Cover Image: Rent a Boyfriend

Rent a Boyfriend

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Rating 3

The book "Rent a Boyfriend" by Gloria Chao was an okay/good book. Gloria Chao took a cliche storyline and made it her own with the addition of her culture and traditions. While this book was good it was hard to get through. The main character was just okay. I understand with her family it is hard to speak up but enough is enough at a certain point and that is how I felt when reading this story. The story just kept going and going when in my opinion it could have been wrapped up in half the time. Even the jokes started to get old because the same ones were used multiple times to close to one another. There are some parts of this book that I really liked but the pacing was too slow for me to really enjoy the story. I did like that we saw the main character develop as the story progressed but again, felt too slow. Drew's character didn't seem 'real' to me. I didn't feel like he had a voice of his own and his personality just felt flat. Overall, it's disappointing because I really wanted to like this story and I did enjoy it in the beginning. 

Should you read "Rent a Boyfriend"? 
Depends. If you want a cliche storyline turned unique then this might be for you. Just be aware the story is slow and might feel as though your reading the same chapters over and over. 

**Received an advanced copy through NetGalley in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
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If you’re looking for a good fake dating story, check out RENT A BOYFRIEND by Gloria Chao! 
Chloes parents are very proud of and controlling over their daughters “purity” and physical appearance, since they believe this is her best chance of marrying a rich man to take care of her. After turning down a proposal from Hongbo, the man her parents want her to marry— the man who she detests— Chloe turns to “Rent for Your Rents” to rent the perfect fake boyfriend, Drew, to convince her parents that Hongbo is not her best option. 
I love/hate Chloes parents. They do have good character growth that helps heal their family. I especially grew to appreciate her dad. 
I went into this expecting a fun and flirty romance, which it was, but it did get heavy as the story went on. Chloe and Drew seemed very comfortable and had good chemistry almost right away. I enjoyed their texts and late night chats. Though I did keep forgetting that they are only 19 and 21! I think that’s because Chloes parents are pressuring her to get married, I just envisioned her to be older. I love that Drew constantly reminds Chloe and her family of her worth. I think that they’re a great couple. 
I love holiday romances, and this book has it all: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year). There are a lot of sweet moments in this story! 
Trigger warning for a parent diagnosed with cancer. I’m sorry if you consider this a spoiler, but I feel the need to include it considering it’s my own trigger. 
4/5 stars. RENT A BOYFRIEND comes out November 10, 2020! 
Thank you to the author, publisher & @netgalley for sending me an eARC to review!
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4 stars

I have thus far really enjoyed Gloria Chao's work, so I was THRILLED to receive this arc; my high expectations were not only met but exceeded. 

This is a charming new adult (I'm not sold on the YA part because these folks are a little older than that) romance. Chloe's parents are something to behold, and she resorts to renting a boyfriend - An/Drew - from an agency that provides this service to get them off of her not-interested-in-being-engaged back. While it's clear from the cover, summary, and everything else that this is meant to be a romance between the aforementioned characters (and does not disappoint in this way), the more compelling aspect of the novel is the cultural elements, highlighted by Chloe's parents, their expectations, and the maniacs in their community. There are some truly wild insights on this front, and I felt like I learned a lot more about references that friends have made. It made me want to do some gentle follow-ups in my own circles!

I really enjoyed this and am already looking forward to whatever Chao writes next. This is a fun - and for me fresh - spin.
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I really enjoyed this book. I was excited to receive an arc and it was a really good read. I love the characters and their relationships.
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Mini Review: The fake dating trope is my favorite, so as soon as I read the summary for this book, I knew I had to read it! I'm happy I did! I really enjoyed this book! Chloe and Drew were so cute together, and I loved reading about them. There were moments that made me laugh, and also a lot of heartfelt moments. I really liked the ending. If you're looking for a good YA, I definitely recommend reading this book!
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I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. When I first heard about this book I was really excited. The story premise was good but I had issues getting into it. I didn't like that it had a lot of cussing in the book. Some people won't mind it but it was a turn off for me. I liked that the book was about fighting for what you want out of life and letting no one stand in your way including yourself.  I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.
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First published September 1, 2020 (Booklist).

While home from college for Thanksgiving break, Jing-Jing “Chloe” Wang implements a plan for dealing with her status-obsessed family, her hypercritical mother, and an unwelcome marriage proposal from Hongbo Kuo, the rude, repulsive, most-eligible-bachelor son of the wealthiest couple in the Wang’s social circle. She employs Drew Chan, a Rent for Your ‘Rents fake boyfriend trained to wrap traditional Taiwanese immigrant parents like Chloe’s around his finger. What starts out as a lie snowballs as Chloe and Drew fall for each other and give support in finding the strength to stand tall against adversity. With Chao’s signature humor and lovable characters, she once again offers insights into Taiwanese culture alongside scads of delightful rom-com ordeals, mishaps, and kisses. Like a YA version of an American Crazy Rich Asians, this spirited novel is perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, Jenny Han, and the fake-dating trope, as it entertainingly explores embracing life’s challenges, navigating strict cultural viewpoints, and learning to be the person you know in your heart you should be.
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Glorida Chao suprised me with a multi-layered book of family, identity, and following one's dreams. In Rent a Boyfriend, Chloe, who goes by her Chinese name Jing-Jing when she's around her parents, feels suffocated by the expectations of her parents and community. When she's "promised" to the local eligible bachelor, who's actually a huge slime ball, Chl;oe fights back the only way she knows how: lie to her parents and hire a boyfriend from Rent for your 'Rents to get her parents off her back. 

What starts as a way to break her engagement with fake-Lamborghini owning Hongbo without disappointing her parents turns into a journey of self-discovery, love, and confronting the cultural expectations of her childhood. Chloe, with the help of her fake-boyfriend Andrew, finds a way to accept and appreciate her Asian heritage while still being true to herself. Along the way, Chloe helps Andrew see the beauty and strength within himself and accept who he is; and artist named Drew. 

I was expecting a light and fluffy rom-com, but ended up getting so much more. I'll definitely be adding this to my school library when it comes out in November!
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*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There were so many things I was excited about when I began this book. Fake dating, yes. Falling in love while fake dating, yes. A female lead who struggles to speak her mind, yes. I loved it all. However, there were a few things that I didn't enjoy as much. For one, parts of the story dragged. It kind of felt like the book could have been shorter and still gotten the message across. Many parts of the plot felt dragged out. I also felt like the romance was a little quick for me. 

However, the characters were what kept me interested. Chloe and Drew were so fleshed out and complete. They grew in their relationship and themselves. Chloe, at first, fell flat for me, but as she grew throughout the book I felt more interested in how she would fix things with her relationship. Drew had me from the first few pages. He was so compassionate while struggling with the same things that he helped others with. I loved being able to see them grow into better versions of themselves.

I also loved the blending of Mandarin words and phrases with the English text. It showed how important that language and culture connected to it is to Drew and Chloe as well as her family. All in all, it was a great read about a culture that I didn't know much about.
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you know when a book has such a promising blurb, and you pick it up, and it also has a promising beginning, so now you're pretty sure you're going to LOVE this story...and then you don't?

yeah, i know the feeling well.

the actual fake dating story line of this (which lasted until 30 percent in) was super cute and I was smiling like an idiot!! There was so much adorableness and "omg is this real or not? are we still pretending" and that's exactly the kind of yearning I am here for. Unfortunately, the rest of this fell flat for me. Certain plotlines started to just repeat themselves over and over again, way too many times. The book
Parents: Chloe get married to Toxic Rich Asshole please!!
Chloe: No!!
Andrew: omg i'm sorry this sucks what can i do for you? I want to support you as much as I can!

over. and over again. and at first i was really enjoying the discussion of arranged marriages and her parents' roles in that, but after a while i couldn't care less.

chloe's perspective was genuinely interesting to read about though, and i loved seeing her character development. drew on the other hand, was way too much of this Perfect Selfess Guy. He hardly ever messes up, says and does all the right things, and is general BORING. where's my messy flawed characters at? I couldn't stand how boring and sweet Drew was,!! the relationship was way too healthy for my liking. that sounds kinda stupid but they have so many conversations likes "I'm so sorry I'm here for you whatever you need from me I care about you so much uwu" and my toxic ass couldn't deal with the overload of sappiness.
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*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review*

After reading and loving American Panda, I knew I wanted to read this one. I’m so glad I did, as it was so cute! It was the perfect blend of a rom com and a story that dealt with family struggles. Gloria just has this great writing style that makes it work.

Chloe’s traditional Taiwanese parents are pressuring her to marry Hongbo, who is quite wealthy and well known in their tight knit community. After a disastrous “date” with Hongbo, where he took her to a strip club, Chloe gets quite desperate. She feels that the only way out of marrying Hongbo is to hire a fake boyfriend from Rent for Your ‘Rents.

Drew has a passion for art, and unfortunately his parents disown him after he drops out of college to pursue his dreams. He works for Rent for Your ‘Rents to pay the bills as he’s supporting himself completely. Thankfully for him, learning the protocols for work come naturally to him. For this job, he just needs to convince Chloe’s parents that he’s right for her, and he’s golden.

Chloe and Drew start to fall for each other, but Drew is quite different than Andrew, the character he has been portraying to her parents. As they fall for each other, the lies to Chloe’s parents keep on coming, and things get pretty complicated. Will Chloe be able to figure things out after the mess that’s been created?

I adored these characters, and they definitely made an impression on me. If you enjoy rom coms and fake dating, I definitely think you’ll enjoy this one!
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*** Thank you Netgalley for approving me in exchange for an honest review!

This book was so adorable! Chloe's parents are pushing her to marry Hongbo, the most eligible bachelor, but for reasons Chloe has no idea. She despises Hongbo after he takes her on a date to a strip club. When her parents invite her home she panics and decides to hire a boyfriend to try to get her parents to understand how much she does not want to marry Hongbo. 

Chloe "rents" a boyfriend to temporarily deter her parents intentions  but the more time she spends with Drew the more she starts falling for him. They genuinely just click but as time goes on and the lies pile up things start to get messy. 

Drew's job as a "rented" boyfriend is lucrative. His love for Art has led him to drop out of college which has caused tension with his family. When he meets his client Chloe and things start getting more and more serious despite their "fake relationship" he starts to worry what she'll think if he tells her what his dreams really are. 

In a world where higher education is important to gain status in the community both Chloe and Drew keep their true dreams to themselves but over time they realize they can't continue hiding their true selves. These two are definitely meant for each other but can they get out of the mess their fake relationship has created for them? Will they be able to wipe the slate clean and have a true relationship together? 

If you love Gloria Chao's previous books than you'll definitely love this one! I recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance!
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Firstly, I love the cover and the representation it shows (I’m Asian). The cover and author is also what drew me to this book (loved American Panda). It was fun and heartwarming , just as the cover suggests. Jing-Jing/Chloe was a great representation of the struggles many Chinese Americans face and I loved seeing the Chinese words. It made me feel so seen.
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This book was so cute and was your run-of-the-mill fake dating love story. It was full of drama, "dragon parents", and a horrible boy trying to get Chloe/Jing-Jing to marry him. Drew was incredibly likable while Chloe took some getting used to. It was really well-written and it was super sweet.
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I can’t quite tell who this book is for. The premise seems like it would be better with a slightly older protagonist and geared towards a slightly older audience.
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This book in a nutshell:

- Girl needs a reason to decline a proposal from the most awful person ever
- Hires professional as a fake boyfriend who should get her parents' approval
- But... are there feelings, maybe?
- Bonding over mooncakes at midnight
- Baking cookies together at Christmas
- Drama, struggles, but also Fluff

This book has such a perfect balance between being a fun romcom and dealing with deeper issues, like how the main character struggles in her relationship with her parents and in her cultural background because of her parents' expectations of her and the way her community judges her and the focus on needing to save face.
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This book was exactly what I expected, in a good way. I went into it expecting a cute and funny rom-com, and it lived up to those expectations! It was a relatively quick read, and a fun one too. I loved how real Chloe's relationship with her parents was portrayed. While I may not be a part of the culture this book is based off of, I can relate to the difficulty of relating to your parents while simultaneously wanting to love them no matter what. I think it was really important to show Chloe merging her two cultures in the way she eventually did. Those looking for a happy book to get lost in should definitely pick up this one!!
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This book really brings to light the complications of being a child in a household that is deeply emerged in a specific culture. I loved Chloe’s rebellion to find her own way in her life but felt the pain that came from a cultural respect and understanding of her parents. I loved getting a glimpse into the balance of Chinese/Mandarin culture in an American setting.
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Gloria Chao's books are always so cute. I love that I get a cute romance while learning about a culture I am not familiar with. This one addressed the pressure felt in early adulthood by parents for so many reasons. The characters were lovely, their feelings were valid and relatable, and the development of the relationship was swoony.
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I always enjoy a fake partner to real partner trope. I also LOVE books that integrate Mandarin Chinese / Taiwanese into them so reading this for me felt really fun. Some of it got a bit long and I think it could’ve been wrapped up a teensy bit shorter/ sharper, but overall the writing was solid. The pain and anguish from family dynamics came through really clearly. I actually might’ve liked that best because all sorts of kids can relate to some version of this type of tension and anger/love towards their families, and I’m glad that type of theme is being put forward more for young people since they grapple with it all the time so alone. 

This would definitely be a YA book over MG. Sex and virginity get discussed a bit but it is otherwise very tame, but just meant for the older/ middle school crowd (MCs are 18,21). 

More Chinese in books! Oh also there’s a glossary. I love a glossary. 

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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