C.G. Drews's Reviews > Loveboat, Taipei

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2020, young-adult

This book very lovingly stressed me out and I appreciate that. It has the kind of romance that you have no idea which way it'll go, so obviously I had to keep reading forever to find out. 😂It's also eternally excellent to see #ownvoices stories ruling the shelves (this hit the bestseller list I believe!) and weaving stories of love and cultural identity. At first Ever totally baulked at the idea of being shipped to Taiwan for a 6-week stint to learn Mandarin and take pre-med classes and reconnect with her roots, but then she also realised she wanted this. Not just because she had freedom, but she was wanted to learn Mandarin too and not be "the only Asian kid in class" like she was at home in the US. It talked a lot about community, how it's important.

And okay it was also a wild wild time with the romance. 😂These kids were climbing out windows and shimmying drown drainpipes to go clubbing (really not my thing; but hey happy for those who like it) and making chaotic teenage decisions (realistic!) and going through a whirlwind of consequences (stressful! for me!) Romance? We gotcha love-triangle. I didn't find it an annoying triangle, buuuut my ship didn't sail. SO. Am sad. Reading about all the friendship dynamics in here was so interesting too, the ups and downs, the fury and forgiveness.

My only downside was I didn't love the mental health rep with a problematic side-character being clingy and manipulative from depression, to the point where it was just "omg I have to get away from her". Yes, mental illness can turn people into jerks and I think this situation was probably realistic. But when you write ONE mentally ill character and they're awful...argh. I just am frustrated.

Overall it was a really fun read, set 90% in Taiwan and with characters you easily get invested in! Definitely want more from this author; the writing style was lovely.
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Reading Progress

February 23, 2020 – Started Reading
February 23, 2020 – Shelved
February 27, 2020 – Shelved as: contemporary
February 27, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
February 27, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 27, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Cristina (Girl in the Pages) I had a lot of fun reading this one but felt similarly about the mental health rep- I felt a lot of empathy for the character but felt like she didn’t receive much of a resolution and hoped her situation would have been explored a bit more!


Christina (A Reader of Fictions) I see what you mean about the mental health rep, though I thought the end was moving past that a bit. I'm sort of hoping the sequel will be about her, and we'll get a real window into all of that.

And about the romance, I shipped both ships haha, so the odds were ever in my favor.


message 3: by Fiona (new) - added it

Fiona Haha I agree with you on the romance, but, it is a mark of good writing where both love interests are equally believable.


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