Member Reviews

A saccharine sweet baking romance with the absolute cutest characters and the biggest feet-kicking romance in YA. Adorable.

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of Fake Dates and Mooncakes.

I thought this book was just okay. It wasn't the book for me.

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I was very excited to read a copy of this book, because of the cute cover and queer representation. However, I really struggled with the tone of the writing and connecting to the characters. The writing is clunky, and it feels like there's a lot of info-dumping. While I did love the food references, it wasn't enough to maintain my interest. I did DNF this one.

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Representation: Queer Asian MCs

Rating: 4/5 Full transparency, I read this in May, and while I remember enjoying it while reading, I now don't remember much of what actually happened. I do remember being annoyed with Theo trying to throw money at problems, and waving away their best friend's behavior. That in itself should've been confronted. I enjoy the fake dating trope, and this did feel a little scripted in how it hit all of the trope beats exactly. It wasn't anything amazingly special, but I have a soft spot for cheesy romance, especially when it's queer.

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Sher Lee's "Fake Dates and Mooncakes" excels in exploring food, culture, and grief. The vivid descriptions of delicious food tie seamlessly with the main characters' complex relationships with their cultures and their experiences of grief. The narrative critiques the oversimplification of rich characters in fiction, emphasizing the need for nuance. Despite a rushed conclusion in the last 50 pages, the book, with its sweet romance, is recommended, especially for those interested in Asian representation in YA romance and for food enthusiasts.

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4.25 This was such an adorable YA romance corgis, baking competition this was just up my alley. This book follows Dylan who recently lost his mom and was taken in by his Aunt Jade. Aunt Jade runs a takeaway restaurant called wok warriors but is really struggling financially . Dylan meets Theo when a food delivery went wrong. Theo came to the restaurant the next day to apologize and gets to know Dylan he finds out they need money to keep the takeaway open he try’s to donate it has a small business grant. Dylan figures it out so Theo comes up with a deal to take Dylan as a date to the wedding in the Hampton then they’ll be even. As expected feelings start to be had and it is just adorable.

I really enjoyed this book it was exactly what I needed it was just so cute and cozy.The writing was very fast paced and engaging and I really enjoyed learning more about Asian culture. I really appreciate that this book was able to explain a lot about the history behind mooncakes and still kept me flying through the pages. I enjoyed this so much I basically read it in one sitting. I really hope to pick up more from this author in the future. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book for an honest review.

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Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee is a charming and heartwarming young adult romance that will leave readers with a smile on their faces. The novel follows Dylan Tang, a teenage Chinese-American boy in Brooklyn, who wants to win a mooncake-making competition in memory of his late mother and bring much-needed publicity to his aunt's struggling Chinese takeout.

Enter Theo Somers, a wealthy and charming boy from a completely different world. Despite their different backgrounds, Theo and Dylan are drawn to each other, and Theo convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons. However, as their pretend romance turns into something real, Theo's crazy rich family drama threatens to derail everything.

The author has done an excellent job of creating relatable characters and a plot that is both engaging and heartwarming. The chemistry between Dylan and Theo is palpable, and their love story is sweet and romantic. The book is also a celebration of Chinese culture, food, and traditions, which adds depth and richness to the story.

Fake Dates and Mooncakes is a well-written and enjoyable young adult romance that deals with important themes such as family, love, and identity. It's a perfect read for anyone who loves a good romance with a side of mooncakes!

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This was genuinely just a joy to read and I'm so sad it took me this long to get around to it! This was the perfect entertaining, charming yet unserious read I needed. Crazy Rich Asians will forever and always be my favorite movie and this was so reminiscent of all the things I love about that movie. I loved the family dynamics and all the descriptions of foods were making my mouth water. Definitely the most wonderful palette cleanser book I can see myself going back to several times. Loved!

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Fake Dates and Mooncakes is supremely precious. It's swoony, full of mouth watering food scenes, and has a disastrous meet cute. Lee's debut is charming from start to finish and I read this one in a matter of days. Falling in love with Fake Dates and Mooncakes isn't difficult. I loved Dylan's family, their support, but also how badly they need to win this competition. With the stakes against them and all of Theo's wealth and status, can they really be something real?

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5 / 5 ⭐️'ˢ

“Fake Dates And Mooncakes” By Sher Lee

📕 Edition: Audiobook

This was such a cute read that whisked me into a whirlwind of emotions! 📚😍 Full of romance, cultural celebration, and the power of family. Dylan's dedication to honor his mom through the mooncake competition was heartwarming, and the struggles his family faced added a layer of relatability.

Theo and Dylan's chemistry was electric, set against the backdrop of two vastly different worlds colliding. The fake dating trope took an unexpected turn, weaving a genuine connection that tugged at my heartstrings. The glitz and glamour of Theo's world juxtaposed with the authenticity of Dylan's life made for a captivating dynamic.

Amidst the rich-people drama, the impending mooncake contest added a layer of urgency, highlighting the importance of balancing personal desires and familial responsibilities. Lee beautifully portrays the complexity of navigating love, family, and ambition.

A sweet, endearing tale that captures the essence of love and the essence of honoring one's heritage. 🌟🌙

Thank You @netgalley and @getUnderlined for providing me with this ARC.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this was such a cute rom-com LGBTQ+ YA romance. I love the main characters and Theo and Dylan. I like the idea of the fake dating and all the drama that goes along with it. Normally that is not my thing, but it worked for this book. The only thing I wish Sher Lee highlighted a little bit more of is the Mooncake contest. I loved the idea of a baking competition, but I thought it was put on the back burner until the end. I can not wait to read more by this author in the future.

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Sher Lee’s debut novel Fake Dates and Mooncakes is a surprising book. For starters, I never would have known about it or given it a chance had I not seen it as part of a blog tour. The comparisons between Heartstopper and Crazy Rich Asians convinced me to give the book a chance, and I’m very glad I did. If you like Casey McQuiston’s Red White and Royal Blue, this book has elements that are reminiscent of that too.

The food in this book is ah-mazing, and an integral part of the world. As a warning, you probably shouldn't read this book while hungry. One of the biggest parts of the story is Dylan’s family restaurant (run by his aunt Jade), and how he is entering a contest to help gain some publicity to save it. The mooncakes Dylan makes in the book are a labor of love, and it’s obvious that the author put a lot of love into the research and details that go into the various recipes presented in the book.

The characters and interactions were also surprising. I was not expecting some of the character plot twists. Theo and Dylan are adorable, and they have a very unique meet- cute moment. The side characters like Aunt Jade, Megan, Tim, and of course Clover are also integral to the story. The one hesitation I have was the whirlwind of insta-love and fake dating, which kind of put me off a bit (they are admittedly not my favorite tropes), but overall it didn't impact my enjoyment of the book too much.

Put together, Fake Dates and Mooncakes was a very entertaining read. A perfectly balanced recipe complete with lots of humor, heart, and romantic moments. The narrator, Joshua Chang, did an excellent job bringing Dylan’s perspective to life with his performance in the audiobook narration. As a standalone novel, I think the author wrapped up the storyline very nicely at the end of the book. I’m definitely intrigued enough to check out whatever the author writes in the future (she has a new young adult fantasy, Legend of the White Snake, set to release in 2024).

Thank you to the author, the publisher, the team at TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a complimentary review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review Fake Dates and Mooncakes immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way.

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I am seriously so in love with this book!!! It deserves all of the stars! Such a beautiful story with a sweet LGBTQIA+ romance between two boys who meet under less than desirable circumstances. It all starts when Dylan delivers a very late and incorrectly made takeout order to a very rude and condescending customer only to be enamored by said condescending customers alleged boyfriend, Theo.

After their first fateful meeting Dylan and Theo become close even though it seems they don’t have much in common. Dylan is an aspiring chef who is always working and helping with his families takeout restaurant and struggling to make ends meet while Theo is an aspiring musician who is the son of a wealthy businessman who seems to forget he has a son unless it affects his reputation.

Through fake dates, family drama, and Mooncakes mishaps they start to care for one another and their families. It made me cry happy and sad tears and I will jo longer accept grand gestures less than what was done in this book!

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I happened to read this at the end of September, right around the time of the autumn festival. I loved the setting and learning about mooncakes! The story was heartfelt and it was great to see growth from both characters. A wholesome story all around.

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I found Fake Dates and Mooncakes to be a quick and charming read. If insta-love and fake dating are your things, then this book has those in spades.

What I really loved about this book was how honest the characters were with themselves. You know immediately where Dylan’s heart is, how much he loves his family and how important these mooncakes are to him. I wanted only the best for him and for him to succeed, regardless of his relationship status.

Where the book lost me a little was all of the conflict coming from Theo’s side of things with his friend, his dad, and his butler. It just seemed like there were so many forces on that end trying to keep Dylan and Theo apart that it took center stage over and over and over again.

3.5 stars rounded up

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Thank you to the publisher for this advanced copy. I enjoyed the characters in this story, but ultimately didn't find it to be a stand out story.

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Thank you very much for the opportunity to read this book early! I really enjoyed it. I thought the writing was very well done, and the story kept me interested. I believe my students/patrons would also love this book and will be acquiring it for the library!

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This book is the sweetest and is perfect for mid-autumn festival! Lee gives us such adorable characters and reading about their relationship melted my heart.

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This was adorable! I was feeling sick and just wanted to escape for awhile and this offered just the fluffy feel-good escape I was looking for. It also offered the cutest queer relationship and such a wonderful array of Chinese and Singaporean foods and culture that felt naturally immersive.

It was tropey and predictable in the way of my favorite 90s romcoms which honestly was a plus for a day when I felt gloomy and sick. It lifted my mood and gave me a reason to smile which my day had thus far lacked. It wasn't too heavy and didn't require a lot of brainpower, so I was able to just listen and enjoy it.

I loved all of the characters. They were fun and quirky and Dylan's family was wonderful and welcoming and loving. Theo was drawn to their warmth and made the sweetest grand gesture to save the day. Family was very important in this story and it was lovely to see Dylan's family embrace Theo, and the few people in Theo's family who care for him embrace Dylan and his family.

The audiobook was lovely and the character voices believable and distinguishable. It helped to immerse myself into the story. I did have to speed it up a bit more than I usually do.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children's for providing an early copy for review.

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I really enjoyed this book while reading it. It was cute and loved the opposites attract trope. It was a quick and light book to read that I think a lot of people will enjoy.

Thanks to net galley for the early arc in exchange for a review.

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