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The Donut Trap

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Julie Tieu sparkles in this debut romantic comedy, which is charmingly reminiscent of the TV show Kim’s Convenience and Frankly in Love by David Yoon, about a young woman who feels caught in the life her parents have made for her until she falls in love and finds a way out of the donut trap.

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend o
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: November 2nd 2021 by Avon
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Meg Cabot
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Such a cute romance, but the main character navigating her way through life after college was what REALLY hit home for me! So dead on. And her family was to die for. I want to live in LA and run a donut shop now (but with her family, not mine. Love you fam, but no).
2021 Spring Bingo (#SpringIntoLoveBingo🌷): Flowers

Content Notes: (view spoiler)

Not recapping the premise or plot, but here are my main takeaways:

I went into THE DONUT TRAP with completely wrong expectations, realized my mistake halfway through, recalibrated, and ended up enjoying it. The story excels at two things, which are so good that it makes up for my main critique/
michelle (magical reads)
rep: ownvoices Chinese-Cambodian-American protagonist and side characters, Chinese-American love interest, Vietnamese-American side character

Okay, this book doesn't come out for 7 months but I NEED to share my love for it now! I was hooked from the very first page and genuinely couldn't put it down, which is a rare feeling for me now. Jasmine was such a relatable protagonist; her voice shines off the page and I can't wait to read more from this author!

While this is an adult romance, I think it w
Wendy W.
The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu is a very enjoyable light, funny, multicultural romance. And with a big donut on the cover, I just couldn’t resist this book. This is more than just a romance, it’s an emotional journey for Jasmine, and a journey for her family and her relationship with her traditional hard-working family.

After graduating from UCLA, Jasmine Tran is still working in her family’s donut shop in the suburbs of Los Angeles, instead of following her dreams. Except she doesn’t know what he
Jun 12, 2021 marked it as anticipated-releases  ·  review of another edition
I see donuts, I click add to tbr. It's that simple. ...more
Lady Amanda
Apr 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: will make you crave donuts 🍩 IN THE BEST WAY?

Check out my full review here.

Sweet, relatable, funny, modern romance!

The Donut Trap was such a fun romcom. I was laughing right from the beginning. I completely related to Jas internal dialogue the entire time, and I was over the moon to see the small awkward moments of a young adult romance. And I totally went to the Asian owned donut shop near me while reading this, because it had me craving donuts so badly!

The Donut Trap follows a 22
Sep 09, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-releases
September 09, 2020: An ownvoices rom-com? working at a donut shop? reuniting with former crush? GIMME
Elizabeth Everett
Julie Tieu’s debut romance, The Donut Trap, is a beautifully written and satisfying contemporary romance centering a second-generation immigrant’s experience as she figures out the next steps in life while working in her parent’s donut shoppe.

It is also an artfully crafted coming of age story.

The two don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but oftentimes, they are. Not so with Tieu’s work. I am used to contemporary romances featuring couples in their mid-twenties. Instead, our heroine, Jasmine Tr
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(The following book contains explicit language, suggestive content and pop culture references)

Rating: 4.5-4.75 stars

Most of the times when I read a contemporary romance, I'm looking for a mindless, light read, so when I picked up The Donut Trap, I wasn't expecting anything more than a fun read. But you guys, this book. I had no plans today, but I didn't expect to spend 3 hours falling into this donut trap but I did and it was great. As fun as the romance is, it doesn't really feel like the
Apr 18, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.

There are two parts to this book -- the first is the story of the main character, whose name I actually just forgot???????, and her family, how growing up as a first-gen immigrant shapes her life in multiple ways, and this is the story I really liked reading. It helps a lot that I identified with a lot of this -- the language barriers, the parents sacrificing everything to raise you, the parents owning a shop (restaurant), the high expectations
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I received an arc of The Donut Trap, ahead of its November release, through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

As I read this now, and it's late May, I want to classify this book as a good beach/park read...though as it doesn't release until November I'd say it'll be a great book to curl up with on a chilly fall afternoon.

As much as the summary seems to paint this as a sweet rom-com I definitely see it more as equal parts family and self-discovery with a little romance thrown in.
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I was intrigued immediately byThe Donut Trap when I saw its adorable cover that features two people sitting on a pink sprinkled donut. My absolute favorite genre of novel is romance that involves food and/or baking. Because of that, I knew that The Donut Trap was going to be right up my alley, and I was right.

Jasmine Tran is a recent UCLA grad living at home and working in her parents’ donut shop, Sunshine Donuts. Her parents are constantly aski
Christina Billhartz
Do you ever find yourself stupidly grinning while reading a book? That was this book for me! Within the first ten minutes of starting this book, my husband looked over at me and said “wow you’re really enjoying that book aren’t you?”

Julie Tieu’s debut novel tells the story of Jasmine Tran, a recent college grad who is working at her parents’ mom-and-pop donut shop while trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. After her parents receive a letter from their landlord
Kayla Wondoloski
Apr 30, 2021 rated it liked it
*Was provided a free, ARC copy of this novel, in exchange for an honest review*

So, I want to preface my thoughts before I begin. I had been hearing ALOT about this book, before I read the first page Therefore, I knew I was going to need to adjust my expectations accordingly.

This book is marketed as an "easy, breezy, romantic comedy". However, from what other readers were telling me, the plot of the story read more like a coming of age tale, rather than something sweet and simple. Once I had adj
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in a day and really enjoyed it! Jasmine Tran is fresh out of college, trying to figure out what she wants to do now that she's graduated, and helping out her family's donut shop in between. Along the way, she meets Alex Lai and the two begin a shaky but absolutely adorable romance.

The representation in this book!! Jasmine's parents are Chinese from Cambodia, who escaped the Khmer Rouge to Vietnam for a few years before immigrating into the US. I love love loved the fact tha
Taryn Palmisano
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Jas is first generation Asian American and very relatable. She recently graduated college and has no idea where to go from there. She moves back home to help her parents out in the donut shop that they own and kind of just falls into a funk. Her parents want her to get a real job and find a boyfriend (must be Asian) and get married. Cue the secret high school sweet heart Michael (so white) and the random college crush Alex (Asian) that basically fall in her lap. We get to see a romance develop a ...more
Oliver  Jennings
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: earc
You donut want to miss this fun and relatable own-voices rom-com from Julie Tieu (I will never apologize for puns). Jasmine Tran feels stuck after graduating from college and moving back home with her parents. She spends every waking hour helping her parents keep their donut shop afloat with no time for herself or friends. With no sense of direction and the mounting weight of her parents' expectations, Jas finds herself floundering. Then a rent hike threatens the family business and an old crush ...more
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I just loved this. All of it. Romance, complicated family relationships, food, donut jokes, and the intimate representation of a 1st generation Asian American family. Overbearing aunties, pushy besties, social media, and innovative pastry trends. The Donut Trap has it all!

Jasmine Tran works more than full time at her parents’ donut shop, even as she feels the pressure to get a job and a husband. Her ever-supportive best friend Linh has found the perfect guy, and he just so happens to be Jasmine
I loved this book. I've been wanting to read this book since I saw the announcement of the book synopsis on Twitter or Instagram. I knew that this was going to be an own voices read for me.

If I thought that A Pho Love Story resonated with me because of how much I saw myself in their family struggles, then it's nothing compared to The Donut Trap.

From the first paragraph, where Jasmine describes why people go to Sunshine Donuts, I saw myself.

The running of the donut shop, the regulars. The family
For any recent grads still finding their footing, this is the romance for you! I thoroughly enjoyed Julie Tieu’s refreshing and charming debut romcom.

This literally sweet novel follows Jas, a recent college graduate who has been trying to balance working for her parents’ donut shop, finding her own job, and finding a boyfriend. I think she was a relatable and genuine lead just trying to figure out what comes next. What do you do with a degree you don’t care about? How do you navigate old friends
Amanda Mawby
The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This book was a fun read! However, there was a lot of it I didn’t quite understand and that’s why it gets 3.5 stars. First, Alex and Jasmine’s relationship almost feels random. The entire thing felt like it didn’t mesh well with the whole donut shop failing storyline. Also, I never really ended up understanding Alex’s mom. She just never made sense to me and personally, I don’t feel she added much to the story. Overall, the book was cute and talking abo
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
** I received a free e-arc of this book from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. **

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Although the book is labeled as more of a romance, to me this felt just like a regular fiction book. I wasn’t too invested in the romance between our hero and heroine, and I felt like their relationship was secondary to the main story line of Jas feeling trapped in this life that her parents have created for her.

I definitely could relate to Jasmine’s life an
Alison Cochrun
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am so grateful I had the chance to read The Donut Trap early, and I can't wait for everything else Julie Tieu writes-- I know I will read it all voraciously! What I loved most about this book (aside from how desperately it made me want to eat donuts) was how unique it felt. Jas was an incredibly relatable and often hilarious main character who I could connect with on a number of levels, but her voice also felt fresh, and her struggles are ones not often seen in mainstream romance. I loved gett ...more
Morgan (AnAverageReader)
Thanks Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Jasmine is stuck in a rut. After graduating with a degree in sociology that she doesn’t really care about, Jas starts working full time at her parents donut shop. With the news that rent prices were increasing, she decides to create a plan to increase business.

Enter Alex. After briefly meeting him when he was purchasing tickets for a sports game in college, she forms a semi-crush on him. By chance he enters her world again, this tim
Guin Blue
May 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss for giving me an ARC to read. I found this book to be just okay. I also felt that this book was advertised as something a little bit different from what I read. Although it wasn't awful, I found myself struggling to get through this. Perhaps I went into reading this book with high expectations and this is why I felt that they were not completely met. This wasn't the romantic comedy that I thought it would be. Instead, it was a coming of age story about a first-generation i ...more
RomanceAllTheWay S
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Let me say this , before you start the book, please eat. because you are going to be HUNGRY by the time you end it. There is so much food, and I am not just talking about donuts! this is one mouth-watering book!
On a serious note though, this book is so much more than just romance.
It made me homesick as I missed my parents. It made me nostalgic over my friends who at the drop of a hat would do my applications and drive me somewhere I needed. It reminded me of college time uncertainties and the s
Carolyn Huynh
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in a few days (which is pretty rare for me). This book warmed my soul. It was like slurping the last remains of pho broth on a cold day. The standouts for me included the LA/OC references (I'm also from the LA/OC area), the Vietnamese/Khmer/Mandarin mixed-bag of references and how the main character, Jasmine, has a hard time switching between the three. It was just so unapologetic about how the family owns a donut shop in Los Angeles and I loved that the author didn't feel t ...more
Apr 13, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was not my cup of tea.
I prefer whirlwind romances with couples who are madly in love and are willing to do anything for their significant other. This story is not that.
Both the hero and heroine are Asian and their culture heavily influences their life and who they are to the point that the story felt like it was about their individual lives and not finding each other. This is not a bad thing. I was just looking for a lighthearted romance more so than a story about a woman figuring ou
Melissa Marsh
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
✍️ One Sentence Synopsis: What do you do when you donut know what to do with life?

💭 Overall Thoughts:
So here’s the thing, as an own voices story I thought this was great. It gave me a different perspective on the family dynamics between immigrant parents and their Americanized children. It made me think about a different perspective from my own and it was really well done.

As a Romance novel, it was cute but a little slow, unrealistic, and lacking chemistry. Jasmine is a bit of a hot mess and ye
My Secret Book Spot
I don't want to spoil anything for future readers but I am SOO incredibly impressed with Tieu's ability to capture and express those first moments of falling in love! The first kiss scene and Jas' decision, to be honest, was one of the sweetest, most honest, capital L, Love scenes I've ever read! It actually made my chest squeeze a little when she told him how she felt. I've been married 22 years and this took me back to the beginning!!
Amazingly well written, incredibly eye-opening (for Asian Am
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Julie Tieu is a Chinese-American writer, born and raised in Southern California. When she is not writing, she is reading, on the hunt for delicious eats, or dreaming about her next travel adventure. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her high school crush husband and two energetic daughters.

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