Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1)
by Abigail Hing Wen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Travel, Asian Literature

For fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hint of La La Land

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Loveboat, Taipei is a really cute story that reminds me a little of a Chinese drama. As well as giving insight to the American Chinese culture.

One of the things I really love about the book is the author's note in the beginning because she explains how she attended Loveboat herself. Which for me made the story even better because even though the characters are fiction it’s based off something real. I loved learning about Loveboat.

So when we meet Ever she is at a point where she feels like she is drowning. Her parents have her life all planned out for her and she doesn’t really want to follow the track they set. These stories are always complicated for me because my grandparents were immigrants from Lithuania and Russia. My grandpa died when my dad was 10 so my grandma is the only one I knew and she was harsh. She was very very hard on us and when I tell other people they thinks she was awful. As much as no I don’t think she should have said the things she said, I also understood she came from a different place and different experience. She didn’t just leave Russia, she fled. So I wanted to be so mad at Ever’s parents and be like break all their rules what they know they can’t control. I also wanted to understand where they were coming from and where Ever was coming from when it was difficult for her to break away. I love a story that incorporates family dynamics like this because we are all different and have many different things and I love reading how different families work. To understand better.

I love Ever as a character. You can’t help rooting for her. She is caring and as she discovers herself at Chien Tan she has some stumbles but she picks herself back up. She approaches things head on and she shows how strong she is. Ever isn’t weak because she was following her parents path and I think she really shows that. Especially as she grows as a character.

The other cast of characters are fun. I loved learning about Rick, Xavier and Sophie. All of them have their own stories to tell and it helps propel the whole thing. Jenna is the one that reminds me of a character in a Chinese drama. I’ve had friends that remind me of Sophie, I could see it when they are at the photographer. I was like yep I remember that. The whole story reminded me a bit of college too. That first year you go crazy (maybe that was just me…..) and kind of get all that energy out before you get serious about your studies.

The story does flow really well and is well written. There are points when it started to feel a little long. I thought in my head though that this would make a great drama. Someone should totally make this a drama! There is so much depth to each of the characters and I think that’s why. No character was just a throw away mean girl or playboy. They all had deeper things about them that made them the way they are. We got to see that so we could connect with them better. I cared about the characters at the end of the story and hoped they found successes in their life. I felt bad when unrequited love happened.

Loveboat, Taipei is a really fun story and definitely worth the read. Especially because it’s written by someone who actually attended the program. You know Abigail Hing Wen knows what she is talking about. It’s amazing!

Abigail was born in West Virginia to a family of immigrants: Her mother is from the Philippines and her father from Indonesia, and her grandparents emigrated to those countries from Fujian and Shandong provinces in China.

Abigail grew up in Ohio and graduated from Harvard University and Columbia Law School. She worked in Washington DC for the Senate, as a law clerk for a federal judge. and now in Silicon Valley in venture capital and artificial intelligence. She also earned her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

In her spare time, she enjoys long walks with her husband and two boys, and hanging out with friends and over 100 family members in the Bay Area. She loves music and dances to it when no one is watching.

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Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI by Abigail Hing Wen (US Only)

Stars: 1st January 2020
Ends: 15th January 2020

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