Cover Image: Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Fake Dates and Mooncakes

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Member Reviews

I absolutely adored this witty, heartwarming, m/m romance!⁣
It has a beautiful covers, queer love stories, fake dating, rich culture, yummy food, lovable characters -and their adorable pets. This book is perfection and it's the book is for everyone. It's happy and beautiful...everyone will fall in love with Dylan, Theo and, of course, Clover!
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Fake Dates and Mooncakes was a charming read! It was just as cute as the cover. The characters were well written, and the story felt like a warm hug. The romance was sweet, and I especially enjoyed all the culinary aspects of the story. A pretty standard YA Rom-Com debut.
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I really enjoyed reading this! Dylan and Theo’s story was absolutely adorable and a treat to read. The writing read a little young for me, which is why I’m giving it a 4 star rating instead of 5, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! 

Not only was this book full of relatable queer representation, but it also featured fake dating! One of my favorite tropes. It was so well done in this book.
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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this advanced copy.

This book was an okay for me. there was nothing special but still enjoyable. I would like to read more from Sher Lee
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If you love food, you need to pick up this adorable, fun, endearing book today! Fake Dates and Mooncakes is out in the world, and I’m so happy for Sher Lee getting to see all of her hard work to come to fruition today! 

This is a sweet contemporary YA romcom, with shades of Crazy Rich Asians, Heartstopper, and a serious love and respect for food. 

It is also a tender look at grief and how it can still unite us despite differences, an authentic look at Asian culture, and a sweet story of fake dating and opposites attract at its heart. I loved so many moments in this book, the writing was witty, snappy, and fun. I cannot wait for more from this author and hope this is just the start! 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc of this book!
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If I were to describe this book it would be if hallmark made a gay version of Crazy Rich Asian. It was a cute story and I really enjoyed reading it. Although the lack of communication between Dylan and Theo was a bit frustrating but was totally understandable especially for Dylan who didn’t feel like he belonged with Theo due to their difference in socio-economic standing. Also, I loved reading about the different cultural aspects shared in the books from the importance and process of making mooncakes to the Mid-Autumn festival. It was so interesting to read and learn about. Besides that I wish there was more focus on the Mooncake competition, especially when it is supposed to be super important to the family. It kind of felt like an afterthought in the plot and if it were not there it wouldn’t have changed the plot that much.
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A cute book with great culinary imageries, i enjoyed reading about Dylan and Theo and all their fake dating escapades and cultural displays. at the same time, i couldn't be invested in the story completely because the writing style was very straightforward and the typical insta love + third act breakup path didn't sit well with me.
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thank you to netgalley and getunderlined for an eARC of this book. all opinions are my own.

being disappointed by one of your most anticipated releases has to be one of the worst feelings in the world.

i really wanted to love this book ever since it was announced, because it sounded right up my alley: queer crazy rich asians x fake dating x making mooncakes!! what's not to love! i thought it could be similar to CAFE CON LYCHEE by emery lee or THEY HATE EACH OTHER by amanda woody, another may mlm release with fake dating, a rich LI, and baking.

however, less than 20% in, i knew i was not going to enjoy this book unless something drastic changed. i honestly considered dnfing, but i thought i owed this book a full read-through since i was so excited for it before. i don't think my opinion would be any better if i had just stopped reading at the 20% mark, though.

the first thing that stood out to me was the dialogue. there are maybe two (2) natural-sounding conversations within the 272 pages of this book. except for those two conversations, which were both flirty and lasted around five lines, the rest of the dialogue is dedicated to exposition. this can be okay in some contexts, but when *all* the dialogue is that? and none of it is actual character- or relationship-building? it becomes so unnatural so quickly. because of these stilted convos, i did not buy the attraction between theo and dylan, which is bad because the entire book hinges on them caring for each other wayyy too much for two people who just met. i don't dislike insta love/insta lust because sometimes it can work, but it only works when the characters have chemistry. i don't think we get a single personality trait from theo other than "rich" for the whole book, and while money can be attractive, that doesn't create the strongest romance for a romance book.

dialogue and chemistry aside, the plot is also weak. we have two concurrent plots: theo and dylan fake dating at theo's cousin's wedding, and dylan preparing for a mooncake contest. even before reading, i was skeptical of how these two plots would intersect, and unfortunately, they do not really. theo gets involved in the mooncake stuff seemingly randomly, and its not believable that he wants to help dylan because again, no chemistry.

the fake dating was probably the most disappointing part, though. fake dating is probably my favorite trope of all time, and when it's executed well it can be life-changing. however, one of the big pitfalls of fake dating is that the characters need to have a reason to fake date. this can be to appease family members, friends, or a PR scheme, but it has to be believable. in this book, i thought the fake dating would be happening because theo's rich family was putting pressure on him to "settle down" or something. wouldn't be the most original fake dating plot, but it's reliable. instead, the reason we got was... nothing. there was absolutely no reason for theo to 1. bring dylan to the wedding as his date and 2. pretend that they were already in a relationship. at no point did any family member comment on theo's relationship status past "oh look you have a bf cool." it was just so frustrating to read because again, fake dating is my favorite trope and one of the reasons i was looking forward to this book.

there are other reasons i disliked this book, such as the bland side characters, poorly written classism, under developed daddy issues, racial tokenism, and casual moment of bi-erasure, but i think this review is already too long. if you want to read a well-written mlm fake dating book with a rich MC that actually addresses parental and class issues, please read THEY HATE EACH OTHER by amanda woody.
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I absolutely adore this book. I loved the characters and the storyline! Definitely recommend to all my friends and followers
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I wanted to love this book a whole lot but was able to get my expectations down so I don't get too disappointed (I do that with every book) 

Started it, and from the very first page was glued to the story of Dylan and Theo. 

I adored Dylan and his character, his t-shirts, his love for his family, and the way he is as a person, I was able to connect with him with his grief. 

His Aunt and his cousins were just so lovely and it was so nice to see the interactions with them and Dylan as well as Theo. 

Theo though is a whole other kettle of fish. This boy is just up there trying to be the best book boyfriend and is probably succeeding in a lot of ways because how the hell could I not fall in love with this boy 

Dylan's and Theo's love and relationship blossoming was so so lovely!! 

I was not expecting this book to also make me cry!!! I was just bawling my eyes out near the end. 

Clover the Corgi was the star of the show, I would have loved more of that doggo. 

I loved finding out where mooncakes came from and other bits and pieces of the culture and language.

5 outta 5 stars
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From the moment I started reading 'Fake Dates and Mooncakes', I was hooked on the heartwarming love story between Dylan and Theo. Sher Lee has crafted a delightful romantic comedy that is sure to put a smile on your face.

“Dylan Tang, a teenage chef who dreams of winning a mooncake-making competition in honor of his late mother and to bring attention to his aunt's struggling Chinese takeout restaurant in Brooklyn. However, his plans are derailed when he meets Theo Somers, a charming and wealthy customer who convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons. Dylan begins to fall for Theo, but as Theo's true colors are revealed through his wealthy and dramatic family, Dylan must navigate his feelings and remain focused on the competition”.

The characters are lovable and relatable, and their chemistry is palpable. I especially appreciated the way the author handles themes around identity, the Asian American diaspora, and the challenges of navigating a new relationship. This book is a perfect blend of swoon-worthy romance and sweet humor, with a dash of delicious food descriptions thrown in. If you're a fan of 'Heartstopper' and 'Crazy Rich Asians', you won't want to miss this charming novel.
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This was a fun YA read set in NYC. An awkward encounter has Dylan, a high schooler working at his aunt's restaurant, flustered but noticed Theo, someone who has anything but a similar life.

Add in awkward family gatherings, tensions, and a mooncake competition - and a corgi :) - and this was just a really fun book to escape in for a few hours!

Thank you to Random House and Netgalley for the ARC.
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an extremely adorable title! I really loved the relationship between the two main characters and also it was so cool that food was a major part of the story :) Cannot wait to read more by Sher Lee
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Dylan, living with his Aunt Jade and cousins Megan and Tim, works at their family restaurant Wok Warrirors. Wanting to help bring publicity to the struggling business and also honor his mother's memory Dylan decides to compete in a mooncake making competition where the winner is featured on "Off the Eaten Path". On top of that, while out on a delivery, Dylan runs into the attractive, Theo Somers, and agrees to be Theo's "date" to a family wedding in the Hamptons. Let the fake dating commence!

🥡Fake Dating
🥡Only 1 Bed
🥡Baking competition 
🥡Two Different Worlds
🥡Connecting over the loss of a parent
🥡All the family vibes
🥡An adorable adopted corgi 

Y'all this was so stinking cute!!

It's being compared as Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians and I would have to absolutely agree! I loved Dylan and Theo together and even though there was a bit of insta-attraction the topics and discussions these two bonded over made the connection feel genuine. I honestly forgot how short of a time they had known each other while reading.

Another highlight is the closeness and support that Dylan has with his Aunt and cousins. I adored them all and could not wait for this family (and their business) to get the recognition they deserved.

Speaking of, I wanted to eat all of the food described in this book and I need to find a snow skin mooncake ASAP 🤩 

Published May 16, 2023 - OUT NOW - I ordered a gorgeous special edition from @dazzlingbookishshop and cannot wait to revisit this cast of characters when it arrives!

This is Sher Lee's debut novel and I'm excited to read more of her work 💙

Thank you @netgalley @penguinrandomhouse and @sherleeauthor for providing an egalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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i’m going to start this off by saying that i thought this book concept was adorable. gay people and baking? sign me up! 

however, the execution was lacking at times. it was insta-love, so we didn’t have much connecting before they jumped right into their relationship. i have multiple notes where i just questioned why they are trauma dumping despite not knowing each other. it’s just not realistic. i also had some complaints about the culture aspect. as an asian person, i didn’t see much of asian culture being reflected through. even small things like how he calls his aunt “aunt jade” seems off because most people have an ethnic name for their aunt to call them by. 

for the majority of the book though, it was cute. it was definitely cheesy and had the cute fluff that we all like. overall, it was alright. it’s not my favorite book i’ve ever read, but i definitely don’t regret picking it up.
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I am not the biggest fan of insta love books.. I just feel like it’s the worst romance IN MY OPINION. 
I went into this w very high hopes. Normal annoying this happening throughout the book that we’re probs just more annoying because I for real hate insta love. Trauma dumping as soon as they met, the third act break up was so annoying. I just was NOT FEELING this read.. 
I think the idea of this book was really cute.. It just wasn’t developed well & again, I think it’s because of how much I do not enjoy insta love. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This was entertaining and I loved all the culture and food I learnt about and the family love (and dog!) I received a copy for review via NetGalley.
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This is a young adult LGBTQ novel that is marketed as Heartstopper Meet Crazy Rich Asian. 
This book follows Dylan Tang who has dreams of entering and winning the Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making completion for teen chefs. Not only is he doing this for his late mother but this is also a chance for him to give his Aunt’s struggling business more attention.
In comes Theo Somers, a wealthy and charming teenager, who asks Dylan to pretend to be his fake date at his family’s wedding in the Hamptons.  Dylan is thrown into a world of privilege and family drama. As the mooncake contest is coming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by family drama or his feeling for Theo. 
Thank you so much to  Netgalley and underlined publishing for the opportunity to read this book early for an honest review.

Can I say that I feel like this is a K-Drama in a book, we have a wealthy main love interest and a typical poor main character. 
When I think about the novel Crazy Rich Asian, I think of chaos, drama, and of course crazy lifestyle. Of course, we get this weird family drama that lasts two seconds. But I didn’t really feel the same way reading as reading Crazy Rich Asians or even seeing the movie. I just kind of felt like we were told how rich Theo is but we don’t nearly get to see his lifestyle besides them going to the wedding. I don’t know how to explain it because it’s obvious that Theo is wealthier than Dylan, but it just I don’t know didn’t give me the same vibe as Crazy Rich Asian. 

I also felt like the story had a ton of telling rather than showing, which made the story a bit dry. I wanted more from the characters than just being told how to feel. I feel like the writer could have gone into more detail, and built the story more than what we got. Then again, this book is only 272 pages and there is only so much you can do or say.

I really enjoyed that we were able to learn the history of mooncakes, and why they play such a big part in Chinese culture. We not only got to learn about how they were made, as Dylan tries to figure out how to make the best blue snow skin mooncakes but we also get to learn about the lore around them. I honestly love learning about different cultures, but I wish some of the scenes that he spent figuring out this recipe were used differently. I felt like we could go more into depth about Dylan and Theo’s relationship or had them spend more time at the wedding. After all, I feel like a whole week's event for a wedding would set the story up to be less rushed.
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Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: 5/16

Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee is a delightful, queer rom-com that offers an adorable romance, an exploration of Chinese culture, family dynamics, delectable food descriptions, and an irresistible Corgi. It's the perfect pick-me-up read that can be devoured in just a few sittings.

This story follows Dylan Tang, an aspiring chef who dreams of winning a mooncake-making competition in honor of his late mother. Along the way, he finds himself falling for a charming, wealthy stranger, Theo Somers, who convinces him to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.

The romance between Dylan and Theo is undeniably sweet. Although their initial attraction was immediate, their different circumstances created a tension that kept me engaged. Their awkwardness around each other added an authentic touch to their teenage romance, making it relatable and genuine.

One of the standout features of this book is the mouthwatering descriptions of Chinese cuisine. The detailed portrayal of the food will leave readers practically tasting the flavors and longing for a delicious meal. 
Dylan's bond with his aunt, Megan's relatability, and the support they all provide for each other create a sense of warmth and belonging. The contrast with Theo's family dynamics adds depth to the story, highlighting the importance of choosing our own family and not being solely defined by blood relations.

Overall, Fake Dates and Mooncakes is an enjoyable read that intertwines an endearing romance, an exploration of Chinese culture, and family dynamics. It offers a delightful escape into a world filled with love, delectable food, and the beauty of forging one's own path. I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to read more from this author! 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Random House for my advanced copy to read and review.
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Thank you to The Bookish Lit, Underlined, and the author for the advanced reader copy and to PRH Audio for the complimentary audiobook. These opinions are my own. 

Fake Dates and Mooncakes is a great new YA book. It focuses on Dillon, a teen who is grieving the death of his mother. To honor her memory and to help his aunt's financial security, he decides to join a competition making mooncakes. And he gets entangled with Theo, an extremely wealthy teen who has similarly experienced loss. 

The synopsis mentions a comparison to Crazy Rich Asians. That is true in that the book explores class differences and wealth. Indeed, one underlying message is that money really does solve everything. But it's not as over-the-top as Crazy Rich Asians, and I greatly preferred the storytelling here. 

In particular, I appreciated that Dillon and Theo being gay was just a matter of fact. This was a story that focused much more on joy than on the pain of coming out.  And I really appreciated learning the history of mooncakes and several Chinese legends.

Joshua Chang narrated the book beautifully. His voice brought me deeper into the story. 

3.5 stars rounded up
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