Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is a dazzling, fun-filled romp.
“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”
And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, and the nightlife runs nonstop.
But not every student is quite what they seem:
Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.
Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.
Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.
And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.
When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget!
Well, there was no boat. I do feel a little disappointed by the lack of a boat, but I was much more disappointed by just how bad this story is. The plot is all over the place, but it’s really just an awful soapy drama with dramatic events that are barely believable happening every few pages, and the tone of it went from middle grade to new adult.
When I say a lot of this is pretty out there, this story is wild. Just in one dramatic scene, Ever decides to get some nudies done because when in Taipei? Later she has a blow up with her “friend” Sophie who has been manipulative throughout and is always putting Ever down and of course, her nudes are sent around. But then Ever forgives her? And Sophie’s personality changes entirely to this super supportive best friend trope? What?
A lot of the story surrounding the way the author portrayed (all) Asian parents as abusive and very controlling, the way Ever strung along a guy who was in love with her, the love triangles, the way the girl with severe depression was talked about as a huge burden, just did not sit right with me. Also the last 7 chapters seemed to take as long as the previous 30.