Bonjour Shanghai

Bonjour Shanghai

Clementine Liu is back for more fashion, dating, and drama!Clementine Liu, the super-stylish fashion student behind the Bonjour Girl blog, is about to finish her first eventful year in New York City. Ready to put all the drama behind her, she’s about to embark on a prestigious exchange program — in Shanghai!Before Clementine actually sets foot in China, though, a whole...

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Title:Bonjour Shanghai
Author:Isabelle Lafleche
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Bonjour Shanghai Reviews

  • Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer

    Bonjour Shanghai, a City of Romance, Fashion and… Blogging?!

    The setting is clearly why I wanted to read Bonjour Shanghai. I love learning about and exploring cities in Asia. When culture, people and scenery come together to create a lovely atmosphere it also makes a story feel more unique and satisfying. But this book also has the distinction of being a new adult novel, about a college age girl.

    Did the Shanghai in Bonjour Shanghai sweep away this Fangirl?

    I didn’t realize that Bonjour Shanghai

    Bonjour Shanghai, a City of Romance, Fashion and… Blogging?!

    The setting is clearly why I wanted to read Bonjour Shanghai. I love learning about and exploring cities in Asia. When culture, people and scenery come together to create a lovely atmosphere it also makes a story feel more unique and satisfying. But this book also has the distinction of being a new adult novel, about a college age girl.

    Did the Shanghai in Bonjour Shanghai sweep away this Fangirl?

    I didn’t realize that Bonjour Shanghai was the second book in a series. But don’t worry I didn’t feel like I missed anything jumping to this book. Over 20% was reestablishing what happened to Clementine at Parsons School of Design the previous semester. And we didn’t get to China until 39%. You really need to be ready to sympathize and fall for Clementine to enjoy Bonjour Shanghai.

    Clementine wants to be a fashion journalist.

    She’s going to Parsons because she wants to write about fashion. Bonjour Girl is the name of her blog where she writes about eco-fashion and interviews people to bring awareness to different fashion causes.

    It was clear the author did tons of research about this and she incorporated it quite naturally into the story. In particular I enjoyed the moments where I learned more about this segment of fashion. But I also loved that there were so many different activities Clementine did in her blogging and fashion efforts. It made her dream feel quite genuine.

    And she won a semester at a fashion college in Shanghai.

    But she isn’t sure she wants to take it. Her best friend is a talented designer she hits up the best restaurants with and dishes about boys to. Her boyfriend is a photographer trying to expand his business in the Big Apple. And suddenly they both have personal issues. Should she stay to support them?

    This was a realistic quandary that college aged people go through. What is more important, the people in their lives or their career? There is no right answer. A lot of time is spent on Clementine figuring out the answer to this problem. It wasn’t what I wanted to focus on, but it was part of her major dilemma in the story.

    But another boy is waiting for her when the plane lands.

    Henry is good-looking, fashionable and has the same passions. Clementine meets him online and they clearly click. And he knows Shanghai like the back of his hand, and has all sorts of contacts. When does the line blur between friends and… more?

    I didn’t really like Jonathan. And since I hadn’t read the first book I wasn’t invested in him at all. Then with the me2 situation he gets involved in I was rooting for Henry big time. Plus Henry was Clementine’s guide around the city. Henry and Shanghai become linked. So while I got a very real sense of all the best fashion locations in Shanghai they were all tainted by Henry. While I was happy Clem figured out what she wanted and the direction of her blog, the love triangle overwhelmed any Shanghai moments.

    Using a location like Shanghai means a ton of research.

    It was so obvious all of the research done by the author about fashion. And while we were in New York I felt like Clementine definitely lived there. The same wasn’t true for Shanghai. I did appreciate the different fashion places mentioned, like the vintage store Henry took her to visit. But I didn’t get a sense of what it was like to live in Shanghai. They took a lot of taxis but that’s no different than New York. Shanghai felt like a gimmick to change up the story.

    But Clementine grew up dealing with her blogging struggles in China.

    Okay, I didn’t feel Shanghai. But I did feel Clementine’s journey. Her struggles were the same as all college kids. She felt like a real blogger with a niche and a passion. Showing off who she is through the clothes she wears was so realistic and genuine for a fashion lover. And teens could really benefit from reading about Clementine following her heart and remaining true to her values.

    Bonjour Shanghai follows a college age girl as she works through different choices that will change the course of her future. Clementine is a great example for teen readers with big dreams, reminding them to stay true to their heart and values.

  • Lori Harris

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC through Edelweiss, but all opinions are my own.

    (I'm freaking surprised I have an ARC of this, and I thought I was going to get denied, because I haven't reviewed too much books on their. 1/6 now, but I swear I'll get to them. Please, publishers, I promise I will send you those reviews. They're ebooks, and I take forever to read them it seems like)

  • Liralen

    The return of the fashion pixie dream girl! This series just isn't for me, I'm afraid, and I'll try to remember that if there's a third book at some point. Again, everybody is head over stiletto-clad heels for the fashion pixie: heaping accolades upon her, wanting to date her, throwing fancy clothing and apartments and makeup in her direction. There's definitely meant to be a fantasy-life undertone here, and there is a bit more conflict in this one (yay), but I needed more to underpin the

    The return of the fashion pixie dream girl! This series just isn't for me, I'm afraid, and I'll try to remember that if there's a third book at some point. Again, everybody is head over stiletto-clad heels for the fashion pixie: heaping accolades upon her, wanting to date her, throwing fancy clothing and apartments and makeup in her direction. There's definitely meant to be a fantasy-life undertone here, and there is a bit more conflict in this one (yay), but I needed more to underpin the fantasy in order to stay interested, and I tire (have long since tired...it's not this book's fault) of YA that feels the need to throw romantic drama in everywhere, whether or not it's warranted. If the fashion pixie next gets an internship in Milan, will some dashing Italian swoop in to destabilise her relationship with Jonathan? (This would probably be for the best, mind, since Jonathan appears to be the sort of boy who will rage if the fashion pixie develops friendships* with other straight boys, which is...unfortunate.)

    Also: the fashion pixie seems to have forgotten, again, that she's not American...? She describes Lover Boy #2 thusly:

    She herself is French and Chinese, raised in Paris, but she never seems to consider that when she's thinking about English, which is a little odd. Also also: if you're curious about Shanghai, woe betide you, for it's chapter sixteen before the fashion pixie actually gets around to getting on a plane, and the only thing she's really interested in in Shanghai is clothing. Oh, and boys, of course.

    Ah well. It was a nice thought while it lasted.

    *In this case he's not wrong that the fashion pixie is going past platonic, but that's not the point. Ugh to that kind of jealousy.

  • Mindy

    **Disclaimer: I received a free electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

    Well, this was a rather quick read. When I requested for this ARC I was not aware that this was a sequel. Fortunately, I was able to grasp the gist of the story and what happened in the previous book. On the downside, I wasn't able to experience the character development that may have occurred in the previous book and any drama that was glossed over in this book.

    Overall, I was not much of a fan of

    **Disclaimer: I received a free electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

    Well, this was a rather quick read. When I requested for this ARC I was not aware that this was a sequel. Fortunately, I was able to grasp the gist of the story and what happened in the previous book. On the downside, I wasn't able to experience the character development that may have occurred in the previous book and any drama that was glossed over in this book.

    Overall, I was not much of a fan of this book. I found myself skimming through the pages because of how bored I was. None of the characters appealed to me, and so many stupid mistakes were made. For example, Clem catches feelings for a boy she met online from Hong Kong, but she has a boyfriend. She is aware that her boyfriend is uncomfortable with this surprisingly budding friendship, yet she doesn't completely stop herself from catching new feelings. Another thing is how so many uneventful things begin to happen to Clem, all of which I did not care about, but at least it was all fixed by one simple blog post, thus clearing all the drama.

    I feel like even if I had read the prequel, I probably still wouldn't have enjoyed this series because of the weak plot, weak characters, and the overall juvenile tone.

  • Sahar

    Disclaimer: I received this as an ARC for free from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

    This book took me forever to read, and not because it was something I wanted to savor. The plot was pretty straightforward, but it somehow took 280 pages to get through. Clementine, an eco-conscious fashion blogger, goes on an exchange program to Shanghai, where she is supposed to work on her fashion career. Instead, this gets sidelined by all the men in her life. Her boyfriend, who it’s hard to see why she’s

    Disclaimer: I received this as an ARC for free from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

    This book took me forever to read, and not because it was something I wanted to savor. The plot was pretty straightforward, but it somehow took 280 pages to get through. Clementine, an eco-conscious fashion blogger, goes on an exchange program to Shanghai, where she is supposed to work on her fashion career. Instead, this gets sidelined by all the men in her life. Her boyfriend, who it’s hard to see why she’s so in love with–he’s controlling, jealous, and secretive–is a constant presence, even when they aren’t speaking. Her best friend is having his own issues, which she feels like only she can fix. She’s sidetracked by a new guy she meets in Shanghai.

    Essentially, the plot is slow, and the characters are hard to like. There really isn’t anything to recommend this book. Every situation feels incredibly dramatic because all the characters feel like they are in high school, not college. At the same time, the book bored me. The final mark against it? I seriously thought about not finishing it several times.

  • Leah

    Sometimes you want a little bit of brain candy - something light and fluffy that you don't have to think too deeply about, but is still fun and has you rooting for the characters and their happy endings.

    If that's what you're seeking, look elsewhere.

    I hadn't realized that this was a sequel when I downloaded it, and based on reading this book, I won't be seeking out the first. This was like the clothing and destination descriptions of Crazy Rich Asians without the satisfying snark and the author's

    Sometimes you want a little bit of brain candy - something light and fluffy that you don't have to think too deeply about, but is still fun and has you rooting for the characters and their happy endings.

    If that's what you're seeking, look elsewhere.

    I hadn't realized that this was a sequel when I downloaded it, and based on reading this book, I won't be seeking out the first. This was like the clothing and destination descriptions of Crazy Rich Asians without the satisfying snark and the author's self awareness of how insufferable the characters are. Clementine is the book's main character, yes, but the way that she places her life concerns over those of everyone else, the way the other characters allow and even encourage her to do so, was so unappealing. (By the time she talked about how sad she was that her friend Jake was too caught up in his own - extremely significant - troubles to support her if she were to call him, rather than considering giving him a call to offer her support, my eyes were basically rolled permanently back in my head.) Significant issues like addiction, cheating, and even the message of conscious consumerism which is meant to be Clementine's passion, are not given significant depth, and the relationships seemed shallow and given attempted emotional weight through telling rather than showing.

    While not actively harmful, and made up of readable sentences (which bumped it past one star) I would certainly give this one a miss.

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC.

  • Renee

    Ugh. Let me start by saying that I received this as an ARC through net galley.

    1) I didn’t realize this was a sequel. It does not read well as a stand alone because they don’t do a great job of explaining the bullying that happened in the previous book that makes our heroine so touchy.

    2) all of the characters are pretty much cardboard cutouts. Literally every character is more interesting than our heroine except for her boyfriend, and all of their issues feel so, so incredibly contrived.

    3) I

    Ugh. Let me start by saying that I received this as an ARC through net galley.

    1) I didn’t realize this was a sequel. It does not read well as a stand alone because they don’t do a great job of explaining the bullying that happened in the previous book that makes our heroine so touchy.

    2) all of the characters are pretty much cardboard cutouts. Literally every character is more interesting than our heroine except for her boyfriend, and all of their issues feel so, so incredibly contrived.

    3) I really don’t like Clementine. She’s insecure, annoying, entitled, and despite the author’s best attempt at making her interesting, comes across as pretty shallow. I’m not sure how my eyes are still in my head after this gem “Sometimes in a girl’s life, macarons fresh off the plane from Paris are the only thing that can save the day.” Yes, Clem, because we’ve all been lucky enough to experience that.

    4) Spoiler alert: when our heroine has her big reveal, she writes this super amazing blog post and, due to the formatting of the ARC, I was unable to read it. I’m curious to know what it said. (But not curious enough to find the book after it has come out.)

  • Kitty Marie

    Starting with the good-

    This is one of the fastest reads I've come across in a long time. I'd read a few books around the 300 page mark around this time. Bonjour Shanghai is only slightly shorter than that and I zoomed through it in a couple of hours. The writing style is simple in ways that are both good and bad, the good being its brisk readability.

    While the details about Shanghai are sparse, Clementine (the heroine) does make some worthwhile observations. For example, she is very interested in

    Starting with the good-

    This is one of the fastest reads I've come across in a long time. I'd read a few books around the 300 page mark around this time. Bonjour Shanghai is only slightly shorter than that and I zoomed through it in a couple of hours. The writing style is simple in ways that are both good and bad, the good being its brisk readability.

    While the details about Shanghai are sparse, Clementine (the heroine) does make some worthwhile observations. For example, she is very interested in environmentalism and sustainability. These aspects are mentioned in a direct and simply appealing way, not too clinical or boring. The sections about jean production causing pollution were interesting.

    Having not read the first book in this series, this sequel was surprisingly approachable and nicely self-contained, I definitely didn't feel like I was missing out on a massive larger plot. The first book sounds like it might be entertaining, based on the little references sprinkled throughout this volume.

    Now for the not-so-good-

    While Clementine wasn't markedly dislikable or grating, she isn't a heroine with a lot of depth and comes off as flighty and short-sighted. The few emotional sections have her coming off as exceptionally immature in comparison to other YA heroines in contemporaries I've read.

    Though a light and simple contemporary, I really felt like the focal points are shallow even within that context. I was never left with an immersive sense of Shanghai or fashion or the angst of Clementine's relationships (there is a love triangle here) beyond a surface level. Also, it took way too long for the trip to Shanghai to start.

    I feel like this book was a bit too cutesy and simplistic for YA. Clementine reads as so much younger than her age, closer to 13-14 years old than late teens. But I could imagine the descriptions of colorful fashion and the heroine's fun life as an aspiring fashion designer might have a more dazzling effect on a younger, middle grade audience. Barring a couple moments of harsh language and a short, undetailed paragraph hinting toward characters getting intimate- I could easily imagine tweens enjoying a tweaked middle grade version of this one.

    Disclosure : Many thanks to Netgalley and Dundurn Press for providing me an e-ARC of this title for the purpose of review.

  • Storme

    DNF at 13%. Terrible dialogue and super uninteresting to me.

  • amanda

    DNF

    I tried very hard to get into the book, the story, the characters but found that no matter how hard I tried it was impossible. The characters all seemed to be stereotypes of one another and superficial to the point of unlikability.

    The cover is really cute however.

    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my Arc. All opinions are my own.

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