Member Reviews

Truly a beautiful book with a main character you will fall in love with. Engaging, well written and un-put-downable.

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Personally, this book was hard to get into. Only some scenes would catch my attention. This book started to grow on me near the end, and then I was confused about the ending. I felt like the book ended abruptly, and didn't really feel like it had a thought-out resolution. I feel like the book was missing something, and although I am in a very similar situation (which is what drew me to the book), I felt like it was difficult to relate to Linh and her actions.

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I found this book hard to rate/review. It is definitely not for everyone. There were a lot of moments that made me laugh because they were either completely absurd or very relatable. The main character is not very likable which normally I really enjoy but I felt like her journey throughout the story wasn't really captivating. However, I think that was kind of the point. Thao Votang wrote how she conceived this story during the Covid pandemic. I think during this time a lot of people could relate to the feeling of wanting to get out there and live their life. I felt like Linh was representative of this sort of stagnant state. She was trapped in this cycle of preoccupation with anyone but herself and her own happiness, not able to move on. Overall, I found this book inspirational in an odd way because it made me reflect on my relationships with others and how I live my life.

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Linh Ly is doing just fine reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine vibes. the story is quite similar.

I get that this book is not for everyone. There are many things that can turn off the reading experience like mention of metroplex very often and weird eccentric behaviour of Linh, also her asking questions to her readers after every passage. But frankly I could see where Linh is coming from.

An abusive father, a mother who's trying to make ends meet by doing two jobs. A child scared and alone in the house everyday while her parents were working. An inattentive alcoholic father who would not care for his daughter and a caring mother yet who chose to stay out of the house coz of her husband. Young girl left to fend off after the needs to the father who did not even speak two sentences of love. Do you really expect the girl will be normal??

Of course she has no life apart from her job and her tennis practice. She believes the whole world out there is to get to her in someway or another. She has experienced racism first hand, a Vietnamese trying to make her space in white supremist world. She is what she is and she is doing just fine given the circumstances of her situation.

She has no one in the world apart from her mom so frankly even though her stalking behaviour annoyed hell out of me, yet part of me could understand where was it coming from. This even kept her sane in the world full of insanity and people who looks down upon you. And that is why she couldn't understand if someone treated her nice or said things like I missed you. Because why will anyone even love her when her own parents did not.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it kept me interested in what is going to happen next in the book. Linh was struggling it was clear. But she would definitely be okay in the end.

Thank you Netgalley and Alcove press for this wonderful ARC in exchange of an honest review.

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"The headstone was carved with his name and dates. No epitaph. What would I say that wasn't a lie? He wasn't a good husband. He wasn't a good father. His life was destroyed by imperialism and war"
~ Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine


"Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine" unfolds a nuanced narrative that delves into the philosophy of loneliness. The emotional architecture of the protagonist is delivered with a precise monotonous cadence and unvarnished honesty. Notably, there is an absence of a structured plotline—a deliberate choice that may not appeal to all readers but significantly contributes to the authenticity of the work. The story adopts a gentle approach to address emotional wounds while cleverly interjecting racial and political biases. Despite the absence of extravagant emotional dispositions, the protagonist's deadpan sense of humour beautifully illuminates the pensive intricacies of emotional vulnerability. While the compositional choice of "Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine" may not cater to everyone, it's clear that the novel is targeted towards a specific demographic, appreciative of the decelerated pacing and contemplative atmosphere.

Thank you NetGalley and Alcove Press for the arc.

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Really good! I liked the pace of this novel and loved the cover. This was an interesting book about mother-daughter relationship and how mothers have lives, too.

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DNF @ 33%.

What the cover, title, and even description of this book explained wasn't what I got as a reader. I was looking for something that was humorous misadventures, and this was some heavy stuff. I especially struggled with the school shooting chapter. I felt the trauma of this would be so much more than how it was given, and it was hard for me to then shift to her mom's dating life. I did find some great lines as Linh Ly was trying to find her place, but ultimately, this was a case of misaligned expectations and reality.

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Linh is a 29 year old Vietnamese American girl living in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
She is absolutely not doing just fine.
She is an introvert who mainly works (in marketing for a university) and plays tennis. She is very introverted and seems socially awkward, perhaps due to being on the spectrum. She often checks herself is she is joining in just enough, and mirroring people she talks to. She is pretty cold and distant.
Her mother is finally divorced from an abusive spouse, and Linh is worried about her.

The book mentions “metroplex” a lot. I don’t really get how that is different from a big city, or why it keeps getting repeated.
I’m not quite sure what this book is trying to be or going for. Besides the paranoia Linh lives with, the book is quite mundane. Not that much happens and the characters could have been more fleshed out. At times it verges on horror or a thriller, but not quite.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

TW: Death, stalking, paranoia, guns, shooting

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Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine follows Linh, a 27-year-old Vietnamese-American, as she grapples with her quarter-life crisis. In Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine, Votang captures the isolating experience of being Asian in Texas . . . but I couldn't shake off the feeling that something was missing throughout the time I was reading the book that rendered the book not as relatable/engaging. Contrary to what the blurb suggests, Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine is neither reminiscent of Joan Is Okay nor Luster.

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I requested and was given an ARC of this book, and all my feedback is my own.

Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine by Thao Votang is a debut novel that takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through the wild ups and downs of Linh Ly's life. I greatly enjoyed Linh's dry humor, and felt absolutely terrible for her when a tragic shooting happens at her workplace.

Linh's relationship with her mother was more difficult for me to read, probably because my own relationship with my other is also challenging. The scenes with Linh's mother and terrifying father were difficult for me to read, and I often had to skim past them to avoid triggering myself (entirely a me problem).

The narrative was extremely close to Linh's--a rare thing in my experience, and it helped me related more to Linh, who felt very much like she was autistic, like me. I related to her paranoia and her inability to form close connections. Her anxiety, in particular, rang very true to me, as did the lack of a clear, perfectly tied up conclusion--because life rarely is clean and tidy.

Trigger warnings:
- Alcoholism
- Tense family dynamics
- Workplace shooting
- Guns
- Anxiety

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Linh Ly is:

1. Not doing fine
2. A serious a**hole
3. In need of mental intervention

I so wanted to like this book, and (as is true with most literary fiction), I was not on the main character’s side in the novel’s first half. I had hope that she would turn her attitude and life around, but was sorely disappointed by her behaviour and rudeness, entitlement, and vitriol towards so many people who were just trying to be kind to her.

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From the description, I was excited to read this book. However, it just fell flat for me. I definitely related to Linh's complicated relationship with her parents but we never actually learn anything about her; only the people in her life.

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DNF - I liked the gist of this overall but, it didn't really go anywhere & I found the tone less than enthralling. I'm sure there's an audience out there that will appreciate this but, it wasn't really what I was looking for.

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Thank you Netgalley, Alcove Press, and author Thao Votang for providing an ARC in exchange for a review! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s difficult to express my thoughts regarding this book. I could relate to Linh in many aspects (because being a woman in your 20s is terrifying!), but at the same time, I couldn’t really engage with the story. It is, however, a perfect blend of funny and sad.

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Man, could I relate to Linh in this book! Votang does such a great job throughout this book capturing what an anxious mind thinks about and the lengths they will go for some semblance of peace. I also liked how realistic the book was, even though it was frustrating to not find out whether Linh chooses Chandler or not. In real life, stories are not neat and mistakes are everywhere, and this book reflects that and honors it. Full of humor and reflections on the intersection of social justice and wealth, I very much enjoyed my time in Linh Ly’s mind and life.

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I found this journey of one woman's anxiety and coping mechanisms to be interesting enough to keep reading. The reader really gets inside Linh's thought processes and gets taken along for the ride. I don't need all my books to be neat and tidy at the end, but I was hoping for a little more at the conclusion to this tale.

I received this arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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god, i’m so tired of never clicking with books that are labelled as funny and/or quirky anymore. i don’t know why, but i didn’t get this book at all – i wish i had enjoyed it more, but i found the main character a little grating and her relationship with her mother was just . . . well, absurd.

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"Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine" by Thao Votang is a debut novel that combines deadpan humor and brutal honesty to explore the unraveling of Vietnamese-American Linh Ly. The story revolves around Linh's efforts to ensure that her recently-divorced mother's new boyfriend is worthy. Linh's childhood was marked by the struggles of her mother, who worked tirelessly to support the family while dealing with an unreliable and volatile alcoholic father.

As Linh becomes obsessed with monitoring her mother's dating life, the narrative delves into her own struggles. The story takes a poignant turn when Linh experiences a traumatic event—a university shooting at her workplace. This event leaves her feeling adrift, and her focus on her mother's dating life becomes a way for her to cope and find some semblance of control.

Set against the backdrop of Linh's Vietnamese-American identity and her upbringing in the middle of Texas, the novel explores themes of family, cultural identity, and the impact of a broken household on an individual's psyche. Linh's journey becomes a reflection of the challenges of adulthood, with the narrative capturing the complexities of relationships, self-discovery, and the search for meaning.

"Linh Ly is Doing Just Fine" is described as moving, insightful, and caustically funny, offering readers a deep dive into the quarter-life crisis experienced by the protagonist. The novel promises relatable prose that explores the nuances of life and identity.

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Thanks to NetGalley, the author Thai Votang and the publisher for the opportunity to read this novel. It’s difficult to describe the life of the main character even though she leads a very simple life. I enjoyed the times she ventured out of her insular world to interact with others in social situations outside her realm, I struggled with her relationship with her parents but by the ending I was hopeful about her future with her mother and possibly other friends.

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I loved this book at the start - it had real promise and then my enthusiasm wanes as it started to become apparent that this story wasn’t going anywhere. Linh is a classic autistic protagonist except with extra anxiety and weird mom issues. She’s also ultra paranoid about race and is very judgy. There was no reason on earth why all her friends want to be around her but they did. She didn’t reciprocate and was aloof to the point that it seemed like she was too cut off from society to ever get back in.

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