Title: Loveboat, Taipei
Author: Abigail Hing Wen
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone
There’s been a lot of talk about this book since before it’s release. Bloggers who were lucky enough to get an ARC of this praised it a lot. The word got out pretty well, and tons of people got to reading it.
Everything I heard about this book was good. It was only positive. And that’s the reason why I expected it to be really good. I did not expect for it have elements that I really dislike.
But I did.
Ever is a first generation Chinese-American. And like all Asian parents, they have high dreams for Ever. She’s expected to become a doctor.
But all Ever wants to do is dance. She loves to dance and choreograph dance routines. Her dream is to get into NYU Tisch School of Arts.
During the summer after high school, when she had plans of dancing and other things, her parents suddenly send her to Taipei for a summer programs. They want her to know her culture and learn Mandarin.
But the program nicknamed “Loveboat” is much more than a clean summer program to learn things. And this summer is going to shape Ever’s life in ways she never expected.
Let’s do this review in list format because I have MANY POINTS.
WHAT I LIKED:
- Asian-American life representation.
Life is a lot like that even in Asian countries. Parents sacrifice SO MUCH that us only thinking about doing what makes us happy is almost a crime. I’m literally an engineering student in college and not doing literature because of my parents.
It’s so normal for us. And I love how it’s represented accurately, describing how it is for the kids AND the parents.
- Complex relationships.
There were so many relationships shown that had layers to them. Between Ever and her romantic interest. Ever and her parents. Ever and her roommate.
There were even second-hand mentions of relationships not explicitly shown in the book. I loved reading all of it because it’s how life is. And the author managed to show just how many different complex relationships exist for just one person.
- What it’s like to be Asian in America.
As the summer program is full of Asian kids living in other countries, we got a few bits of proper focus on how life is for them. The way they are treated, the almost-normal racist comments. It hit hard, but I feel good knowing that non-Asian readers will understand what it’s like.
- Dreams and sacrfices.
We know that how we are brought up affects us a lot. It shapes our self-worth, our attitude towards life, and our ambitions and goals. This book really showcased the different types of lives and how parents really affect children.
- Supporting characters had significance too.
Every supporting character we saw had dreams and goals. They had desires in life. The author showcased so many different scenarios through them. This one group of guys just went around breaking Asian stereotypes and I LOVED IT. Huge points for these things.
- Character growth.
There was so much of it! Characters learned through mistakes, learnt new things, started having different outlooks and became better people by the end. That was lovely to watch.
What I did not like:
- The middle of the book was dull and uninteresting.
The beginning started off strong. The ending was good. But damn the middle was annoying.
After Ever got to the program, it became all about teenage rebellion and boy crazy thoughts. It felt like a full one eighty from the first few chapters.
It got me so disinterested in the book that I PAUSED listening to it as an audiobook. In order to make myself finish the book, I had to pick it up as an ebook after a week.
This alone ruined the experience for me.
Other than the random boy-crazy rebelling stuff in the middle which threw the entire book off for me, it was really good.
I recommend this book for the Asian-American representation, complex relationships, and character growth.
But if you don’t like ANY of boy crazy random things, you won’t like it much like me.
I rate this book…