Cover Image: Rent a Boyfriend

Rent a Boyfriend

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Member Reviews

I really loved Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao! I think in the past year I’ve started to outgrow “YA” since I graduated college and put more years in between me and the ages of typical YA main characters, so I really loved how Chloe is college-aged and Drew is two years older than her. It was fun to read from the dual perspective of Chloe and Drew, although it was more centered on Chloe. I thought it would be interesting at first to see how their relationship is written since we got both of their perspectives, but I think the author did really well in choosing which scenes were told from Chloe’s POV and which by Drew.

Something I loved about these characters were that they’re a lot more mature and reflective. While their relationship starts off uncertain with the fake dating aspect and does get built on lies, because of the fake dating aspect, between the two of them there’s more honesty and trust. It worked well to create a genuine relationship. I also really liked their independence as characters, how to a certain extent they can be themselves and make their own decisions. And I loved seeing them grow together and teach each other new things. They’re not perfect but they’re genuinely good people who are very thoughtful and considerate of others and their actions. To me, they felt more realistic, although I do wish we got a little more Drew. Chloe, I really loved. I think she was super charming as was the writing. It was a great balance of comedy, quirkiness, honesty, and there was just something about it that really resonated with me.

Plot-wise, I’d say the book centers mostly around family, the relationship between Chloe and her parents, especially her mom, which I loved! I think a lot of people will find it relatable. In the book, Chloe rents a boyfriend, Drew, to be her fake boyfriend over Thanksgiving to get rid of this horrendous family friend her parents are trying to get her to marry. While that part might not be so relatable, I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in how much Chloe loves cares for her parents and wants to be the best daughter, but in doing so she has to decide how much she can sacrifice being her true and entire self. So it’s a story of family, but also a story of speaking up for yourself and standing up for who you are, which is something seen in both Chloe and Drew’s character arcs.

Being an own voices book and an own voices (Chinese) reader, I absolutely loved how natural the cultural aspects of the book were, from weaving in Chinese words to the food to how Asians use ovens as storage and reuse plastic containers. Since both Chloe and Drew share Taiwanese background, all of these things were so normalized in their lives. I also loved how the author made a point to show two different diaspora stories. Chloe and Drew are both Taiwanese but their backgrounds, community and family dynamics are different. I think it’s super important because there is so much diversity in Asia and depending on country of origin, family history, immigration, people in the diaspora can have very different experiences. I’m glad it was something we got to explore a little in this book.
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Unfortunately I couldn’t finish this. This is my first book by this author and the characters and narration just didn’t work for me. I found the story a little repetitive and I didn’t feel drawn in by the plot or the characters enough to finish it based on that. I love fake dating, but I just think this execution wasn’t for me!
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Loved this book! It was a super fun read with one of my favorite tropes: fake dating. I loved seeing the different sides of the couple, and their struggles to reconcile them. I especially loved the way Chloe was written.
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There are two Chloes. The Chloe who is the dutiful daughter and the Chloe IRL. And the dutiful daughter knows she has to make her parents happy, even if that means renting a boyfriend for the holidays because her parents want to arrange a marriage between her and this sleazy boy they know.

Enter Drew. Drew likes this job because it helps support his art career. And he knows family is important. He can't mess this job up. But when he meets Chloes, there's just something about her...

I really love the tension and drama that Chloe feels whenever she is with her parents. The urgency is very true, feeling the Chloe's anxiety as she meets this boy her parent want her to marry, and she knows he is up to no good. Between trying to please her parents and be true to herself, it's so easy to see how Chloe got herself into this mess. I also love her parents. Chao does a wonderful job of writing of very complex relationships where no one bad, but they're all trying to do the right/best thing. And those things are totally different depending on where you're standing

>I also really like Drew and his family situation. I love how passionate he is about his art and how he misses his family. He owns up to his mistakes and tries to be supportive and a good person. 

That said, I had some problems with the book. I didn't feel like Drew or Chloe had any chemistry. Like none. It was more like they kept talking about how attracted they were to each other, but I never saw it. I also feel like the plot moved a bit too slow for me. 

So maybe not my cup of tea. But I think anyone who likes YA contemporary should try it out. The book has some really well thought layers of culture and family and I think that's what makes it stands out.
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I think this book had a lot to offer but it fell short. It felt long reading it, even though I don't think it was particularly. The pacing felt off, as well.  There was a point in the middle were it felt like the third act was closing and the book was ending--only to find out that there was still 50% of the book to go.

I loved the premise of Drew being Chloe's fake boyfriend for the holidays. Seeing them going through multiple holidays together was a slight variation on the typical "fake boyfriend for the holidays' set up. And Gloria Chao did a great job making me care about both characters.

Beyond the slightly odd structure of the book, I found it really hard to handle Chloe's parents after the midway point of the book. And since the book focuses so much on them, they are impossible to ignore. They're everywhere, even in the scenes that are supposed to be about Chloe and Drew and their feeling for each other. I can accept that they spend most of the book being terrible, that they don't grow or change through most of it because that's real life. But Chloe doesn't change either for the longest time. She learns nothing for the first two thirds of the book. So you're just watching her parents being abusive, and her being upset but accepting it and doing nothing to try to change it. It brings the reader into an abusive cycle that is both extremely unpleasant but also boring, and in way I don't think the book recognizes. By the time it starts to course correct, the reader is already worn out.
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This was a enjoyable story. It was a good mixture of fun and serious. I appreciated the Chinese traditions that were included in the story. Reading this made me consistently hungry. It's a great young adult book.
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Rent a Boyfriend was EXACTLY what I needed. It drew me in right from the beginning and didn't let me go. 

Chloe/Jing Jing is coming home from college and decides to rent a boyfriend to appease her parents and also get away from Hong Bo, whom they want her to marry. She is caught between two worlds, college, where she is Chloe, and home where she is Jing Jing.

Drew works for Rent for your 'Rents and accepts a weekend invitation to be Chloe's boyfriend. His family pretty much disowned him when he dropped out of college to pursue art so this is his way of making ends meet.

Throughout their fake relationship you can feel the tension between Chloe and Drew. It's intense! I loved watching them come together, but also stay apart. It was not to say that they didn't have some struggles. 

Chloe's family was so intense! Their determination to marry her off to someone who had money, when she was still "pure" was crazy. They lacked total understanding of what Chloe wanted, which is consistent with their background and upbringing. 

Rent a Boyfriend was cute and fun with plenty of banter. Highly recommend!
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This was sweet, very funny, and deeply touching. The romance felt a little clunky however, and the pacing was slightly uneven.
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This is a super cute rom-com with a heart of gold. Plus it is my favorite: fake dating! I found Chloe's parents to be truly horrible bu I know cultural traditions can be really hard to break even when it is harmful.
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Lets start with... this COVER IT EVERYTHING! 

I love how this starts with a small white lie and turns into the best damn drama ever! Let's rent a boyfriend. This is like the wedding date but YA and so adorable. I love that this is dual perspective and that Chloe and Drew are just adorable and relatable as can be. I love them both so much, 
It's a great book to read for the holidays, but since soo much is in the holidays I would say it great for holidays. You can read it anytime but if you are feeling like you need something sweet for fall break! START THIS. 

This bond and relationship is just perfection and the development of the story and romance isn't too fast or slow. Just right. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a cute book and sweet love story. 

I'm tempted to try the audiobook since it was such a great book to read.
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I really loved this fake relationship. For some reason there were parts that it felt like it was dragging on. Overall it was a fun read.
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Gloria Chao is a solidly reliable author. I know that if I open up one of her books, I am going to get a read that will keep my attention with characters I care about and a good plot. Rent A Boyfriend, Chao’s third book, delivered on all my expectations. This was one of the first physical books I read as I was nearing the end of my first trimester, so coming out of being sick all the time. Thus, it has a special place in my heart for that reason – which is totally unrelated to the merits of the book itself.

Rent A Boyfriend is about Chloe Wang who hires a fake boyfriend to get her parents off her back about marrying this other guy who is completely terrible. As the book opens, Chloe has not yet met Drew Chan from Rent for Your ‘Rents and so she’s nervous. They share an Uber from the airport and Chloe gets to know him just a little bit. From there, Drew leans into his role and he’s very good at it. We learn that there’s different categories of parents and Drew has got it down.

Meanwhile, we also learn about Chloe’s relationship with her parents and how it really isn’t perfect. Especially with the expectations placed on her to find a man who can provide for her. Chloe wants to provide for herself and certainly has the ability to do so. As Chloe gets to know Drew, she falls for the real Drew, not the persona he puts on for his job. You see, Drew is an aspiring artist. This means that he would not be good enough as himself for Chloe’s parents. Still, the chemistry is there and it is undeniable.

I loved that Rent A Boyfriend begins with Thanksgiving. It made me feel happy because it takes place over the holiday season. I actually probably should have counted this among my holiday reading as it had Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chinese New Year. The chemistry between Chloe and Drew is believable. As is the progression of their relationship. Chloe and Drew are both well written characters in their own right. I think that if you’re a reader who loves books about family dynamics, people finding their voice and courage, and romance, you will love Gloria Chao’s Rent A Boyfriend as much as I did.
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If you love the fake dating trope, then you will adore Rent a Boyfriend! I enjoyed following along Chloe and Andrew (this book has dual POVs) as they meet through the most unconventional way: Rent for Your ‘Rents, the fake boyfriend service. Everything unravels into a disastrous situation & the personal struggles that both of these characters go through made me feel so much for them--from Chloe's pressure to get engaged to Drew's falling out with his parents due to chasing a career they didn't approve.

Living up to parents expectations is a big theme in this book as well as the courage it takes to follow your own path. And Rent a Boyfriend is PACKED with delicious descriptions of food, so be warned, make sure to have a snack before reading or else you will get hungry! All in all it was a great read for me and I had fun reading this rom-com!!

"Game. On. All I had to do was convince my parents that Andrew was the love of my life and theirs. Piece of (moon)cake, right?"
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ing-Jing (Chloe - American name) Wang hires Drew as Rent for your ‘Rents as fake boyfriend to take home for Thanksgiving. Her parents really want her to marry Hongbo - a rich, whiny playboy who doesn’t respect women. But when Drew and Jing-Jing end up spending more holiday ‘dates’ together; they end up getting along so well. Drew is an operative for Rent for your ‘Rents; only cause his own parents disowned him and he needs to make his own rent. He dropped out of college to pursue his passion for art. Hello sheep in pjs! His parents considers art related career as ‘lese’ (garbage). So as Jing-Jing and Drew continue to stage a fake dating relationship to her parents and their tight knit Asian American community, they can’t help wonder if their lies affect their future together as a real couple. 
This novel was an amazing read for me! I rarely can connect to all characters in a story. The author Gloria Chao does a well rounded job of creating multiple layers of characters as first generation immigrants Taiwanese vs American born Taiwanese kids. Especially ‘xiao shun’ our parents, their friends that aren’t blood related but we address as ‘ayi or shushu’ as sign of respect. While the story is filled with traditional Taiwanese themes: honor, save face, responsibilities; There is huge major drool worthy mention of Taiwanese food dishes! Us Taiwanese love food. Just check out our night markets.
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American Panda is awesome, Our Wayward Fat is good and Rent a Boyfriend is a okay read. Gloria Chao wrote a good story ith vivid characters.
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Chloe Wang hires a fake boyfriend, Drew Chan, from Rent for Your 'Rents to take home to her parents during the holidays. However, who would have known that she will fall in love with Drew. Sometimes love can be found in the most unexpected places and situations.

Chloe wants to appease her parents and to get away from Hongbo Kuo. While her parents try to set up an arranged marriage, Chloe wants to make her own choices. Drew takes on the job as pretend boyfriend in order to earn money so he can pursue his dream being an artist.

From the first page, I fell in love with Gloria Chao's writing. It reads effortless and smoothly. I love Chloe from the start and understood exactly how she feels when she has those internal monologues. Rent a Boyfriend is written in two POVs with Chloe and Drew alternating chapters. Chloe and Drew both are hilarious. Their reactions to what Chloe's parents have to say are priceless. I couldn't stop chuckling when reading the novel.

I can understand how Chloe feels about the expectations her parents pave for her. Although my parents let me choose my own path in life, I can relate to typical Chinese expectations and wants for their children. Chao's incorporates humor within the novel and showcases cultural differences between Chinese culture and the western culture. I appreciate her subtext regarding certain Chinese traditions and concepts. Things like mentioning mooncake points instead of brownie points makes the characters more believable.

Rent a Boyfriend is a heartfelt contemporary novel where family expectations, finding yourself and cultural identity collide. Join Chloe and Drew on a love adventure they didn't know existed.
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I adore this author and that mean I could NOT WAIT to dive into Chao’s latest novel. The premise sounded intriguing and I love the cover. Sounds like the trifecta for a book I would love… and it was! I really enjoyed this and could not get enough of it. One thing I found fascinating was that this practice actually takes place. That blew my mind! As a white female, I do not have an insight into Chinese culture or family dynamics so it was an eye opener. That made me feel bad for the MC, Chloe. She wanted to escape her over-bearing parents and hoped renting a boyfriend for a family visit help with that. What happened as a result of this choice arrangement was nothing short of charming, hilarious, and romantic.

Chao’s writing style is just one thing that will always keep me coming back to her. She writes with snark, wit, and depth. Her characters are deeply flawed yet relatable, the settings are well developed, and the topics feel real. There is not any cringy-worthy instalove. Normally her stories are slow burns and I’m always here for a slow burn love story.

I will not stop gushing about how much fun this story was. There were parts that were tough to get through, mainly the conversations between Chloe and her mother because there was such a cultural difference. By that I mean Chloe was not raised in what could be construed as misogynistic behavior. Her mother wanted to arrange a marriage, did not believe she would be anything without being married, and that she should want nothing more than to be married and have babies. That was not Chloe at all. Plus, there were times Chloe’s mother ‘fat shamed’ her and it made me want to smack her. Those topics just made the story feel more believable.

Please pick this one up if you have not already. This was such a great story and my only complaint is that I have to wait so long for her next story.
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If there was ever a book that was just pure joy, it's definitely Rent A Boyfriend! It was delightful from beginning to end and I loved it so much so! 

One of my favorite things about Rent A Boyfriend was how authentic it all was, I loved learning more about Taiwanese culture and traditions! 

Heartwarming, super cute and just an overall fun read!
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This was really cute and sweet. While I generally enjoy YA, I have a special place in my heart for YA set in college. There's just something so transformative and special about that time and I love it.

Rent a Boyfriend will make you absolutely fall for Drew. He's a dreamer, an artist, but also, very aware of reality and the consequences of pursuing your truth. I also cannot help but adore Chloe. While she may be afraid to confront her parents, she's definitely not afraid of being herself. She knows who she is and what she wants and while she has to work through telling all that to her parents in this book, she never wavers in who she is. 

The Drew and Chloe relationship develops so organically and I loved seeing them together. I love how they're different but they accept and encourage each other. Drew definitely helps Chloe embrace her Chinese heritage more and Chloe supports and loves his art. 

The family relationship aspect of this book is tough. While you understand that the mom's role is to be tough. It was still very rough for me. It was hard to see how often she put Chloe down or basically told her that a terrible guy was her only hope at being successful cause at least she'd have money. It was hard, but I'm glad they were able to work through it. Their relationship wasn't wrapped up all nice and neat, but I almost love that more. Because parent relationships are hard, period. 

This was exactly the sweetness I needed in my life.
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I think many of you have known that I am fan of fake lover trope story and I also like American Panda so I am so excited about Rent a boyfriend and knew this book going to be page turner. And it is true. 

What I did not expect that this book wraps the story so beautiful, fun and insightful!

Without giving much spoiler, I like how the questions that raised when I started reading, all get answers at the ending.

And the chemistry between our couple is felt between pages. Their interaction remind me the excitement of falling in love. 

I also like how the main characters are mature, cool headed. They knew what they want, assertive, and have a good communication skill. They also tried their best to understand other's people point of view. 

Sometimes you read a story where you rolled your eyes "Ugh! this problem can be solved easily if they talk to each other heart to heart, instead keep this misunderstanding for so long and draw conclusions in their head" and I am glad that I did not find those kind conflicts so I found this story is so refreshing! 

Rent a boyfriend is also relatable story, especially among those 
who live in household where the parent treat their child as property and source of proud and joy. The depiction of the children's pain/dilemma when parent do not want to listen and think they know the best is so relatable. 

*Cue mother's gothel's "mother know best" ( Rapunzel ost) playing*

If you are looking for book that have fake lover trope, page turner, have great ending, Asian-American rep, and do not sway away from heavy conversations, I totally recommend this book.
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