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Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty #1). by Diana Ma, #97 review

Publication date : 2020

The first book in an epic and romantic YA series following the fictionalized descendants of the only officially recognized empress regent of China

Gemma Huang is a recent transplant to Los Angeles from Illinois, having abandoned plans for college to pursue a career in acting, much to the dismay of her parents. Now she’s living with three roommates in a two-bedroom hovel, auditioning for bit roles that hardly cover rent. Gemma’s big break comes when she’s asked to play a lead role in an update of M. Butterfly filming for the summer in Beijing. When she arrives, she’s stopped by paparazzi at the airport. She quickly realizes she may as well be the twin of one of the most notorious young socialites in Beijing. Thus kicks off a summer of revelations, in which Gemma uncovers a legacy her parents have spent their lives protecting her from—one her mother would conceal from her daughter at any cost.

Heiress Apparently is a modern Chinese American Cinderella Retelling set in both USA and China. In one book, you’ll get to read and experience both cultures! With Chinese New Year in less than 2 weeks, this is the perfect book to read 🏮🌸

There are so many reasons why I love the book. I am a Chinese Malaysian, thus I relate to the Chinese cultures. I appreciation the use of Chinese words in it and the accurate representation. What surprised me in the book is the colourfully written scenes and switches of settings. From the ancient remains of China Dynasties Castles to the splendor of Hollywood and glamour concrete jungle of the wealthy side of China.

The romance in this book is *chef kiss* the development pace was just right 🙆‍♀️ and the unexpected twist was a pleasant surprise.

Issues addressed in the book:

。The double standards for women in the entertainment industry – feminist unite to overthrow a sexist shit ass male director

。LGBTQ+ rights in China – HIHI, about damn time this is addressed in Chinese lit since we’re famous for maintaining tradition. 😤

。Sisterhood and Kinship – The full circle moment in the book is wholesome. Family is very important in ever culture. In China, the legacy of one’s family is carried on the shoulders of the next generation. Shame and dishonour is frown upon. Family is everything but is everything worth to be sacrificed to family?

。Tiananmen Square Massacre History and Revolution- the Government of China censors all mention of the massacre and sensitive information on their Web and in history books. It is very rarely mentioned since it is a dangerous topic I admire how Diana Ma kept it respectful in the book. Some would argue that she toed the line. Then again, some lines must be toed in order for improvement.

Heiress Apparently is rich in Chinese Culture, since most of us is in lockdown right now, take a trip to China in the pages of the book 📖🏮. Thank you @times.reads for sending me this book. Congratulations to Diana Ma for this 厉害 debut.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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