January 18, 2019

#BookReview: Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu

Title: Girls on the Line
Author:  Jennie Liu
Genres: Young Adult, 
Realistic Fiction
Pages: Hardcover232 pages
Published: November 1st 2018
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab (R)

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Synopsis:  A teen pregnancy puts two orphan girls in contemporary China on a collision course with factory bosses, family planning regulators, and a bride trafficker.

About the Author: Jennie Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She has been fascinated by the attitudes, social policies, and changes in China each time she visits. She lives in North Carolina with her family.

My Review:  I read through this one pretty fast and it was very interesting to learn the hardships that orphans have to go through as well as those who have children without a permit or licnese.  Coming from a world where if you get pregnant nothing will happen to you. To a world where if you are unwed and you get pregnat you get fined. Was a very weird experience. 

This story is one that will rip at your heart strings as well as making you want to learn more about the world these girls have come from.  

Go Into This One Knowing: First Person, 2 POVs

"A powerful view into the struggles faced by young women in a world that doesn't value them--and where they must find strength within themselves and each other."--Joanne O'Sullivan, author of Between Two Skies 
--Other Print
"This story will pull on your heart in a hundred different ways. I found myself so worried for Yun and Luli, and the difficult choices they had to make in order to survive. It was beautiful to watch their friendship evolve, as each girl lost, and then found, her own strength, voice, and sense of self amid such challenging circumstances. An authentic, gripping read from beginning to end!"--Ingrid Palmer, author of All Out of Pretty
--Other Print
For most people in the West, the relationship with China is one based on products--clothes, shoes, mobile phones--or, should the rumbling trade war materialize, the lack of them. But the people who toil away making these products are hardly ever brought into focus.
In 2008, Leslie T Chang's non-fiction narrative, Factory Girls, introduced the workers--mainly young women--who flock to Chinese factory towns in search of jobs. But over the last eight years, Chinese factory workers have rarely, if ever, figured as protagonists in English-language general market books--until this year. Two debut novelists have written works in which they do. Although these books are targeted toward different audiences, they both have a central story to tell that revolves around the girls and women who work in factories and the difficulties they face in this grueling work.
Spencer Wise's debut novel, The Emperor of Shoes, out in June, is told from the viewpoint of Alex Cohen, a Jewish American recent college graduate who travels to China to visit his father, the proprietor of a shoe factory in Foshan, Guangdong province. Alex's father, Feodor, has lived in China for decades and expects his son to take over the family's multi-generational business. Alex has other ideas. For one, he falls in love with Ivy, a young Chinese factory worker who is also a pro-democracy activist. And second, Alex grapples with the ethics behind the factories that pay low wages in China. Shoe factors are integral to his family's business, but at what cost? He and his father disagree about the rights of the workers and the tenets of capitalism. But conveying all this to his curmudgeonly father is another matter.
Jennie Liu's debut young adult novel, Girls on the Line, which will be released in November, is told through the alternating voices of Yun and Luli, two teenaged orphans who find work at an electronics factory in Shanxi province. Yun and Luli aged out of their orphanage at sixteen and could either work for the orphanage and end up staying there forever, or forge out on their own and find work in a local factory, joining thousands of other young women from around China.
What links these books is not just the factory setting, but stories that show the workers' as rather more than one-dimensional characters they are sometimes portrayed as being, faceless people who simply show up to work and toil for twelve or sixteen hours in monotonous jobs so the affluent can own the latest iPhone at the click of a mouse.
In The Emperor of Shoes, Ivy cannot find another type of job because of her past participation in the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement. Her background disqualifies her for other jobs. Although she and Alex become romantically involved, she is mainly focused on planning a big protest against the working conditions at Alex's father's factory. While the father-son story is central to this book, the story of Ivy's determination to stand up for w --Journal
I"t is 2009 in the city of Gujiao, China: 16-year-old Luli and 17-year-old Yun, best friends, have aged out of their orphanage and are now enjoying the exhilarating independence of factory work. Their wages and dorm life offer an exciting taste of freedom, as does Yun's handsome new boyfriend, Yong. Yun's jealous ex-boyfriend says that Yong is illegally trafficking brides to the countryside, but Yun refuses to believe it. When she becomes pregnant, however, Yun, Luli, and Yong each have their own agendas, and their decisions and deceits result in a compelling, action-packed chain of events. During this time, China's One-Child Policy made unmarried and multiple pregnancies illegal for most: Mothers would be fined for unauthorized pregnancies, and without an official permit would not even be allowed into a hospital to give birth. Told in the first person from the two girls' alternating points of view, readers will be drawn into their emotional lives through sharing both their quiet, day-to-day routines and the moments of high drama, all of which are direct results of policies that trapped ordinary citizens and forced them into making terrible decisions. An affecting and original thrill ride highlighting the bond between two friends put in a horrible situation by actual Chinese government policies."--Kirkus Reviews

"The author explores China's One Child Policy and its complex repercussions in this compelling dual narrative. Luli and Yun grew up together in an orphanage and find themselves in the grind of factory work as they seek financial and social independence. Shy Luli observes as Yun pursues a relationship with Yong, who self-describes as a 'bride collector.' When Yun becomes pregnant and gets fired from the factory, her world closes in with the consequences of bearing a child out of wedlock in 2009 China. Yun is self-aware enough to know she cannot face her problem alone, but her survival-mode mentality leads her away from nurturing Luli. Yong's credibility crumbles, but Yun is so embedded in his world, she needs Luli and others to navigate each step of her journey. Liu shifts narration creatively along plot points and uses a matter-of-fact tone to immerse readers in the unfolding action. The characters are realistic products of their experiences--they are flawed, accessible, and multidimensional. This novel explores a moment of contemporary history and a culture that is underrepresented in YA realistic fiction. Fans of Audacity by Melanie Crowder or Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope PĂ©rez will gobble this up. VERDICT Recommended purchase, especially for YA collections serving older teens or new adults."--starred, School Library Journal

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