Cover Image: Our Wayward Fate

Our Wayward Fate

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Member Reviews

I LOVE THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS SO MUCH. Y'all don't realize how much of a foundation this story is in Chinese history. There's movies, TV shows, operas and plays,  even MUSIC inspired by this tragic tale of a young scholar and a woman who was discontent with her role in society. Chao managed to weave this famous legend into a gorgeous story about Ali and her reconnection with her family, identity, and Taiwanese heritage. 

The Butterfly Lovers: It's one of those stories where you stop any person in the East/Southeast region of Asia and they be like "oh yeah I know that story" or "oh yeah I heard about that." What story from the US can say the same? (Can't answer that one because the US technically just steals cultures/traditions from other places and I OOP--)

I've always wanted to see The Butterfly Lovers somehow incorporated in YA, and Chao does it flawlessly in this book, and through Ali's story. 11/10 recommend. This #ownvoices romantic, contemporary book brings the best out of East Asian culture, and I urge readers to pick it up.
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OUR WAYWARD FATE by Gloria Chao is the latest from the author of American Panda. I requested this title in part because of the Equity work we have been doing this year and the efforts we are consciously making to diversify our collection even further.  However, I agree with professional reviewers like Booklist and School Library Journal who see this title as more of a fit with younger students (recommending grades 8 to 11 and grade 8 up, respectively). My neutral rating of three stars is more related to the "fit" with our older students than to the overall quality of this coming of age novel.
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As a Taiwanese American myself, I’m always ecstatic at the opportunity to read an #OwnVoices story that highlights the Asian American experience. Our Wayward Fate was a heartfelt story that explored themes of identity and family. 

Truthfully, I’m not the biggest fan of Gloria Chao’s writing so while I adored the messages and plotline, I didn’t love the execution. In the end, I think this will come down to the reader’s writing preference so I would still urge for you to give it a chance! 

Our Wayward Fate follows the life of 17-year-old Ali Chu, a Taiwanese-American teenage girl who grew up in small-town in Indiana as the only Asian in her school until the arrival of Chase Yu. Quickly, a romance develops between the two characters and all seems well until Ali’s mother forbids their relationship, unraveling a web of family secrets and a journey of discovery.  

Gloria Chao’s writing style follows a stream-of-consciousness flow, and while I found it easy to read and thought that it led to several introspective moments, it also felt overly rambly and a bit immature.

The story also explores themes of identity, and I personally enjoyed reading about the different experience Ali Chu had growing up in Midwest American in comparison to my own experience in Los Angeles. Gloria Chao captures with such intensity Ali’s feelings of isolation and alienation from her classmates. 

The family dynamics throughout the story were difficult to read at times because it often got messy, yet at the same time, you can’t deny how REAL misccomunication and different beliefs between immigrant parents and their children exists. 

In terms of romance, I thought that it was much better executed than Gloria Chao’s debut novel, American Panda. It was a lot less insta-lovey and had a lot more dimension which made it much easier to root for the two protagonists.

 Overall, while I personally didn’t love this story with all my heart, I still appreciated its messages and unique plotline. Your ultimate star rating and thoughts on this story will likely come down to your writing style preference so I hope you still give it a try!
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This really didn't work for me. I wasn't a fan of our main character Ali or her relationship with Chase. 
Most of my issues were the pacing of the book and that I thought Ali was kind of a coward. She really didn't care or even care that her classmates and her so called friends were saying racist things until she met Chase. That along with the "Not Like Other Girls" trope really made this a no for me.
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Such a pretty cover. Such a disappointing book 😭😭😭
What do you get when you cross an OwnVoices story with odd mythological tie-ins, a cheesy romance, and parental conspiracies? Hint: it’s this book, and it isn’t very good. At first glance, Our Wayward Fate looked perfect for me (Chinese-American story, discussions of racism, quirky protagonist who likes puns, etc), but like a poorly-planned recipe, the ingredients became stale very quickly and did not blend well, resulting in a forgettable trifle of a read.

As always, I’ll start by giving some of the good elements of the book, because truly, there were some redeeming traits, even if they mostly took the form of side details:

- The very explicit addressing of racism in ultra-white small-town Midwest cities, complete with both overt bullying and subtler microaggressions
- The Chinese culture and language! Ali eats Chinese dishes and intersperses random words of Chinese into her otherwise-English thoughts, and sometimes in other contexts as well. The author noted at the beginning that she put all of the Chinese words in correct Pinyin (or at least correct for the dialect she grew up speaking) but purposely did not include a glossary, trusting the reader to use context clues to understand Ali’s thoughts. I actually studied Chinese for several years, and I was delighted to find that there were only a handful of words/phrases I didn’t recognize (two of which were terms parents use when disciplining children, which obviously I would never have had a reason to learn)
- Yun, the precious, lonely, sweet ball of sunshine. Also, he’s gay and provides great commentary on intetsectionality
- Ali’s Bogóng, a super cool old dude
- The fact that Ali kicks serious butt at kung fu. I am all for girls who know how to fight.

See, unfortunately, while the details were nice, a lot of other elements just didn’t work. Here were some of the most egregious:

- Insta-love. Though the blurb makes it seem more like enemies-to-lovers, Ali spends all of about one chapter annoyed with Chase before the two are suddenly inseparable, swapping jokes and sharing food and shamelessly flirting and sneaking onto rooftops to make out. I am not making this up, I swear.
- Their relationship made so little sense. I get the solidarity in finding someone who has had similar experiences to yours, but beyond that, I didn’t see much real connection between Ali and Chase. To me, it felt more like they were clinging to each other out of desperation and just calling it love.
- The puns sucked. Sorry, but it had to be said. Most of the puns between Ali and Chase were just them making jokes about their last names (“I love Yu.” “Right back at Chu.” Ugh.) And then a handful of cow puns made by Ali and Yun. It got very repetitive, very fast.
- What the heck was that twist? Around 2/3 of the way through, this book went from an exploration of cultural identity to a full-blown parental conspiracy with international consequences. And then it gets handled so quickly and smoothly, it just doesn’t make any sense. Tbh this was my biggest issue, which sucks, because it was the crux of the entire story.
- The mythology integration was awkward. I get what the author was going for, making parallels about forbidden love and whatnot, but it just didn’t flow well. Plus, all the bits talking about “the park, as seen from afar” were very jarring and only made sense at the very end.
- Pacing. The book started okay, then dragged some, then suddenly went way too fast, and then had the longest, slowest, most boring epilogue. Not a fan.
- No consequences for illegal activities. Some legit breaking and entering happens, both at school and at the library, and even though Ali and Chase are caught, they don’t face any repercussions? Also, at one point, Yun steals his dad's credit card. Shortly thereafter, his dad cuts it off, but we never see anyone facing consequences for credit fraud or anything.
- Poorly developed family. Ali’s parents were like caricatures of Asian parents, with very few distinguishing traits and a whole lot of "work hard and be perfect because we want the best for you," and once their “complexity” is “revealed” at the end of the book, the shift feels abrupt and bizarre rather than organic.
- The humor wasn’t very funny. I am shocked that professional reviews described this story as hilarious, because it mostly just read as awkward, and not in an endearing way.

In short, this was an initially promising story meant to address real concerns of racism and Chinese identities in America, but due to sloppy execution, it was not able to deliver on that promise. Alas, perhaps this book and I were simply not meant to be.
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Our Wayward Gate was a funny but heartfelt story about love, family, and being true to yourself. The banter between Ali and Chase was cute and their dynamic was fun and synergistic.  I loved how the story dealt with microaggressions and showed Chase and Ali. standing up to racism loudly and unapologetically. Despite the romantic elements, the heart of this story is really about family, the secrets we keep, and the flawed ways we try to care for and love each other. The tense and complex relationship Ali has with her mother is compelling and heart wrenching.  Other strengths: There was an unexpected twist in the story and I also loved how a retelling of the Butterfly Lovers was incorporated into the story.
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This book is honest and raw. It truly examines the depths of racism, and brings to light the type of racism that white propel are often not aware of.

Identity is important and Allie’s struggles to find hers in a town that does not make her feel accepted is heartbreaking. 


This is an extremely important story.
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American Panda was quite possibly my favorite contemporary book of 2018. It had everything I love in an upper YA contemporary: college setting, diversity, the exploration of family relationships, adorable chapter art etc. It was something so fresh and different feeling from many of the YA contemporary options available, even with today's booming YA market. I therefore went into Gloria Chao's sophomore novel, Our Wayward Fate, with absolutely no doubts that I would enjoy it. Much to my surprise, while Our Wayward Fate did share a few thematic elements with American Panda (straddling two cultures, strained family relationships) it unfortunately did not resonate with me in the same way that it's predecessor did.

Set in a small, Midwestern town with little diversity, the novel follows Ali Chu who is trying to survive a high school filled with casual racism, a living environment permeated with resentment, and her own struggles with her cultural identity. Our Wayward Fate felt darker in tone to me than American Panda,  as the high school setting felt more oppressive and less diverse than Mei's time in MIT in Chao's first novel. I applaud Chao for writing such visceral examples of the discrimination that Ali has absorbed and almost become numb to at the beginning of the novel because it's honestly a bit shocking but helps ground the reader in Ali's reality. She does not live in a urban and diverse area, she does not have a support system she can rely on, and her approach to survival is unfortunately blending in as much as she can. As difficult as Ali's story was to read sometimes, it's an important one to be depicted.

Though I appreciated Ali's journey in the story and some of the thematic elements, unfortunately the story did not flow well for me. The multiple timelines were jarring and felt out of place as suddenly Ali's story is interrupted with flashbacks several centuries ago to some of her ancestors that eventually became a myth that plays a role in the modern superstitions her family holds. While I understand the intention of including this, it felt forced and random and didn't make for a cohesive reading experience (I feel like I would not have been missing anything had these chapters not been included). It also led to some confusion and at times I feel like I had a hard time keeping the plot straight.

Additionally, though I appreciated Ali's struggles I didn't like her as a character (which is totally fine, I don't expect to like all protagonists!) She was angry and bitter which was totally understandable, but was didn't sit well with me was how immature she was and the humor was a bit to crass for my personal taste at times as well. Even the way she acted with Chase (the love interest) irritated me at times, though I do see how she grew throughout the novel. Speaking of the romance (which I will admit was necessary to the way the narrative was constructed) it felt rather insta-lovey to me. I did like how she initially fought and acknowledged her apprehension to dating Chase and the reasons behind it (not wanting to date someone she thought her mother would approve of, not wanting to be seemingly "predictable" to the kids at school who would expect the only two Asian-American students to date, etc). I also like how Chase pushed Ali to confront the horrible treatment she had grown numb to by her peers and start to "care" again and take pride in herself and her culture. Overall, the romance wasn't terrible but it did start a bit too quickly for my taste.

The very end of the book did pick up for me, as Ali confronts her parents about some seriously not-OK family secrets she discovers throughout the course of the book and while all is not resolved, they do seem to be heading down a tentative path of reconciliation. I do appreciate that Ali's family is not "fixed" in this novel, but rather it's about exploring how things got so bad with the Chus and how they can try to move forward. It's realistic without making too many promises.

Overall: There are some important themes in Our Wayward Fate I enjoyed, but ultimately the jarring jump between different timelines and immaturity of some of the characters prevented me from enjoying it as much as I hoped. I am still fully confident, however, that Gloria Chao is a brilliant writer who is bringing a unique perspective to the YA contemporary world and look forward to reading her future novels.
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Ali lives in Indiana. It sucks, but the worst thing is how racist everyone is-- even her "friends." Coming in at a close second is her parents: they refuse to talk to one another since the move (8ish years ago!), and they don't communicate as a family. Ali is left mostly to her own with emotionally absent --and semi physically absent-- parents. Until another Chinese family moves to town. Everyone at school says super racist things to Chase, including assuming that he and Ali are a match made in heave-- but it turns out they are. They both love kung-fu, are competitive, enjoy puns, and love being silly with each other. But even though Chase is Chinese, Ali's mom still disapproves. And Ali is floored. Ali's mom is being even more secretive and tight-lipped than usual.  Is there something else going on? If so, how does it affect Ali /and/ Ali-and-Chase? 

Our Wayward Fate, unlike the other books by Chao that I've listened to as audiobooks, you can't miss a single second of the story because there's so much to unpack. It's a mystery and a romance, and goodness the romance is adorable. I love how comfortable in their own skins Chase and Ali are with one another. The discussion on what racism in the 21st century contains is also really important. It models for non-Euro-American teens how to stand up to peers and authority figures who are being racist, and shows Euro-Americans who may not think they're being racist that they might actually be saying or doing hurtful and/or hateful things.
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I adored American Panda back in 2018, so when I heard Gloria Chao was releasing a new book, I pretty much slid Our Wayward Fate onto my TBR with no questions asked. (I enjoyed American Panda enough that I got my own copy… only to have my mom “borrow” it. She still hasn’t returned it.)

Gloria Chao is a Queen of Writing Relatable Characters and it continues with her second novel, Our Wayward Fate.
Chao’s latest novel follows Ali Chu, a high school senior living in Indiana and is the only Asian kid in her school; for years, she operates in survival mode in order to blend in with the rest of her classmates, even if she hates dealing with the constant racist stereotypes that are automatically associated with her simply because she’s Asian. But she continues to remain silent until she finds out the new kid in school, Chase Yu, is also Taiwanese like her.

Let me take a moment to talk about their relationship!!!
~ Puns, puns, so many puns.
~ Jokes and wordplay in Mandarin (also I really loved how Chao didn’t incorporate a glossary so readers can get what it’s like to be someone learning a language through conversation and context).
~ They’re just so cute and competitive together; ugh, my heart can’t.

Friends, I saw myself in American Panda, but I also really saw myself in Our Wayward Fate.
Chao touches on a lot of experiences that I personally went through; it’s a book that I would have loved to read back in middle and high school when I occasionally felt like I was alone in my experiences. Much of the experiences Ali goes through hit hardcore emotionally and I really, really wanted to reach through the book just to give Ali a hug. (Here I thought I related to Mei a lot and Ali Chu comes in and knocks it out of the park.)

Chao’s latest novel deals with darker topics while also incorporating her signature humor.
I love puns, so I’m a little biased toward them. While Our Wayward Fate is chock full of puns (I love them) and incorporates Chao’s signature humor from her debut, it also has a darker feel. Our Wayward Fate is a book with family and identity with a retelling of The Butterfly Lovers; it also focuses a lot about miscommunication when we struggle or are unsure when communicating with others.
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Our Wayward Fate captures what it's like to be the only person who looks like you in a small town, how alienating and lonely it feels as well as the daily microaggressions experienced. When Chase appeared at Ali's school, I absolutely understood why her first impulse was to avoid him. Meeting Chase helped Ali come to terms with her culture and identity, and I loved when they bonded over things. It's a beautiful, comforting thing to finally meet someone who understands without an explanation being necessary. At times, Ali was somewhat grating, but I understood that she had built up her walls as a way to get through every day and it can be difficult to break away from your defense mechanisms. I loved her humor, her passion for kungfu, her competitive spirit, and her yearning to just be herself.

In addition, this book is also about the relationships between Chinese parents and their children, and how a parents' love for their child can turn into controlling demands. The lack of communication between Ali and her parents was heartbreaking, and I was glad that they began to open up and move towards a better understanding of each other by the end.

The one thing that didn't work for me was the way the Butterfly Lovers tale was weaved in. The parts of the tale and the news articles interspersed throughout the book did finally make sense towards the end, but while I was reading them, they felt random and confusing. Even when it all came together, the connection between the myth and Ali's story felt tenuous.

Overall, I loved Ali's story, and the culture and experiences that many will relate to, and I'm really grateful that Gloria Chao wrote this book.
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Posted to Goodreads: Ali Chu wants to fit in at her Indiana school.  She is the only Asian student in the school and Ali has cut out part of herself to fit in with her friends.  However, Ali's view of life begins to change when a new Chinese American Student, Chase Yu, moves to town.  Ali first tries to avoid the boy that everyone assumes she will end up with just because of their similar heritage however as they spend time together Ali and Chase develop real feeling and Ali begins to change her view of her family, her town, and herself. 

I think I appreciate this book more than I liked it.  Gloria Chao is writing novels that allow teen to see themselves in the story who may not normally find themselves in books.  However, I never really loved this book.  The characters and the relationships were fine but I was never fully invested.  Also, the plot seemed a little rambling with the the last third feeling almost like a different book.  Plus, the backstories were the most interesting part of the book but Ali's parents' story and the legend of the Butterfly Lovers felt a little like an afterthought.
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The Buzz

American Panda was one of my top books of 2018 (its a really strong debut) so when I saw Gloria Chao had a new book out I knew I wanted to read it ASAP!

And the cover of Our Wayward Fate convinced me further!! I love the dreamy quality to it and how the colors pop. It gives you a sense of fate, destiny and a girl's future. And the title is perfect! I love how it was mentioned in the story and how it reflects Asian belief in fate.


The Premise

I love the purpose and premise of Our Wayward Fate and how it played out in the story. The Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese folktale and Chao uses it as a jumping off point for one character's motivation in Ali's life. It becomes this sort of modern retelling that is woven into the contemporary story without taking over. With it comes this insight into Chinese culture that was subtle and relatable even if we don't have Chinese parents.

But first we meet Ali Chu. She's the only Asian person at her school and in order to fit in she rejects some of her Chinese heritage. Totally understandable!! In fact, white people even reject hobbies and activities they love in order to fit in with high school. So its really something that can be identified with, and gives readers a door into imagining how it feels to be a part of another culture and not able to embrace it.

But it is the way that Ali and Chase clicked that sucked me in!! I loved how we saw Ali bloom into her heritage and embrace that side of herself. Sure it took a boy but it as easily could have been anyone who was Chinese. Sometimes we just click with a person and they become our person and it feels like they've always been at our side. Everything with them feels powerful and emotional... even when we disappoint and hurt them (even when that wasn't our intention!)

This story is about way, way, way more than some high school romance. Because life starts with parents. We all have our own struggles with a parent who doesn't understand us, wants us to be different than we are or is distant instead of interested in us. Ali had this same struggle. And she has to fight for who she wants to be, what she wants her future to look like and find joy in living today too. Our Wayward Fate takes us on a Chinese American journey and I was happy every page of the book!


My Experience

Our Wayward Fate captured me! I remember that while I enjoyed American Panda immensely the writing style was a touch generic. So the contrast between the two books was stark. Ali's narrative voice was so strong and specific. I loved her so much and got where she was coming from. I was fully on her side. Events felt realistic and I think Chao’s writing really was key.

I think one of the reasons this resonated for me too is that I totally got all the steps that Ali took to learn about Chase and her mother. Many will think she was really extreme. She breaks into so many things that you will think she's choosing a career as a criminal!! But the truth, understanding someone was so important to her... Because she was denied this from the person who should have given that to her freely. We all seek such acceptance.

I really love the themes in Gloria Chao's works. Our Wayward Fate interprets The Butterfly Lovers folktale in such a fascinating and contemporary way! The weight of expectations is high... Confrontation really can do wonders in revealing the truth! I liked the end so, so much. Positive but not unrealistically sweet. You'll regret passing up Our Wayward Fate, its better than Amercan Panda if you can believe that!!
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Grade: C-


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Listen, I love the idea of exploring what it's like to be the only minority in your tiny town. But I think Our Wayward Fate went wrong in a bunch of ways.

First of all, while I adore a good romance, this one is SUPER insta-lovey. At first Ali wants to resist dating Chase since they're only two Chinese-American students in their school. But, by the very next day, she's aggressively kissing him, and they start dating and seeing each other in secret super fast. There was no believable chemistry. If you're going to make your romance one stemming from insta-love/insta-lust, then readers have to buy into it. All Ali and Chase did was argue a little, and then they were making out and sneaking out to see each other.

My next quibble is a little nebulous, just because I'm concerned my white privilege colors how I view the incidents. However, I felt a lot of the racism and microaggressions were TOO stereotypical and exaggerated. I would've liked to see some new ones, ones that you don't hear about on Twitter/social media a lot, or at least a more nuanced approach to them. I grew up in the Midwest, and it's pretty white but there are also a fair number of minorities spread across the prairies, and so I felt like the microaggressions needed to be more subtle but still there (because they definitely exist). I also felt that the mom came across as too much of a stereotypical tiger mom (which, after Chao's last book, felt repetitive) and the dad reminded me too much of the kind of absentee dad in It's Not Like It's a Secret.


Content warnings: foul language (a lot of it), microaggressions and some more overt racism


The Verdict: I am the epitome of a sad emoji.
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3.5/5 stars

There was a lot to like about this book, including the mystery, the way Ali, our protagonist, develops and comes into herself over the narrative, and more. A few stand-out scenes included the beautiful imagery toward the beginning of the book during a trip to an Indiana meadow; the wise advice given later on about familial relations and conflicted feelings; and in general just the writing is lovely and gripping.

The one thing I didn't love about the book, interestingly enough, was the romance. It felt very rushed and not quite believable. However, that wasn't the central theme of the story, at least in my reading, and I truly enjoyed and would recommend this book both because of Chao's beautiful writing and because of the additional storylines, and to be honest, the romance may work for others.
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I really wanted to like this book, but it wasn’t for me. The pacing was so fast that I just could not connect with Ali, nor could I invest myself in her relationship with Chase. There was just so much going on, it was hard to keep track of things.
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Star-crossed lovers meets Chinese folklore in this sophomore novel from Gloria Chao, the author of American Panda. Throw in overbearing parents, sneaky teens, and Chinese heritage, and you've got Our Wayward Fate, on sale everywhere October 10th. 

Ali Chu is a normal Chinese-American teen, trying to balance overbearing parents with normal high school life. She's also the only Asian student in her little Indiana town,which is made abundantly clear once more when Chase Yu, a new Chinese-American student, comes to town, and everyone just ASSUMES they will end up together. It doesn't help,of course, that Ali does feel drawn to him and develops a bit of a crush. But something's not right at home for Ali, and she's going to find out what her mother is hiding--even if it takes her to China and forces her to confront a fate she never expected. This book is full of family drama, Chinese folklore, cute teen romance, and features a strong female character learning to stand up for herself,which I appreciated seeing. 

This book does feel like it has a lot smushed into it though. There's the present day along with the old folklore, Ali's relationship with Chase as well as her friend Yun and his family and her parent's marriage failures as well as Chase's family backstory with his brother, plus racist friends and a trip to China that feels weirdly aborted in an unsatisfying way, but ultimately the book was fine. I think it grapples with a lot of good issues related to being Chinese-American especially in a very white place like Indiana, and I liked reading the folklore, I just think it may have been a bit convoluted by pushing the story of Chase and Ali so hard into the mold of the rest of the story. 

Something I love about Chao's books is that they curse occasionally and talk about bodily functions and don't shy away from mentions of sex because news flash,that's teens these days, regardless of how insane their parents are somehow.  Overall, I liked this book, and I'm excited to see what's next for Chao, because I always feel slightly educated by the end of her books.
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I loved Gloria's debut and couldnt wait to get my hands on this one. 

It is tonally different, but thematically similar in an authentic way. It opens a voice that is much needed in todays world. 

I loved the main character in this one, Ali had such a personality she really jumped off the page! Some may call it an insta love in the romance aspect, but I think it worked for the story. The story didnt focus on how they fall in love, but instead some of the consequences of that. 

It dips heavy into some of the psyche behind secrets and why parents act the way they do, especially immigrant parents. I loved getting this aspect in a real, mature way. 

Ultimately I would recommend for fans of light contemporary realism and rom com lovers. 

RTC on blog closer to release date.
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This was so freaking good. Family secrets and melodrama, portrayal of racism and micro-aggressions in an all white small town, angry and lovable heroine. I loved Ali so much. The romance was more meh - I didn't care too much about the love interest and was more interested in Ali's journey and struggles. 

RTC closer to publication date.
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**Will be posted to my blog http://pastmidnight.home.blog on August 12, 2019**

Thank you to Simon Pulse and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.

This book was so full of many things: Ali’s experience living as a Taiwanese girl in Indiana, the secrets her parents are keeping, Chinese folklore, and a budding romance.

I love Ali! She’s outspoken, strong and spirited, she made me laugh out loud, a lot. I mean the girl isn’t even afraid to talk about pooping!  😂👏🏼 But Ali is tired of the racism she experiences in the all-American town she lives in. She’s tired of walking on eggshells at home where her parents never interact with each other and her mom never seems happy. Then one day a new boy comes to her school and he’s Taiwanese too. She was ready to dislike him for disrupting her school life, but having him around opens her eyes to a lot of things.

I felt for Ali and just could imagine how stifling it would be to live in a home where her dad is there but not present. Where her mom’s resentment just infects their way of life. I understood in the end where her mom was coming from but wow, the lengths she went through to ensure Ali’s future happiness, without knowing what would really make her daughter happy…it was a big miss on her part as a parent. Yet, like I said, I understood her mom’s fears, but it just made me sad.

Ali and Chase, are so cute together. It was so nice seeing Ali have someone to relate to because her high school friends were so not it. 🙄 I love Ali and Chase’s banter. Those kung-fu scenes just heightened the tension between them, I loved it. They are so silly together and fun.  😍

As for the larger issue in this book with the Chinese folklore and the history of Ali’s family. That was fascinating and it also made me realize, I don’t recall much about the history between China and Taiwan. You get a little idea of it in the book, but I really need to do some research on it.

This is a wonderful story about confronting family secrets, shame and regret. I really enjoyed reading about Ali’s journey as she faces the truth about her family and herself. Watching her come full circle with her family’s history is inspiring.
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