One Life, One Incarnation – Beautiful Bones


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Beautiful bones. Rare in this world.

Those with bone do not have skin. Those with skin do not have bone.

Most people’s eyes are shallow, seeing only the skin-deep appearance and not the ‘bones,’ the appearance of the inside.”

The “bones” and “skin” are metaphorical and taken from an ancient text in which these are actually referring to inner and outer beauty, respectively. Most people are shallow and only see outward beauty and fail to acknowledge inner beauty.

The female lead, Shi Yi, has memories of her past life in which her heart belonged to Zhousheng Chen. That life ended in tragedy for them, and in this life, her only goal and desire is to find him again… and one day, she does. He does not look the same, but she knows that beneath the outer appearance, it is him. He, however, does not remember her.

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Demonic Reader lv 451F
Demonic Reader lv 451F rated it
September 1, 2016
Status: Completed
From the Author's rumble

The idiom, 细水长流, literally meaning “thin streams of water will flow for a long time” is often used to describe this type of love. Hoju’s views on that: It’s not a raging waterfall or rapids that overcome and engulf you, like the passionate type of love that is often featured in romance stories and hits us hard, like a waterfall, but love that is demonstrated in small details and over time, grows deeper and deeper, like a thin stream of water that flows gently over a rock,... more>> slowly, over time, cutting a pathway into it without anyone even noticing. A flash flood may come quickly and bowl you over, but that thin stream of water is slow and steady but never lets up until one day, you see it has cut right into the heart of the stone.

Yes! The story is something like the slow, cool, gentle stream flowing through the peaceful flower valley. If your heart yearn for the fast action, exciting scene, exploding drama.. Don't pick this novel yet. Find good tea, sipping slowly while watching calm sunset. Sleep serenely. Walk leisurely through the park. Find some quiet spot to rest your mind. Then, read, slow read. Read like you're enjoying the exotic wine, not like gulping down gallon of the cheap rice alcohol.

Then, all the romances'll be with you. <<less
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dysry rated it
March 13, 2016
Status: --
The MC is a sweet and simple girl who only wishes to see the man she loved in her past life and be near him. While she does chase after him, her rather unambitious request is easily granted and she spends the rest of the story by his side as a supportive and demure wife. The male lead is a mature and efficient man of few words but shows his affections through his actions. Overall it’s a very slow and gentle romance – ideal for people to experience but a... more>> very dull read.

The plot would be more interesting if they had fleshed out either the male lead’s background or their past life earlier in the story (or shortened the story and left both out). The author intentionally distances her characters from the latter to prove the strength of their current relationship, but the female lead constantly refers their past, uses her past skills and makes comparisons... so she may as well write it out. It’s also more compelling than the main story since things actually happen in their past life. The male lead’s background also could’ve been played up more, rather than tacked on at the end like a soap opera.

Constantly wavering between 2/5 and 3/5 for anything written by this author. While there is nothing particularly objectionable, it’s so boring and the characters and story lack personality. It would’ve been better if their interactions either carried more depth, or humour, drama or anything really.

Other Notes:

Having read Really, Really Miss You and Still Not Wanting to Forget by the same author, I found that her stories had similar faults in that the characters are quite rigid in expressing their affections (the author really struggles with conversations), the length of the story is too long for the unambitious plot and the passive acceptance of the female leads appear more like admiration and respect rather than love. The tone and style is also quite similar (equally dull).

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leedalys rated it
January 15, 2016
Status: --
I really loved this novel. And I recommend it to anyone who prefer love story where there is no love rival. The story is slowly build, with a bit of mysteries. ... more>>

I love the fact that she does not remember everythings and only see segments of her previous life. Also that she is not focused ONLY on her previous life but still live and encounter new things and at the same time, lives her life with detachment..


While reading this novel, it's as if I lived a dull and colorless life. And sometime there are a little bit interraction with someone not that important. But suddenly a light. A bright light, a light that makes me Alive. And then I feel the Need to follow it, to grasp it and makes me feel again. To feel. To love. To be attached to someone else. To see a place for you in his heart. To know you are something more then empty shell waiting for an end.

First love is always hard to forget. What's more if it was not fulfilled and if it was the only love of your previous life.


Anyway just read it, and if you are as empathetic as me and you enjoy love story with no angst but slow development: you'll love it. <<less
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maiha-sama rated it
May 27, 2017
Status: Completed
Interspersed with a lot of Chinese Literary poetry and art references, OLOI - Beautiful Bones is worth a read. The premise was very interesting in that she retains memories of a previous life with her and the ML. It didn't seem to follow through down that road though. The MC appears

like she's straight out of a period setting, stuck in the modern world. The only purpose the memories served were to find her old flame and impress him/his family with her literary knowledge. She seems to be

content playing a demure... more>> wife to the ML - slightly different from her past life. Anyhow, this is a mellow romance that takes time to sweeten. There's no third wheel or crafty schemes at play (okay.. Maybe just one). So zero romantic angst.

What I liked were the beautiful lines thrown in from time to time. So meaningful, so poignant. I liked that the ML was not earth shatteringly handsome but a nerd interested only in his research. The author succeeds in creating an atmosphere that feels like time has slowed down. It was interesting to read.

There were parts I didn't enjoy too much. As many have said before, the pace is very slow so not many would have the patience for it. I almost dropped the book somewhere around the middle.

The ML's background is vague and sometimes things go way over the top. The second brother's scheme was WTF - what was that? Poor Wang Man who ended up losing the baby!

I also thought Wen Xing's devotion to Mei Xing was really touching. Mei Xing's love for the MC as well - very subtle but it is a definite repeat of their past life.

It would have been great if the past life had been explored more. For me that one last chapter was more interesting than the rest of the book.

Overall, it was good while it lasted but it wasn't

particularly moving or memorable. For example, I don't think I would remember the characters/story after a few years. <<less
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ScotlandForsythe rated it
April 10, 2017
Status: --
This is an absolutely gorgeous beautiful and fantastical story. I have no words for how well written the characters are (especially the mc's).

I remember when it was still updating. It wasn't until no I realized I never wrote a review for it. Anyway, back then I normally wouldn't read stories like this (romance), but this, this was touching. It pulled my heart strings and I believe I shed a few years.

The drama and heartache are so real. The reincarnation ant the story of their past lives and how it ended... more>> tragically. How the male is logical while she believes in Buddha and has her memories of her past life.


You might think it's boring, but it takes while to get into the flow. Once you do it's worth it. If it's still not your cup of tea, I don't blame you. I amidst didn't read it. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
January 23, 2016
Status: ended
Well, it’s Mo Bao Fei Bao, which is pretty much a guarantee for quality in my dictionary. But it’s also more than just that. IMO, this one is probably one of her best work.

Her movie-like scenes and poetic narrative are prominently displayed in Beautiful Bones; although we actually read a novel sets in modern era with some flashes of the past, but it was like we watch a romantic historical drama with captivating scenes and characters.

Furthermore, for once, Mo Bao Fei Bao didn’t go with cliches here. Shi Yi suffered... more>> an unfortunate love in her past life. She managed to meet again with her loved one in the current world and so decided to not waste time, to stand beside him since early on. Little did she knew that in this life too, they being together will put both his and her life at stake.

Beautiful Bones got plot twist and turns that although sometimes feels a bit awkward, but in the end, everything fell into place. Like Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen who, despite of the many challenges and gaps between them, are clearly destined for each other. No matter how many times I reread this, it's always awesome. <<less
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Justderpin rated it
June 20, 2016
Status: Completed
A beautiful romance that can't be summarized in words. I can make a detailed review pertaining to how good/bad the book was but, as I've said in my first sentence, the exquisiteness of the story can't be easily simplified in words, especially with my limited vocabulary. I can only say with confidence that if you like novels with reasonable slow-paced romance, and intricate writing that will send your emotions on a thrilling roller coaster ride, then this book will be to your taste. But even if that's not the case,... more>> there's no harm in trying. When it comes to book reading, one shouldn't be swayed by others opinions and earnestly seek what the book is about with your own eyes; only then can you discern whether it is/was worth your time. <<less
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Ritsuru rated it
January 30, 2016
Status: --
The romance is slow, but it gives you a sense of satisfaction when you pick out the little details on their progress in their relationship. The author also used many beautiful lines throughout the story, which I think is one of the highlights of the novel.

This is one of my favorite romance novels. I hope you’ll love it too.
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Junki Yard
Junki Yard rated it
October 30, 2017
Status: Completed
Very slow and steady. My type of couple. Prefect storyline and skilled portrayal but you will feel the urge to pick up a new novel with light and funny romance after this.
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chocolateiscream rated it
September 24, 2017
Status: Completed
This is one of the sweetest story I've read. It is a love that transcends a lifetime. As the story progresses, you can see how her one sided love develops to be a mutual one.

The characters are entangled in a complicated relationship. The story does not divulge these complications but shows you how entangled they are to one another. I basically love the main characters. The supporting characters are given their own spotlight, with enough depth that you won't know whether you love them or hate them. I think that's... more>> the beauty of the characters, they don't act as 2d characters, but rather as members of an ancient family.

The story itself contains a good mixture of romance, mystery and drama. While the romance part between the protagonists are solved earlier on, I thought the story will slowly lose its charm. However, the family issues and intrigues had me going. The right amount of mystery had me wanting for more. By the end of the story, I still want more! Like what happened to this character or that character.

Although this can be tagged as an HE, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that suggests this can be an open-ended one. Still, this sort of ambiguity at the end of it all only adds charm to the story. <<less
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Arnissan rated it
June 24, 2016
Status: --
It's alright, a bit slow but entertaining enough. I like this better than that other popular work of hers. At least the heroine does something here besides marveling, blushing and being unable to speak.
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whitepopo rated it
July 14, 2019
Status: Completed
What a beautiful love story that slowly simmer in one’s heart that will last forever.
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she christine
she christine rated it
April 29, 2019
Status: Completed
Very beautiful and elegant novel!

this novel will give feeling preserve and old fashioned kinda love but essentially sweet.

its interesting how the love stories goes with poem and song. And I found it rather amusing when ML using poem and discuss it when they are doing xxoo.. Hahaha
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zenriu rated it
November 1, 2018
Status: Completed
Highly recommended!!! Do not be dejected at other reviews saying it lacks this and that because this is a novel that will surely strike straight to your heart as it has mine. What I love the most about this novel are the phrases and poems which gives a food for thought as I personally loves life quotes, phrases and poems that makes me think of how I should live my life full of happiness and contentment. So I hope to anyone who loves reading like me do take a chance... more>> to read this amazing and heart warming novel by Mo Bao Fei Bao. <<less
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Shieri rated it
September 27, 2018
Status: c0
what I regret the most is... the story didn't give great detail, just mainly focused on the romance, but put a halt on here and there, so it makes me not really satisfied :x

... more>>

For Instance:

  • Du Feng and Hong Xiaoyu's outcome
  • About Zhou Wenchuan's two lover
The author put this in halt and not give any further explanation, but, the way the author write before stopping it, it's so abrupt, giving me a feeling that the author want to make me anticipating and thinking that the author is going to give explanation about it, but it turn out that there's no explanation at all <<less
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Bushra rated it
June 5, 2018
Status: Completed
i loved loved this novel.

This novel was always on my to-read list, but I never had the courage to read it.. For two reasons, one, I usually don't like it when the girl pursue the guy (in novels/drama) and my other reason was that I read some comments saying that this novel was dull and slow.

Well to my surprise, my favorite thing about this novels is the fact that the MC was really into the ML and she never hides it. I loved how she expressed herself and how she... more>> always loved him. And regarding my second reason, I really would say that it was not dull at all! It was really heart fluttering and made me keep reading chapter after chapter without stopping.

I also loved the translation, it was very clear and it shows that the person who was translating it, really loved this novel too.

Now I should go and check my "to-read" list again who knows what else I'm missing. <<less
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chrissy987 rated it
March 31, 2018
Status: epilogue
it is a very poignant slice-of-life read, about a girl with the past life memories, finding her love again and cherishing it. A lot of literary and cultural references that are interesting to flash out the past life's influence on the couple
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Aster Anemone
Aster Anemone rated it
January 6, 2018
Status: weibo random scenes & radio skit
Very well constructed and very good translation.

Intensity was like a hike up the mountain slow and steady but very meaningful. I like the plot storyline and execution of main events. It is just that I want to read about other characters too.

The character who committed wrong were not exactly bad as people. This was refreshing. Characters had many shades of gray and were not black and white.
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BillionJellyfish rated it
November 6, 2017
Status: Completed
Slow and steady wins the race! This story is a hidden gem! It is rare to have a MC in the modern era with memory of their past life, so this was a nice reversal. Even though the story is slow, the character development is real steady and the relationship between the MC and ML is gold. I really like the background of the MC and of how it weaves into the future. I will definitely reread this novel again when I get a chance since the translation really brings... more>> out the poignant atmosphere of the characters and story. <<less
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minhchau1997 rated it
August 8, 2017
Status: c0
I think it depends on the person who reads the novel. I feel like the pace of the story was very slow, the love the ML and FL had for each was deep. But they were not the type to show physical attraction to each other which was a bore to me. They kept their feelings silently to themselves, and their love bloomed quite slowly in my opinion. Sometimes I wonder if she would have loved the ML if she did not remember her past--probably not. I forced myself to... more>> finish through this novel, it was interesting but the writing was not my cup of tea. <<less
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