Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

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?

“I open my notebook, and write a new list.  Neither in obedience to my parents, nor against them.”

And this is the crux of Loveboat, Taipei.  Eva Wong, finding herself and her way in the world based around what she wants from life – not about a life either living out her parents’ dreams for her or actively shaped to defy them.

This book is a surprisingly emotional story, set in an exotic location.  It’s funny.  It’s emotional.  It’s a great read.

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