Another popular and talented Chinese novel author many are fond of is Xin Yi Wu (辛夷坞). You will hear more about her when Vicki Zhao releases her movie So Young in April which is adapted from her book called Our Eventually Lost Youth. You can watch the movie with English subtitles here but I think it is very different from the novel. All of the copyrights of her books have already been sold to drama producing companies so sooner or later you will get to watch them.
It is rumoured Yuan Hong, our Hui Er’s honey will star in either the drama version of Our Eventually Lost Youth as Lin Jing or Let Me Look at You as Han Shu or both. Hui Er has not listened to any of her books yet but once her honey is confirmed as the lead, she’ll marathon them in no time:P Actually Yuan Hong is suitable to be the lead for any of her books. Hopefully Yuan Hong will star in at least one of the adaption & if he is in all 8, Hui Er will turn this blog into fangirling Xin Yi Wu:P I was told Xin Yi Wu is Yuan Hong’s fan. Does Yuan Hong like Xin Yi Wu’s books?
Thus, I am going to write a feature on her. If you want to know more details about her books, pay a visit to the book bar. I am including a short & funny snippet I translated on her first book “You Are Still Here”. Just imagine Yuan Hong as Cheng Zheng and Liu Shi Shi as Su Yun Jin:)
A fan-made MV of Xin Yi Wu’s 3 most popular books: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/jH8NaMGsm4U/ (Sorry, can’t find one with Yuan Hong:(
Curious to know how Xin Yi Wu looks like:P? http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/xpgvogbLTIo/
Addition: After reading my feature, Hui Er is currently busy listening to the audiobook for Mirage to show her support for her honey so you won’t hear from her these 2 days:P She has also finished listening to Let Me Look at You & like it very much:)
Xin Yi Wu is a highly rated author who specialises in writing modern novels especially the coming of age kind. She is well-known for her ‘warm injury youth’ novels. The author’s characterization are realistic and descriptions are vivid. The author’s writing style and the way she sets up the plot is solid. All the plots are fairly original & different from the norm so they are quite refreshing & though provoking.
She’s not as funny as Gu Man and Tang Qi but there are enough humor and cute moments to keep the story from being dry. One media person even commented that a woman’s life will not be complete if she does not read a Xin Yi Wu’s novel!
All of XYW’s books take place in G city so all her characters are connected though work, friends, family relations, etc. Main/supporting characters in one book show up in other books as supporting characters. Good thing about this is getting updates on characters you like. Bad thing is it can drive you up the wall when you can’t recall where you had previously read such-and-such character. (lidge)
Not all her books have a happy ending. Although her stories are sad and angsty, the endings are optimistic. There’s still a bittersweet feeling with the end couples, but this reflects real life because in real life, we usually don’t get everything we want. Her endings are definitely less tragic & bleak than Fei Wo Si Chun who is the step-mum. However in her latest book, she seems to be moving towards that direction:( Hopefully she’ll move back to more hopeful and brighter ending in her new book, The Promised Years.
Below are very brief summaries of all of Xin Yi Wu’s books in chronological order :
- You are Still Here (原来你还在这里) or revised version is called Original (原来) – The story is about second chance in love when the leads with opposite characters love & separate because of their immaturity.
- To Our Eventually Lost Youth (致我们终将腐朽的青春) – The story is about a young girl’s love for two very flawed male leads that spans about 10 years.
- Evening Twilight (晨昏) – This story is about a pair of twin sisters’ love for the same man and the family drama it ensues.
- The Moon Doesn’t Undertand my Heart (山月不知心底事) – The story is about a dysfunctional family where the long-suffering female lead gets entangled with two brothers.
- Let Me Look at You (许我向你看) – The story is very interesting about prejudice, social outcast, deceptive appearance, hypocrisy and forgiveness.
- I am Waiting for you in Memories (我在回忆里等你) – This story explores various facets of love (friendship love, parent love, romantic love) and shows us that love is not possible without trust.
- Mirage (浮世浮城) – The story is about a guy who comes back to seek revenge on the female lead resulting in the breakdown of her marriage.
- Eclipse Heart (蚀心者) – The story about two outcasts trying to find acceptance in society leading to their unhappiness and downfalls.
Below is peanuts who is Xin Yi Wu’s fan ranking:
1) Let me Look at You – Strong, stubborn & unique female lead. Likeable and persistent imperfect male lead. Profound, melancholy & interesting plot.
2) So You are Still Here/Original – A simple & sweet fairytale story on love with some happy humour. Because I like the male lead & the school antics too much, I think I give this book more credit than it deserves so I am bias:P
3) Mirage – I like the audiobook very much so I might have overated this book:P I am singing the opposite tune to Lidge because I like the male lead. He is childish but endearing:) I find the portrayal of modern marriage refreshing & food for thought.
4) To Our Eventually Lost Youth – Like the flawed male characters & realistic slice of life storyline on the price of growing up.
5) Eclipse Heart – After reading a few chapters and the detailed plot summary, I gave this book up. The leads are too unlikeable & the storyline too bleak and gloomy so I am abandoning the train before the wreck:P
I didn’t read the other 3 novels yet so I won’t rank them although I know the storylines fairly well.
Below is Lidge who is Xin Yi Wu’s superfan ranking:
#1) Let Me Look At You: A story about two people fated to be together despite coming from different backgrounds and the hurt they have caused each other. Love this good book.
#2) Waiting 4 You: XYW’s saddest book. Should come with a warning just because of the ending. I love the plot & heroine though.
#3) Twilight: A bit like Gu Man’s He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo but with lots of family drama & angst
#4) You’re Still Here (old version): XYW’s first book so it’s her “happiest” book. Plot is a bit thin. [May move up in ranking depending on how good the new version is]
#5) The Moon Doesn’t Understand My Heart: Lots of boring business talk. The Ye family is as dysfunctional as a family could get.
#6) Lost Youth: XYW’s most famous book. Personally dislike both main guys so it’s hard to like this.
#7) Mirage: No plot! All the characters are annoying!! Worst is the main guy!!!!
Basically the story is about Cheng Zheng & Su Yun Jin who know each other since high school, then started to date during college & cohabited after finishing college. They have completely opposite personalities yet are attracted to each other. Like Yuan Hong, Cheng Zheng has an easy going personality & a sense of humour whereas Su Yun Jin, quite similar to Liu Shi Shi is quiet and serious. Because of their immaturity, they do not know how to treasure each other resulting in their break up. Here, they meet again while waiting for the elevator.
We’ve been so engrossed in talking and catching up, we did not press the elevator button.” Which floor do you live? “Cheng Zheng asks, smiling. Su Yun Jin has long wanted to end this ridiculous encounter. Feeling the hypocrisy of the words they’ve just exchanged, she just doesn’t know how to continue to pretend and to maintain this ridiculous facade. But she is unwilling to let Cheng Zheng know which floor she lives. This damn elevator, it has been so long yet no other person in the building press to make it move.
“You press first.” She hopes, if he lives on the lower floor, she can wait and let him get out first. Cheng Zheng readily pushes the 18th floor button, which is the top floor of this building. Su Yun Jin swears all the bad words she knows in her heart & presses the 5th floor button. Soon, the elevator stops on the 5th floor. She tries to quickly bypass him and get out with a “goodbye”.
In fact, she lives on the 6th floor, but the climb of one flight of stairs is worth it. She doesn’t expect Cheng Zheng will exclaim a surprise expression, “You ‘also’ live on the 5th floor?” Su Yun Jin angrily says: “You do not live on the 18th floor?” “Who says I live on the 18th floor? I see that you do not speak, so I pressed the top floor button as one cannot always stay in the elevator.” “Aiya, I just notice I pressed the wrong floor. Since you live on this floor, you go first … Good night.” Su Yun Jin goes back into the elevator.
Cheng Zheng doesn’t move a foot in the elevator. He seems to find all these very amusing, “I said, ‘also’ because I ‘also’ live on the 5th floor in my previous apartment.” Su Yun Jin pouts and keeps quiet. This feels like the cat & mouse game they used to play in high school but she doesn’t want to play with him anymore. She presses the 6th floor & walks straight out when the elevator door opens. “So you live on the 6th floor ar?” Cheng Zheng flashes a wide grin on his face. “In fact, I live on the 9th floor. Come & visit me when you’ve time”
When the elevator door is closing, Su Yun Jin suddenly feels fatigue. If in the future she has to endure another episode like this is too scary, so might be better to say everything in the open as early as possible. “Cheng Zheng!” She suddenly shouts loudly. The elevator door slowly opens again. Cheng Zheng looking surprise says, “Why should we make life difficult for the elevator?” “Do you think this is fun?” He finally put away the smile. “What do you want? Tell me straight. Do not play. Don’t you think what happened just now is rather hilarious?” Su Yun Jin goes on to say. “You want me to give you enjoyment?” Many years ago, they had a similar conversation, that first time he kissed her. Su Yun Jin tries not to remember that & asks: “What do you want?”
“You may have misunderstood. The only reason I moved here is my girlfriend likes the quietness here which is good for the unborn baby. You know, in this respect, I do not care. I always accommodate others. Just like you used to like that small abalone apartment & I lived in that super small place for two years. Believe it or not, this is the truth. Yun Jin, we do not have to be friend, but things in the past, I’ve forgotten most of them so you don’t need to treat me so cautiously.” “Hopefully, as you said, I wish we can be good & friendly neighbor.” She takes a step back. The elevator starts to rise but Su Yun Jin’s heart starts to fall.