered. I've some of the other S.A.S.S. program books and the girls in them always end up in a happy relationship. Some of them have bumps, while others have a clean sweep (if you know what I mean). Cece's was a clean sweep and I 'm happy. It's so cute. I haven't read the rest of the S.A.S.S. program books. I can't wait to read the rest. And to see how they are doing in other countries. Read this if you like what the book is about.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    A SASS book. Cece was adoped from China when she was two, and now she is on her way back, and she hopes to find answers to her past. She is also interested in anthropology, and she wants to explore her heritage. She meets a guy on the plane, Will, and she makes friends with several other people in the program, and with their help and support, she may be able to face her past and decide her future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annabelle

    It's one of those cliches stories, but I also think it has it's own originality. A girl wants to truly discover who she is as a whole person. Being one that just found an unknown part of my heritage, I feel that I don't know myself. This is what the main character- Cece- feels. She wants to know who she is, why is she who she is. She was an adopted Chinese girl with no recollection of her birth parents or her homeland. In this book, it's all about to change. It's one of those cliches stories, but I also think it has it's own originality. A girl wants to truly discover who she is as a whole person. Being one that just found an unknown part of my heritage, I feel that I don't know myself. This is what the main character- Cece- feels. She wants to know who she is, why is she who she is. She was an adopted Chinese girl with no recollection of her birth parents or her homeland. In this book, it's all about to change.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I liked this book, it was a very easy read though. I really liked the main character Cece, she is Chinese but got adopted by an american family.Now she is in China again for a anthropology program. I love all of the people she meets through the program because they seem so realistic.But because she is already there in China she decides to try to find her orphanage and birth parents. It's very interesting what she finds out. I liked this book, it was a very easy read though. I really liked the main character Cece, she is Chinese but got adopted by an american family.Now she is in China again for a anthropology program. I love all of the people she meets through the program because they seem so realistic.But because she is already there in China she decides to try to find her orphanage and birth parents. It's very interesting what she finds out.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I found myself learning more about china in this book. There are a lot of familiar pinyins in this book that I know how to read, there are histories that I am fimiliar with. I can relate to a lot of the facts in this book. I can't relate to the main character though, main character Cece was adopted and wanted to find out about her origin, that was part of the reason why she went to SASS program. The ending came a little too quickly but I still like the ending. I found myself learning more about china in this book. There are a lot of familiar pinyins in this book that I know how to read, there are histories that I am fimiliar with. I can relate to a lot of the facts in this book. I can't relate to the main character though, main character Cece was adopted and wanted to find out about her origin, that was part of the reason why she went to SASS program. The ending came a little too quickly but I still like the ending.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I was surprised to find as much depth as I did behind the cliched cover. (I'll attribute that to the series and not the author.) Mostly a formulaic coming of age story--teen goes on study abroad before college, hopes for love, friendship, blah, blah--with twist being that the teen is an adoptee from China. Seeing her perspective on China shift through the story and her cohort of diverse Chinese American friends provided more substance than I expected. Quick read! I was surprised to find as much depth as I did behind the cliched cover. (I'll attribute that to the series and not the author.) Mostly a formulaic coming of age story--teen goes on study abroad before college, hopes for love, friendship, blah, blah--with twist being that the teen is an adoptee from China. Seeing her perspective on China shift through the story and her cohort of diverse Chinese American friends provided more substance than I expected. Quick read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Weber

    Quick and fun. I liked the premise of this and felt it had more depth as CeCe struggled with her identity and trying to figure out why her parents would put her up for adoption in China. It was interesting to see how much she berated Jess for her Chinese stereotypes while CeCe held on to her own. In the end, she learned to follow the truth rather than the conclusions she had already made in her head.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This SASS series is about a variety of girls in an exchange program to learn about new cultures and take classes in different parts of the world however all the girls get a little distracted by the guys wherever they are in the world and that could possibly get them sent home. How do they get over the locals and start studying for their stays?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ligia

    the first chapter is weak, but it gets better and better. the story is engaging, and it moves along nicely, toward the end, it is driven, it makes you want to turn the pages faster. it's informative about Chinese culture, the one child policy, and adoption. it's simple, but good. it made me feel as if I were in the anthropology program. the first chapter is weak, but it gets better and better. the story is engaging, and it moves along nicely, toward the end, it is driven, it makes you want to turn the pages faster. it's informative about Chinese culture, the one child policy, and adoption. it's simple, but good. it made me feel as if I were in the anthropology program.

  30. 5 out of 5

    D.L. Price

    "The Great Call of China" is one of Cynthea Liu's best books! The character Cece is a wonderful teenage girl that searches for personal answers in the country of China. The story was well written and I had a hard time putting the book down (which is a good sign). The author's writings reached deep into my emotions which made me laugh and cry. Five stars all the way! "The Great Call of China" is one of Cynthea Liu's best books! The character Cece is a wonderful teenage girl that searches for personal answers in the country of China. The story was well written and I had a hard time putting the book down (which is a good sign). The author's writings reached deep into my emotions which made me laugh and cry. Five stars all the way!

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