Review of Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

Review: I had gone to the book signing for Loveboat, Taipei, along with a few other authors a few months back. This was only one of the two book I had bought at the store, because I was so intrigued by the plot and cover. Although, the night I picked up my copy was the release day-I was already hearing great things about this book. Also, the author talking about the idea, where it came from and the characters had me itching to dive head first into Loveboat, Taipei.

It’s impossible to resist the allure that is Ever and her struggle of guilt she feels toward her parents. All you want to do as soon as you start reading to step in and help Ever talk with her parents, to get them to understand that she is her own person and should be allowed to follow her own path. Instead, we have to struggle with our own emotions (a lot of times rage, and despair on behalf of  Ever). As Ever has to give up her dream of dancing at her dream college, and is shipped off to Taiwan- a program that all call Loveboat by those who have gone before. It’s similar to the Jewish program called “Birthright”, where if you are between the ages of I think 16 and 21. You can go and explore the Jewish homeland (and learn the culture, langue, the sights, the food and the people). Anyway, Ever is forced by her parents to go on this trip before having to head to medical college to become a doctor as her father once was in Taiwan (before her parents gave up everything and came to America to give their children a better life. Which her father was unable to be a doctor in the states-which is very communally seen). If you haven’t guessed it yet, Ever’s parents are forceful and use guilt as a heavy weapon against Ever.

But, with Loveboat- Ever is able to experience a few things she wants to do before she has to give up who she is to please her parents. Along the way there are mistakes, missteps, dancing, love, a boy wonder, learning more of her families culture and finding herself . This was a story I could not put down, I did not want to miss one moment of it. I am already planning on buying a few more copies to give to friends because EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK.  There will be times you will rage at the characters, cry at the situations, relate to Ever and many of the others.

You’ll swoon hard for our two male interest, Xavier, who is mysterious and secretive. Then there’s boy wonder, Rick, not just the smartest jock or intense guy. With these two you will be having a hard time picking who you love most, though I do think you’ll love both. I know that Rick really grew on me as he did on another person… Anyway, then we have Sophie who you will love then hate and want to throttle, scream at, and then hug the life out of. I might have also smack talked her for a good while at a certain point on the book….

When you get to the finale few chapters, your heart will be in your throat from the beauty that is Loveboat, Taipie and crying at how happy you are for the whole gang. Not just the few I mentioned but all the rest you will be meeting and loving too. I am so happy to know that we will be getting a second book, a closer look at what happens after this wonderful summer from a different character that we met. I almost want to say Xavier, but again I’m not sure at the moment. I do know that I can’t wait to be able to see more of this oh so lovable gang of friends and see them change the world.

Favorite quote(s):

I’ve never seen a real-life guy with so much prime real estate in arm muscles.

Because before I left home, I knew what my life was.

“Yes, it was horrible.” But I learned something about myself. That after hitting bottom, I’m strong enough to get on my feet again.

He tastes clean, like spring water and mint, and his tongue sweeps my mouth and stirs something deep inside me that I’ve glimpsed only when I’m lost in a dance. It scares and thrills me.

“It wouldn’t be a lock.” His grip tightens. “Ever, I’ve never felt as free as when I’m with you.”

But there’s this girl. When I first met her, I felt this weird shock, like recognition. Like I’d dreamed her face a hundred times before, but now was the first time I could see it clearly.

We’re only dreaming, of course. All our parent’s lives have been full of struggle.

And yet we want to believe.

“When I’m with you, I just know. There’s life out there. We could find it someday.”

There’s no more containing the supernova.

Would I? Reread? YES. Recommend to others? I’m planning on buying a few more copies for my friends, so yes. Read more of this series? Yes please. Read more from this author? Again, yes please!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Edition: Hardcover, 418 pages.

Young Adult. Contemporary. Mature Themes. Romance. Fiction.

Published January 7th 2020 by HarperTeen.

Summary: Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, and praised as “an intense rush of rebellion and romance” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is a dazzling, fun-filled romp.

“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”

And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem:

Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.

Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.

Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.

And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.

When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.

“A unique story from an exciting and authentic new voice.” —Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

“Equal parts surprising, original, and intelligent. An intense rush of rebellion and romance.” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

“Fresh as a first kiss.” —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon

“Fresh, fun, heartfelt, and totally addictive, a story about finding your place—and your people—where you least expected.” —Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of the William C. Morris Award finalist Conviction

-Summary from GoodReads.com

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