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The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  39 reviews
For writer Jade Yeo, the Roaring Twenties are coming in with more of a purr — until she pillories London's best-known author in a scathing review. Sebastian Hardie is tall, dark and handsome, and more intrigued than annoyed. But if Jade succumbs to temptation, she risks losing her hard-won freedom — and her best chance for love.
ebook, 81 pages
Published May 30th 2012 by Smashwords
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Rachel Brown
A charming novella about Geok Huay (Jade Yeo), a young writer living in London in the 20s. When she writes a scathing review of a prominent novelist's latest book, he responds by inviting her to a party and flirting. A writer needs life experience, so how can she decline the opportunity for the learning experience of an affair?

The book has elements of romance, but it's more of a coming-of-age story; the affair is not particularly romantic, and includes a hilarious, deliberately non-erotic sex s
...more
Dorothea
This is the novella that made me smile and laugh out loud in the waiting room of the car repair place today, even though I knew that I was about to spend a very unpleasant amount of money on my wheel alignment. If you have an e-reader of some sort, I highly recommend getting The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo for the next time you're in a similar situation. It is short and fluffy enough to be appreciated in a public waiting room with the TV on, containing plot twists more unexpected than the average ...more
Pear
Late C19th/early C20th interactions between Asia and Western Europe is a special area of interest for me, as is woman (or at least non-dude!)-centred literature, so I was looking forward to reading this.

It's largely fun, light reading - and a fairly short read at that - but that doesn't mean it is superficial. It's sort of like Georgette Heyer with more wanton face-sucking, non-Western people of colour, and critical consideration of colonialism.

Things which I liked included the fact that it is
...more
shatine
I tried to write a sensible review and what came out was "Geok Huay/Ravi 4 lyfe."

If you like historical romances, this is right up your alley! If you don't, then we have something in common, and I adore the central romance in this book, so that's really no excuse.
heidi
I flat out loved this novella!

There is nothing I would change about it -- it is by turns laugh-out-loud funny, sweetly romantic, and trenchantly observant.

Jade was utterly convincing as a writer, because what she writes in her diary made me want to read more.

On fluffy romance novels:
"The Duke is searching for the naive yet spirited young governess who has helped him throw off his malaise (dukes are always in terrible danger of lapsing into a malaise; it must be all that fox-hunting and quail)."

O
...more
Shannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie
Picked this up based on a glowing Dear Author review. Loved the book's tone/narrative voice, the unusual combination of English-set historical romance and Chinese main character, and the narrator's unconventional views about sexuality. Great portrait of 1920s Bloomsbury intellectual society. The only downsides: the story's brevity, and its almost complete lack of character development for the male love interest. Well worth reading, though. Crossing my fingers that Cho will publish more...
Jules
As silly as this sounds, the four stars rather than five are because it was, truly, too short! I mean that in both a cutesy, "I didn't want it to end" way -- it was truly delightful, and I really didn't want it to end -- but also as a legit criticism. I felt like there could've been a lot more in the way of character development...although, admittedly, that might just be me not wanting it to end, because see above re: delightful! I was grinning like a fool on my commute, and the sly little Wodeh ...more
Sunil
Nov 23, 2014 Sunil rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, 2014
In this absolutely delightful historical romance novella, Jade Yeo meets a caddish author whose book she scathingly reviewed, and he acts caddishly, leading to the greatest sex scene I have ever read. Meanwhile she wrestles with how she feels about her friend/colleague, Ravi. I'm no romance connoisseur, but the plot itself seems to follow common tropes for the most part, though it takes some unexpected turns. The reason I love this novella is because Jade Yeo is a wonderfully witty, charmingly n ...more
Joy
Very charming romance. I especially liked the playfulness of the language and voice, but I also didn't miss the ways it subverted a lot of genre romance and Orientalist tropes.
Linguana
A cute little story that left me a bit underwhelmed.

Told in the form of Jade's diary, what I missed the most in this story was a sense of place and time. The language is really rather pretty but if the blurb and the titles of each diary entry hadn't said so, I would have had no idea that this was set in the 1920s.

What I did like was Jade's view of the world and relationships. She is a practical woman who doesn't fuss around with romance much. Telling you more would be spoiling, so I'll keep it a
...more
Liz
Occasionally, in the middle of meandering through one's to-read list, one comes across short recommendations by authors for which one has the utmost respect and then realize that the stories said authors are recommending have been on one's radar for ages and one has entirely forgotten to get around to them.
Also, Zen Cho's incredibly fun and delightful style of writing apparently rubs off on one. Historical romance is not exactly a vice (if only because my actual vices are so much worse that this
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Liz

“Do you not have tea in China?” said Diana.

The British are a peculiar race. My grandfather was transported to Malaya because they needed tin, and yet I’ve never once met a Briton to whom the thought had occurred that perhaps I spoke English because I am from one of their colonies. It is as if I were a piece of chess in a game played by people who never looked down at their fingers.

“We have the beverage, but not the buns,” I said, to avoid tiresome explanation.


light and charming and funny. could
...more
Beth
Geok Huay--anglicized name Jade--decides she wants an adventurous young adulthood in London after attending university. She makes some mistakes, and finds true friends and true love.

Subjects like women's sexual agency, colonialism, and "insanity" in 1920s England are handled with biting humor in this story, but the bites are gentle. Everyone in the story is at heart good-natured*, including Jade, and the vibe is overall friendly, almost fluffy.

*if painfully unaware of how they fling their privil
...more
Chris
Funny little snippet. Pacing was a bit pell-mell, but that's due to it being 81 pages with a LOT going on. Almost like, too much for its length. Still, a saucy and fun read.
C.
There not a lot to say about this book except that I wished it could have lasted longer. The main character was pretty entertaining and funny and the story unravelled in a way I did not really expect, but enjoyed all the same.
Yasaman
his is a sweet and fun little novella available for free via the Kindle Lending Library for those who have Amazon Prime. Jade Yeo is trying to make it as a writer in Roaring Twenties London, and she wants a little adventure before she settles down. Jade (or Geok Huay if only any Londoners could pronounce it) is charming and delightful as a narrator, and it's fun to read about her essentially cheerfully subverting romance tropes along with the occasionally sharp and wry critique of colonialism an ...more
Abbey
If I could give this ten stars out of five stars, I would. Brilliant!
Misti
Cute, feel-good fluff.
Kate Sherwood
I liked this one. Too short - not for the story, but for the characters. They were quite opaque, and I guess that's part of the style, but I would have liked it if they were fleshed out a little more. The female MC I felt like I knew, and I thought the author was quite artful at showing her personality with a few brief interactions. But the male MC? I never really got a feel for why the female MC loved him.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed it.
Just A. Bean
Fantastic novella in the form of the diary of Chinese-Malaysian woman of letters in 1920s London, and her various adventures and romances. Hilarious and touching. Would rec to everyone.
Julie
A beautifully written novella. Funny, intelligent, and different to anything I've ever read before. I have to stop now and add everything Zen Cho has ever written to my tbr pile.
Cairea Hobbit
I loved this book! It was hilarious and charming and so nice to see the subversions of both the Orientalist tropes common in Western Literature and romance-y tropes.

I'm so glad Zen Cho published a book of short stories right after I finished reading this. It means I can snuggle in for more of her wonderful prose.
Katy
A writer living in London in the twenties. This is a short romance novel, but touches on a lot of serious issues as they pertain to the writer-narrator's life: sex and sexism, racism and mental health problems. I enjoyed it a lot, especially the ending!
Richard
Just loved this charming story. While appearing to stay true to the voice of the 20s milieu, it tells a tale that probably expands a lot on what would have been acceptable for public knowledge and/or discussion... Fabulous job the author did.
Min
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sonali
Funny, adorable, with some of the cleverest, most endearing writing I've read in a long time. Just wish it had been longer. Off to find something longer by this author.
Julie
A quick, fun, cute historical romance read. Zen Cho's wry asides and comic writing is just as on point as in her short stories.
Vanessa Jaye
This was quite simply a charming read with likeable characters all around.
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I'm a Malaysian writer living in London. My stories have been published in a handful of magazines and anthologies -- you can check most of them out via my website.

My historical romance "The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo" is available as an ebook on Amazon.
More about Zen Cho...
The House of Aunts Spirits Abroad The First Witch of Damansara 起狮,行礼 (Rising Lion --The Lion Bows) Spirits Abroad (ebook)

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