About 30% in, the story was moving slowly and I wasn't sure if I was going to continue. I'm so glad I did! The twist I wasn't expecting in the last 15% of the book was such a good way for this fraud squad plan to implode, as i knew it would before the book even started. I think one thing that I struggled with in this book was how plot based it was, I would have appreciated some more character development and more time between Samantha and Timothy. Their relationship grew over time but it didn't feel completely earned by the end. It definitely gave me Gossip Girl and Chine Rich Asians vibes but it didn't quite meet the potential.
3.5 stars, rounded up. This is an engaging look at someone trying to break into the world of the super wealthy, and the roles of class in modern society (in Singapore, at least). Lots of interesting and fun descriptions of fashion and over the top parties.
I absolutely loved this read. I couldn't put this book down and I can't wait to read VALLEY VERIFIED. Kyla Zhao is definitely on my autobuy list.
I really wanted to enjoy this more - the cover and synopsis really appealed to me, however I found it to be slow and not much going on to really propel the plot forward.
For lovers of Kevin Kwan - romance and high stakes. Scams and heists. Reminiscent of current trials in the USA, this is a fun escape into a world that holds your attention for the thrill of it all.
This one just wasn't for me. I was hoping for something along the lines of CRAZY RICH ASIANS (which I adored), but this just fell short. The characters didn't pull me in and I struggled to get past a quarter of the book. I am positive that there will be plenty of readers who will love this book.
Samantha only wants to ease the financial stress and burden her single working mother feels.....and she wants to break the societal barriers to get a better, more high-profile job. Work mate Anya and her friend Sam provide the perfect opportunity to help Sam and prove to their parents their paths do not have to be predetermined.
Fun, easy read about Asian socialites. Not quite as polished as Kevin Kwan, but Ii would definitely recommend it to readers looking for a read alike.
Can a woman from a humble background fool Singapore's elite into thinking she's one of them? That's what Samantha Song will find out— along with some help from her wealthy co-worker and friend Anya Chen and one of high society's golden boys, Timothy Kingston.
This book is part Crazy Rich Asians, part The Devil Wears Prada, and part Bridgerton. Can Samantha Song impress the editor-in-chief of Singapore’s poshest magazine while avoiding being discovered by the gossip columnist set on spilling the Singapore elite's hottest tea? Shenanigans ensue, and I loved every moment of this unlikely team's antics.
I gave this book a try but it feel flat for me. I really liked the premise of combining The Devil Wears Prada and Crazy Rich Asians. I but others will enjoy this book more.
DNF at 15%
The struggle is real. I have picked this up multiple times since getting approval for it and it's not working for me. I find it very unrelatable (see lack of wealth or care for the "fine" things in life lol). I suspect that the character will have a great character arc that I could enjoy but the trappings of wealth that litter the pages makes it hard for me to care.
It's compared to Crazy Rich Asians which (ironically because of the whole wealth thing) I adored reading a few years ago. I think the main character and the setting were more likeable. I'll give this one another go another time, perhaps, and will try the audiobook to see if the narrator's performance gives a twist on the entertainment value.
Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the advanced copy. All thoughts are my own.
while the premise was interesting & up my alley, i had trouble fully immersing myself into the book and empathizing with characters. that being said, i loved the asian representation and the writing was excellent as well!
“If you're going to ruin my life, at least have the decency to not gaslight me.”
I want to start off by saying that firstly I am obsessed with this cover, I think it is so cute. But I also want to say that I found this to just be a really entertaining read. I dont think that anything groundbreaking or shocking necessarily happened, but rather it was just fun. I think the author did an amazing job at balancing characters personalities in the sense that they were simultaneously both likable and unlikable at the same time. I think that this book is best to go into blind and just experience it for yourself.
This was an interesting quick read about Samantha who always wanted to write for a high-society magazine. She comes from poverty and this is a way to work herself up into Singapore's high society. It was interesting watching her character develop as well as those around her. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.
This was so well written. I was engrossed from the first page and it ticked all the boxes of my expectations. The character development was excellent. I would definitely recommend to others, a must read!
Thank you for an advanced copy of this book! Sadly, it wasn’t really for me, and I didn’t finish it… However, I could see why people would enjoy it. I hope to pick it up at a later time!
Here’s what I thought this book was about - the ways in which the very rich are bad set against a number of shenanigans.
Here’s what the book was - the most unlikeable characters in the whole world consistently failing to show insight or compassion. The pacing was absolutely wild - I’m supposed to believe this takes place over three months when three weeks are skipped in a paragraph.
I thought The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao was a fun read. This book follows Samantha who wants to work as a journalist but instead is at a PR firm. She wants to get the scoop on high society. Unfortunately, Samantha is a nobody - her mom is a manicurist. This means that she has no chance at getting the society articles as she's not really one of the elite. That is, until Samantha's coworker Anya who is wealthy and Timothy who also comes from an elite family, agree to help Samantha fake her way in with a scheme they call the fraud squad. It actually works too! Soon she's rubbing elbows with the Singapore elite.
Zhao's book is escapist fun. Yes, there's some serious moments of course. It goes into covering class. I loved that it was set in Singapore, I don't read a lot of stories set there so this was nice to pick up something new to me. Samantha is someone I absolutely wanted everything to work out for. It's hard not being wealthy and wanting to be in a different life and chase your dreams. The ending wasn't my favorite but I got why things played out the way they did. The audiobook is narrated by Siho Ellsmore who was a new to me narrator. I had no complaints. Overall, the audiobook is 11 hours and 33 minutes long. I listened to it sped up with no issues.
This story is one that’s been done a time or twelve in the past. I’m sure you know it – the girl from the wrong side of the tracks gets a looky at how much greener the grass is on the other side courtesy of a "My Fair Lady" type of approach.
This time around our leading lady is not Eliza Doolittle, but Maddie – entry level in the PR world, Maddie dreams of hobnobbing with high society folks and writing for the illustrious “S” magazine. With help from her friend Anya and Anya’s billionaire heir friend Tim, Maddie’s dreams might just come true as she fakes it ‘till she makes it as an “It Girl.”
I’m sure there’s an audience out there for this one, but sadly it wasn’t me. This was sooooooo juvenile and the writing was simply not great. More than anything, the pacing was a real disaster. Weeks and weeks are skipped over (when the entire story has a firm expiration date of three months) while pages upon pages are spent on each detail of the superficial things like clothing and food. None of the characters were likeable or taken to task for being so – and of course everything ends up with a happily ever after for all.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Samantha’s friends agree to help her make a name for herself on the Singapore social scene in order for her dream of writing for a high-society magazine to come true.
I think this was fine - I don’t remember loving it, but I don’t remember hating it. It didn’t make an impression either way, so I’m going with three stars.
This was so much fun!! This was entertaining in so many more ways than one. The characters were so loveable and fun and easy to get attached to and the plot was super fun to follow. Highly recommend!!