Blog Tour: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen + INTL Giveaway + Wallpaper

17 December 2019



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—.:* Synopsis

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?

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Before continuing to read this book and review, I recommend you to check the provided trigger warning below in case you're actively avoiding certain sensitive issues. 

Trigger WarningAsian stereotyping, graphic description of injuries, mentioned of attempted suicide, depression, and self-harm, private pictures' leaked, racism, sexual content.


—.:* Quick Recap!

☆ This book is about Ever Wong and her journey in a summer camp in Taiwan, where she's not only embracing her culture but also her true self. 
☆ Read this book if you're a fan of a fast-paced and intertwining love story and looking for a great cultural representative of Asian families. 
☆ You might want to consider it because certain scenes were rushed which made the story feels jumpy.

—.:* More Thoughts!

Loveboat, Taipei is one of my most anticipated releases, and although it was enjoyable, sadly, it's just not what I was quite expected. I'm going to start with the aspect that I liked the most about this book, which is the cultural representation. I'm not Chinese, but these representations are also applicable in other Asia countries and they're described greatly. I'm fortunate enough to come from a family that's not as strict as Ever's, but it doesn't mean that the expectation isn't there. The comparison to other kids, the subtle hints and hopes for better grades, better schools, better jobs, I went through it all. And as someone who has similar experiences with Ever, I understand that it's not something that one could just fight back easily. Especially since it's happened for years ever since a young age, that it becomes normalized in our mind and seen as the default way to do everything in life.

My parents would slit their throats for my happiness, and in return, my future is their future.

Moving on, I truly enjoyed Ever's journey in the camp and her first impression of witnessing her culture as something majorly celebrated. The description of Taiwan, from the boba trend to the more extreme side like snake-sake, was narrated wonderfully. I also had a great time peeking through all of the amazing classes that camp held. (Can I visit this place, pretty please?) And of course, Ever's passion for dancing was a complete delight to witness!

However, a few things restrain my ride in following Ever's journey. One thing that mainly bothered me throughout the whole story was the rushing in scenes. Sometimes, I couldn't imagine how a certain scene looks like because the description was overlapped one after another. I also had trouble to engage with the side characters. Because although they were fun, the issue was there were simply too many of them. I struggled to memorize their names, let alone memorize their roles in this story.

Seven thousand miles away, their invisible hands are still tight around my life.

My last issue is clearly a matter of subjectivity, but I'm not invested in the love triangle's trope. Though I can see that my younger self will enjoy this plot a lot more than my current self.

In conclusion, Loveboat, Taipei was a delightful debut with extraordinary representatives. If you're looking for not just a fun coming-of-age journey, but also a mission of cultural embracement and self-finding, with a stir of drama and twisted friendship, then be sure to add this book to your next reading list!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a review copy for joining #LoveboatTaipeiBlogTour in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an advanced review copy and are subject to change upon publication.

—.:* The Verdict

—.:* About the Author

Abigail Hing Wen is a Silicon Valley venture lawyer working with AI startups. She is a Vermont College of Fine Arts graduate, Wild Things blogger, and YA writer of her debut, Loveboat, Taipei. Find her on: Website | Twitter

—.:* Giveaway


are you thinking about adding loveboat, taipei to your next reading list?


2 comments

  1. oh wow omg! I already had this book on my tbr but now I need to bump it up pronto! That wallpaper is STUNNING!

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    Replies
    1. It was definitely a fun read and I hope you'll enjoy it more than I did! And thank you! x

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