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The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  455 Ratings  ·  126 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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(showing 1-30)
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K.J. Charles
Jun 20, 2017 added it
Shelves: 1920s, m-f
Delightful comedy of manners, with a catastrophically blunt Malaysian young lady coming to London to live it up on the fringes of the 20s literary scene. Very funny, great dialogue, a lovely understated romance in the background (although this is not a romance: it's very much the Jade show), fab female friendship, plenty of satirical bite. Hugely enjoyable.
Stephanie
I adored this smart, satirical romance novella set in the 1920s, where young writer Jade Yeo gets sucked into the vortex of a very HG Wells-like cad (with a "very modern marriage", an intense ego and a habit of devouring clever young women, romantically speaking) but ends up finding her (wonderful) true love after all. If you love I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, you'll love the voice and sensibility of this novella - it's resonant of I Capture the Castle in the best possible way (although definitely writt ...more
Lindsay
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun little novella with the forthright and assertive Jade Yeo navigating life as a Malay immigrant to London. She makes a modest living as a writer, partly for the Oriental Literary Review run by her friend Ravi. When she writes a scathing review of a prominent English writer's latest work, she finds herself in the same social circles as said writer and interesting events ensue.

I actually enjoyed this much more than Sorcerer to the Crown. Jade and Prunella have a lot in common, partic
...more
Bubu
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bubu by: Georgie
Shelves: 4-stars
Thank you so much for your recommendation, Georgie. Without it, I would have never come to read this little gem of a story which kept me smiling throughout, only interrupted by some serious laugh-out-loud-moments. As Georgie so perfectly put it in her review, The Perilous Life Of Jade Yeo is full of memorable and clever observations for future use with a most peculiar but utterly loveable Heroine.

I think I've marked more passages in those 81 pages than I usually ever do in a normal full-length
...more
Nafiza
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was most excellent. If you like sassy heroines and love stories, you should like this.
Rachel Brown
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Veronique
3.5

While waiting for Zen Cho's novel Sorcerer to the Crown to be published in paperback, I found this short-story and thought 'why not'.

The plot revolves around amateur writer Jade Yeo in the Roaring Twenties. Her scathing review of a famous author's latest work as well as her enquiring mind precipitates her into new and tricky situations.

For a romance (label as such), our heroine is particularly un-romantic, to great effect. The charm in this story is indeed not the plot, but the voice. Jade is
...more
Punk
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Fiction. Geok Huay—otherwise known as Jade Yeo because westerners can't pronounce her name—keeps a journal to practice her writing, but after she publishes a scathing review of a popular new book, the author invites her to attend a party at his home, and her life, and her journal, get a lot more exciting.

Jade's voice is charming, and her writing is full of surprising metaphors. At one point she describes a man as "having the heavy-lidded gaze of a romantic tapir," and it was so unexpectedly perf
...more
Rafa Brewster
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book. I must have highlighted half of it. The memoirs of a Malaysian girl in 1920s London looking for excitement and adventure and doing her darnedest to avoid returning to her homeland and readymade life complete with future husband. Nearly a century later and I can still relate. I loved her sharp wit and her even sharper tongue, but most of all I just loved how earnest she was about wanting to live life by her rules.
Ana Rînceanu
While I wish we spent more time with Ravi, I enjoyed Geok Huay (Jade) a lot. A very blunt and curious lady, whose future novels I look forward to.
Dorothea
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
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
Kara-karina
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5
This is my first time reading Zen Cho, and the reason I picked it was because one of the big blogs raved about this novella a few months back. I downloaded an excerpt, forgot about it, and only started reading it last week. Ladies and gents, few paragraphs in I knew it would be excellent, so I went back and bought it.

Fantastic, witty and blunt language, funny and super smart, - the voice of Jade is an absolute delight. If you're coming out of a very badly written book, this is your remedy t
...more
Pam/Peejakers (PJ Faste)
This is adorable! Such a charming story & I love this clever, witty heroine with her sharp humor & insightful observations. And she's a book reviewer, which I kinda got a kick out of :)

The story is told through the medium of a series of journal entries & one letter to a friend, which had a confidential tone I liked. I also liked that characterizations are very nuanced portrayals. There are no real villains, just people with flaws & weaknesses & vulnerability, even the worst o
...more
Grace
Jan 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, historical
The reviews for this were so fantastic I got a sample off Amazon to try. All right, so I didn't know it was a novella going into this, and that the whole thing was only some 23,000 words. I loved the sample. I was blown away. It was written in first person, MC was a writer-wannabe who did reviews and little articles -- essentially, all trite setups, but it was smart, amusing, cute. It even had me, this old cynic, anxious for the inevitable romance between Jade and Sebastien Hardie. Yes, that wou ...more
Linguana
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Kristen
I kind of really want to give this novella 5 stars, but it needed to be just a smidge longer to earn that extra star, I think. I might break down and change my mind though, as it was thoroughly charming, and addressed some subjects - like racism, colonialism, and mental illness- that I don't think I've seen be properly dealt with in many other pieces of romantic historical fiction, which automatically earns it some bonus points.
Definitely recommended! Can't wait to try some of Cho's other works!
katayoun Masoodi
cute, but short it's really short, not really a story. but part of something and now that i think about it, if i had jade for a whole book and she was all this cute and witty all the time, i might not have liked it at all! so all in all, it would have probably been 3 stars except that it worked for a novella and then witty and clever thing was pretty fun for a short while and also the short story at the end was also very nice.
Jackie
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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...
shatine
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Neenee
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Short and sweet.
Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan)
The novella follows a young woman, Jade Yeo, through various journal entries, as she navigates through her mid-twenties during the 1920s in England, working as a writer for a local periodical, and the few people she encounters along the way.

This is something I could rave about for walls of text, but in an effort to keep you all from getting bored out of your mind, and to keep your interest from waning, I’m going to keep this review very short and simple (very much like the novella itself!).

The b
...more
Ksenia (vaenn)
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Маленька мімішна повість про любовні негаразди та журналістські вправи ініціативної та простої, як шпала, китайської дівулі у Лондоні 1920-х. Місцями фейспалмово, але доволі весело - стьоб над артистичними звичаями тогочасної богеми нівроку вийшов. А от фірмової для письменниці містики взагалі нема, і це зробило мені сумно.
Nancy O'Toole
The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo is a novella about a young reporter's misadventures in England and beyond in the 1920s. It has strong romantic elements, which doesn't always work for me, but I picked it up based on very strong reviews from readers who, like me, aren't really romance readers. The results were pretty fun. Our heroine, Jade Yeo (who also goes by the name Geok Huay) is incredibly likable and has a great voice. I also liked the fact that the book wasn't afraid to deal with common roman ...more
beatricks
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this for free on Zen Cho's blog and I loved it! 4.5 stars at least. I am not a romance reader but I have decided to dip my toes into that water, and this was a great (albeit perhaps too high a standard) introduction. Honestly it didn't seem any different from any other story - I guess relationships and their consequences were the A plot, but the actual romantic part was very brief. Is the definition of romance just that relationships are the A plot?? What is romance. Help me En Vogue I'm ...more
Georgie
A tiny barbed delight.

Jade Yeo is practical, clear-sighted (about almost everything that doesn't matter) and very very funny. The voice would be lost in a longer story, but this took less than an hour to read. Lots of lines to memorise for future use, and a story with a beginning, middle and happy ending.

Zen Cho now on auto-buy for me.
Jasmine
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction, indie
Oh my word. An absolutely charming, unconventional (yet totally roaring 20s) romance. I love it. I ship it. I want more stories with Margy.
Denise
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorts, 2017
As a fellow Malaysian, I adored the various inside jokes and references that would go quite over the head of non-Malaysians I believe. In fact, I adored the entire novella. Jade Yeo is such a sensible, practical character that I loved her immediately. She is very blunt ("My mother is a great talker, and she is not very good at subterfuge. She has a grand mind that will not be trammelled by little things like etiquette. I like to think I am like her.") and has her head firmly screwed on straight ...more
Megan
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
For years, I'd been saving this as "break glass in case of emergency" read, because I knew it would be everything I love and would be a buoyant read. It didn't disappoint; it's an adorable and unconventional historical romance told in diary entries, and the Wodehouse-y humor is perfect, and Jade is wonderful, and I wish I could read about her forever.
Janey
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
what a delight
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I'm a Malaysian fantasy writer based in London. I've written a novel called Sorcerer to the Crown about magic, intrigue and politics in Regency London, and a short story collection called Spirits Abroad. Plus some other stuff! I've won a British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and the Crawford Fantasy Award, and been nominated for a Locus Award and the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Find out ...more
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