Cover Image: Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Fake Dates and Mooncakes

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Member Reviews

This was cute! I will say that I struggled a little bit with the beginning with the ages of the children working in the restaurant. I understand that might be a cultural difference that I’m struggling with, but as someone who struggles with PTSD from a restaurant I cannot fathom putting children in such a brutal environment. I had a pretty hard time getting into the book after that, but the moon cakes contest, the sweet young romance, it was adorable and fun and almost everything I was anticipating walking into this story based on the cover. And speaking of the cover, it is so so cute! Overall I enjoyed the book. I just struggled with a couple of the restaurant related elements.
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I want this to be a movie because it reads like the perfect romcom with the fast pace and tight plot against the vivid core of Singaporean Chinese culture and food represented in this novel. The tender exploration of grief was something I wasn't expecting, but it was really heartfelt, and I really appreciated the tentative way in which the romance developed. Besides the MC and the LI, each of the secondary characters also felt strong and unique, and I'm thoroughly impressed by this debut. I can't wait to see what Sher Lee comes up with next! 

Also, Clover the corgi is a STAR.
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This was a cute queer YA rom-com about two oblivious boys who are into each other fake dating because they can't admit they have feelings for each other. Maybe a bit contrived at times, but it was a cute, sweet story overall. And I really enjoyed all the cooking and baking.
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This was a cute, quick romance that I was able to finish in a couple of days. I'm so happy to see more queer stories for teens and this is a great entry into the space. Thanks to Random House Children’s Books and NetGalley for the ARC.
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This was an absolutely adorable book full of sweet romance and joy. I loved the underlying themes of family and standing up for oneself, and the ending had me in the happiest of happy tears. The mouth-watering descriptions of dishes and mooncakes definitely gave me some food cravings, in the best way! Highly recommended!
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Sweet, heartwarming, and quirky cute, I loved my time with Dylan. He was such a sweetie pie lead, and his awkward bashful self who just wanted to do some good and help his family and maybe hold hands with his fake boyfriend warmed my little heart. 

This was a mildly chaotic read with its 10k cuff links and fancy Ferraris and red eye round trips to Singapore. But I guess that’s what rich people do with all their money? Idk. I’m not sure how serious I was supposed to be while reading this but I was completely unserious the entire time. There were so many points where I chortled out of the sheer absurdity. Threatening to sue over green onions??? PLS!! THATS SO FUNNY!!

But in all seriousness I loved the familial love, the ode to tradition, and the shenanigans of first love. And the food????? I need it all in my belly, now. 

3.5⭐️ rounding up even tho the insta love was a little too insta and the rich were just too rich, we had a good time

**thank you NetGalley for this eARC even though its been published already & I waited until pride month to read it🌈🫶🏼**
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Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians... what more can you ask for? This book is a warm, gooey hug. Loved Dylan. Love all the tropes, except for the miscommunication, but I wasn't thrown off by it by any means. Great book and loved reading it.
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This book was like a sugar rush for my K-Drama loving soul. Think Crazy Rich Asians meets Morgan Matson style adventures. I really fell in love with the characters - especially our MC Dylan and his family. Reading their story and their interactions felt like getting a warm hug from your favorite person. This of course had some solid romance tropes for fake dating - turning into real feelings, fake dating at a wedding, rich family vs poor family, and some miscommunication BUT it was very fun. I am kind of surprised this was felt like it was written for a younger audience especially since the MC is a senior in high school but I think it would have made more sense as a New Adult/Adult title with both characters in their mid-college years. The book skirts the idea of adding spice but it felt unnecessary for the intended audience simply because that plot line wasn't fully fleshed out enough to figure out if it wanted to keep things PG or if it wanted to go further. So it was just a bit murky which I don't like when it comes to YA or Adult. Overall....this was a quick and easy win for me!
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Dylan Tang wants just one thing: to find some way to help his aunt save their struggling Singaporian-Chinese takeout restaurant. With foreclosure looming over them, the only solution seems to be entering and winning the mooncake baking competition hosted by a famous TV chef and win them the prize: a spot on the number one food spot TV show and make Aunt Jade's incredible cooking famous. You know, something simple. 

And then during a genuinely horrible delivery route, Dylan meets Theo-half-Chinese, handsome, rich, and in a world completely different from Dylan's own. When a deal is struck and Dylan finds himself headed to the Hamptons as Theo's fake date to stick it to his snooty family, things start to blossom from a little crush into serious feelings. 

But after people in Theo's life start making things super uncomfortable, Dylan isn't sure where he lands anymore-is it love or is this rich boy more infatuated with his way of life than with Dylan? And with the contest coming up, disaster striking left and right, and life plans shifting underneath him, does Dylan even have time for Theo and his brand of bougie drama?  

I have no complaints. We've got a queer love story matched up with sharp snaps against racism, elitism, and privilege. And for you trope lovers, we've got a nice pairing of fake-dating and one-room-only-one-bed. Yes, we are also dealing with a touch of love at first sight, but this was too adorable for me to be bothered. 

This was a great LGBTQ romance with a ton of AAPI rep and enough yummy food to make my stomach growl the entire time I was reading. A perfect Pride month read and one I highly recommend.
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This was the absolute sweetest story. I loved Dylan and Theo. Dylan’s family was an excellent supporting cast of characters. The food references, Chinese cultural details, and queer representation were top notch.
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Fake Dates and Mooncakes is the perfect book for rom-com and food lovers! The story follows Dylan and Theo, two boys from completely different worlds. A YA book reminiscent of Crazy Rich Asians.

Dylan works hard to help his aunt’s takeout restaurant make ends meet. No matter how hard they struggle, the bills seem to keep piling up. When an opportunity to enter the Mid-Autumn Festival moon-cake competition arises, Dylan decides to enter. Entering the competition is bittersweet. Last year, Dylan had plans to enter with his mom before she passed away. Winning the competition will bring much needed publicity to his aunt’s restaurant. And it will also be a way for Dylan to honor the memory of his mother.

The meeting with Theo Somers is completely by chance. Dylan meets him on a delivery run. Theo is cute,charming, and extremely rich. And somehow, their paths keep meeting. After helping Dylan with a huge favor, Theo proposes a trade: be his fake date to a family wedding. 

Dylan can do that, can’t he? But as the wedding weekend continues, their fake relationship starts to feel less fake and more real. Can two people from totally different worlds make it work?

This book was so good! I loved it. It’s always so fun to read books about food, and this book was no exception. I especially enjoyed getting to learn about moon cakes! I am so hungry for one now, lol. And of course, Theo and Dylan were adorable. This was a bit of an insta-love book. I normally don’t care for insta-love, but it worked in this one! I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a new romance!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very cute little mlm young adult romance that lost a couple points from me due to the insta-love. There were times I swooned, and other times where I was shouting in my head, "you just met each other! Why are we talking 'love' right now?"

The food descriptions were so well done that it made me hungry, though, so that gained it some points back. And I will never be mad about a cute dog, especially one featured on the cover, and most especially a corgi rescue! No offense to all the humans, who were compelling characters in their own right, but Clover is my number one favorite character in this book, now and forever.
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this was such a cute read! really enjoyed the relationship between dylan and theo. it often felt very insta lovey but it was such a cute and quick read. so if youre looking for something lighthearted and easy to read i highly suggest it.
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fake dates and mooncakes 🥮 was PHENOMENAL!! the way the author put so much care and love into each and line was heartwarming. i instantly fell in love with dylan and theo and aunt jade and megan and tim. the characters felt so real and i felt honored to be able to be with them on this journey. i love the fake dating trope and this book did not disappoint! also the attention to detail when it came to the food was astronomical! i was so hungry reading this and actually forced my sister to take me to our favorite chinese takeout a few times haha. i love reading and experiencing cultures outside of my own and sher lee just did amazingly at the detail and traditions that’s all throughout the book. i just loved this read!! now all i want is to go to my local farmers market and buy mooncakes 🥮 from this wonderful lady in my city who puts so much care and love into everything she bakes. she actually reminds me of aunt jade from the book! can you tell i am absolutely in love with fake dates and mooncakes?!
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Overall, this was a fairly quick and very cute book! I think that YA readers will be very happy with the representation, family wholesomeness, and romantic aspect of Fake Dates and Mooncakes.

It took me a little bit to get into the story, as I found that at first the characters were just explaining their background/purpose in a very obvious manner. There was almost a hint of insta love in the beginning, but it did take until the end of the book for the relationship to flourish, which I was happy with (I don't typically like insta love haha). Theo went to extraordinary lengths for Dylan, and if I was in Dylan's place, I think I would be wayyyy too caught off guard by it. But Theo's care for Dylan is evident, and by the end of the book, you're left with a very heartwarming, comforting feeling.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This review reflects my honest opinions.
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Any book that brings together food and family hits a soft spot for me, and I loved Dylan’s story-arc with his family here. Really, Dylan’s family relationships were more compelling than the romance. Theo is a sweet kid but at the end of the book I didn’t feel I knew much else about him (aside from his gross amount of wealth obviously). The romance was cute and the Crazy Rich Teenager thing Theo had going on was entertaining, but the real gem of this book is Dylan’s adopted family: his aunt Jade who is training him to cook, the two cousins who embraced him as a sibling, and of course his rescue pup.

Amid his whirlwind fake romance that’s not actually fake, Dylan tries to piece together a lost recipe for his grandmother’s mooncakes. He is *committed* to these mooncakes - to honor the memory of his mother, to support his aunt’s restaurant, and to maybe even chase his own culinary dreams. The way Dylan remembers his mother is very touching and his relationship to his aunt is honestly incredible. Dylan is empowered by his love for his family, and that was heartwarming to read.

The pacing was a bit confusing for me but that may be because I was more interested in the mooncakes than the fake-dating. Dylan’s romance with Theo was the forward momentum of the book, so while their whole thing was going on for many chapters I was waiting to see what happened with Jade’s restaurant. It was still a very fun read even if a huge middle chunk of it is just seeing Theo’s rich extended family be ridiculous.

Reading this all from Dylan’s perspective was… I can’t say silly because the kid really does go through some sh*t but I was also rolling my eyes as his internal monologue a LOT. The sheer number of times that boy compares his heart to xiao long bao! Dylan’s a nice kid though - I never found him obnoxious the way YA boys can be.

Overall, I really loved this book! Definitely felt it had a five-star ending. (But I can’t say I felt all that close to Theo or Dylan.) Would recommend as a fun comfort read that I’m going to say is low stakes. Like, technically the stakes are high except that you’re so certain it’s all going to turn out okay from the beginning. And also there’s a corgi providing vicarious pet therapy - she truly earned her place on the beautiful cover.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book!
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This was so cute 🥺 You know I’m a sucker for the fake dating trope and this one definitely hit just right! The angst was just the right amount for these two pining over each other while they think the other person was really faking! I also really really loved learning so much about Chinese/Singaporean culture through the stories Dylan & his family told and I’m very interested in trying a mooncake now! One of my favorite things about this book was how important Dylan’s family was to him and I just really loved their dynamic and how quickly they accepted Theo into their fold. The only thing keeping me from giving it the full 5 stars is that something felt off as I was reading and I’m thinking it was the pacing of the story but I’m not 100% sure. Still not enough for me not to love it though!! 🥰
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Fake Dates and Mooncakes - Sher Lee
Rating: 4/5 star✨

“Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.

Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.

In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.

Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?”

This was such a sweet, cute story! Definitely gave off gay Hallmark vibes. I loved that Theo was shown as having more depth than just a rich kid. Dylan’s relationship with his family was so tender and heart warming. I loved all the cultural references and I was absolutely dying to try some of the food that was referenced! The ending scene at the competition was just so, so perfect. 

Recommend if you like:
- Fake dating 
- Opposites attract
- Only one bed
- Food and cultural references
- Exploring grief
- HEA!

Thank you @netgalley, @randomhousekids and the author for this ARC! This one is out now! ✨
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Delight of delights!  If 'Crazy Rich Asians' was queer and written for teens, it would be this book.  It was top-tier adorable and had everything you could possibly want in a rom com.  Lovable characters you wanted to root for, witty banter, rich people's family drama, and a cliché message about the importance of love and family paired with a happy ending to send it off.  The plot doesn't deviate from formulaic devices at all, but hey!  They work for a reason.  The ups and downs were predictable, but it reads like your favorite warm blanket or flavor of tea: exactly what you look for when you know you want the comfort of familiarity.  I totally loved it.
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This book is absolutely delightful. Combining the sweetness of Heartstopper and the issues of family obligation and economic inequity of Crazy Rich Asians, this is a welcome addition to queer YA. We need more books like this!
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