Welcome to my leg of Rent A Boyfriend book tour! I am so, so excited to be part of this. Thank you to the Hear Our Voices team for this opportunity. I can’t wait to share with you about this lovely rom-com!
Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 320 pages
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets The Farewell in this incisive romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results, from the acclaimed author of American Panda.
Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.
Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.
When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.
But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?
Book Review + 15 Thoughts I had while reading the book
This book is the perfect amalgam of romantic comedy (fake dating!!), East Asian culture, food, family, and growth.
Growing up Chinese, i recognise my family and I in Chloe and her parents’ struggles, so I really liked that aside from focusing on the romance between Chloe and Drew, the story centers around familial relationship. The book explores the nuances of familial love, seeing how the crux of novel is the conflict between Chloe and her parents’ differing perspectives on her achievements. They want the best for her but struggle with balancing their own ambitions and respecting Chloe’s own ambitions. Chloe’s parents want her to marry Hongbo, which is the complete opposite of what Chloe wants. That’s where Drew steps in. The stakes are high when the motivation behind their behavior are filled with problematic East Asian beliefs that have ingrained themselves deeply into the culture. Hence, seeing Chloe’s parents overcome these cultural hurdles, and Chloe learning how to establish boundaries, together, made the book really heart rending to read.
And that was really heightened by the support Drew gave to Jing Jing, and vice versa. Both of them struggle with not being the perfect Asian kids their parent’s desire, and it was wonderful to watch them learn to stand up for themselves. Their journey throughout this book was fun and emotional, filled with so many hilarious incidents and heartwarming gestures from both parties. And I really enjoyed watching them fall in love and grow together.
I know that this is a rom-com, and like that tag comes with the implication that the story is lighthearted. I won’t deny that it is not, but that was precisely why I loved it. While i had my own personal issues with this book, it is without a doubt a brilliant and heartfelt read which I cannot recommend it enough.
Four BIG mooncake points.
15 Thoughts I had while reading the book (Spoiler Alert)
- Oooh, family dinner. Things are going to be juicy.
- Brownie points? Don’t know her. Only mooncake points.
- Drew ought to consider comedy as a career.
- Chloe, too.
- Ah yes, the pressures of having traditional parents with problematic beliefs. I can relate. Poor Jing Jing, poor Drew. I really hope that this is a hurdle that the younger generations learn how to cope.
- Never not eat scrambled egg. ketchup, and Kraft Single sandwich on pan-fried raisin bread drizzled in ginger honey.
- I hope Hongbo finds himself stepping on small plastic brick toys. Everyday. Gosh, Chloe’s parents have terrible tastes in husbands.
- “Boys will be boys” can burn in hell.
- CHLOE’S MOM CONCEDES?? SOMEONE TAKE THE TIME AND DATE DOWN. THIS IS A MOMENTOUS OCCASION TO LOOK BACK TO.
- Chloe’s mum should also consider a career in comedy. Ostriched!
- Oh my gosh, the pining and yearning that went into this? I want to say they’re both dense as rocks, but I love it when they secretly pine for each other. How cute T-T.
- The cultural references are amazing. I feel so seen. Ugh, so good to see myself in here. Mooncakes, Chang’e, zhajiang mian…
- Can these two get any cuter?? I love a communicative and supportive couple. Mutual respect is sexy.
- I’m so proud of Chloe’s parent’s growth.
- This deserves many mooncake points. Gloria Chao is an amazing storyteller.
This is the end of my tour, thank you all for being here!
- Why Some Asian Women Rent Boyfriends To Introduce To Their Parents by Gloria Chao
- List of Rent A Boyfriend Tour Stops
- Rent A Boyfriend on TheStoryGraph
Geek Declassified – Fan Art + 15 Thoughts
Galaxy Boooooks Blog – Look Book + Video Review
Hsinju’s Lit Log – Travel with Chloe + 15 Thoughts While Reading
The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review in 5 GIFs + OwnVoices Reflection