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My Summer of Love and Misfortune

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A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China. Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find hersel A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China. Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button. Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.


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A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China. Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find hersel A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China. Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button. Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.

30 review for My Summer of Love and Misfortune

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shealea

    Before anything else: I truly believe that I deserve to be awarded for finishing this book, despite the damages inflicted on my mental well-being. Someday, I will press charges. But, for now, here's my preliminary review of My Summer of Lost Brain Cells and Misfortune: Iris Wang is a walking, breathing, and (unfortunately) talking oxymoron (emphasis necessary). I have never encountered a character so self-absorbed but also so irritatingly oblivious to her own faults, personality, and (lack of) in Before anything else: I truly believe that I deserve to be awarded for finishing this book, despite the damages inflicted on my mental well-being. Someday, I will press charges. But, for now, here's my preliminary review of My Summer of Lost Brain Cells and Misfortune: Iris Wang is a walking, breathing, and (unfortunately) talking oxymoron (emphasis necessary). I have never encountered a character so self-absorbed but also so irritatingly oblivious to her own faults, personality, and (lack of) intelligence. I can cite so many examples, but one of my favorite ones is the scene where, after getting rejected by every single university she applied to, Iris receives an email from the high school guidance counselor and her first thought is "Omg, are they contacting me to announce that I'm graduating as the valedictorian?" This is coming from the girl who took her SATs hungover and used 2 brain cells for her college admission essays. I'd also like to add that at 17 years old, she admits to not knowing what global warming is or how family trees work (while repeatedly patting herself on the back for being a "genius" and gift to mankind). Indeed, Iris Wang has the audacity of a middle-class white woman and the mental capacity of a 7-year-old child. Aside from Iris being the most insufferable protagonist I've ever read, none of the other characters were remotely likable. Listen. I just wanted ONE decent character to root for. Just ONE! 'Tis all I ask. And instead, I had to put up with these: • Iris' (ex-) boyfriend - cheated on her with her best friend and basically treated Iris like his sugar mommy • Iris' best friend - constantly flaunted their infidelity on social media and to Iris' face • Iris' parents - locked up their teenage daughter in a cupboard because they were ashamed of her (and despite their constant gripes about their daughter's recklessness, impulsivity, and poor decision-making, they gave her a credit card with virtually no spending limit) • Iris' uncle - a billionaire who wanted to bulldoze an extremely poor neighborhood so he could build another luxury hotel (and (view spoiler)[agrees to cease operations and relocate his mall IF AND ONLY IF they're able to raise enough money to cover the cost because he doesn't want to suffer any losses (hide spoiler)] ) • Iris' cousin - unremarkable, and while I could mildly sympathize with her, I felt betrayed when she (view spoiler)[suggested to do the fundraising thing instead of demanding her father to MOVE THE DAMN HOTEL ELSEWHERE (hide spoiler)] • Iris' new love interest - could have been charming and decent, but ended up enabling Iris' "woe is me, i'm the victim" narrative and ALWAYS apologized whenever he rightfully called her out [Sorry, not sorry but I've already forgotten most of their names] An issue that I have with this book is that it is painfully obvious that all these shitty characters exist to make Iris look less shitty and more like the victim in this situation. Their main purpose is to help Iris escape accountability for her wrong actions and detestable behavior. And honestly? If an author has to go through hoops and make everyone else spectacularly awful just to make the main character seem redeemable in comparison, it's shitty characterization. And since this book is extremely character-driven, it is likewise shitty and terrible and a huge steaming pile of yikes. The inside of Iris' mind is.... deeply unsettling and uncomfortable. I found it really perplexing that she continuously likened people in her life to... animals. At first, she was fixated on her parents' Chinese zodiac signs, but as the story progressed, she would refer to her dad's speaking as "bleating" (because he was born on the Year of the Goat) and her mom's lecturing as "barking" (because she was born on the Year of the Dog) and suddenly, everyone became an animal in her thoughts. I gasp loudly. To be honest, everything about them are absolutely perfect, 250 percent pageant-worthy. Frank has the well-shaped buttocks of a prize-winning golden retriever and the legginess of a standard-size schnauzer. Hearing my messy, snot-waterfalling sniffles, my dad makes some kind of barn animal grunt in return, but he still doesn't speak or look at me. Frank's mouth is moving, but I can't help thinking about the too-symmetrical shape of his lips, which is like a geometry lesson in itself. The way that he overpronounces his words and nibbles beautifully on his lower lip when he's concentrating. It's adorable and fascinating. Almost like watching a quirky but intelligent chipmunk. Unsettling animal metaphors aside, Iris is also wildly obsessed with fantasizing that she's adopted (and secretly part of a royal family or something) and she exhibits so much internalized racism that, for the most part, was not sufficiently challenged. On more than one occasion, she asks herself if she's really Chinese or if she's secretly Korean or Japanese -- which perpetuates the notion that Asian ethnicities are interchangeable. She also describes Mandarin as "complicated science-fiction sounds." Towards the end, Iris "grows" and is now a compassionate, mature, and empowered woman who likes to teach the English language to poor Chinese kids. And her growth comes across as inorganic and leaves so much to be desired. There's a specific scene that's so obviously intended to be a Female Empowerment Moment, but it falls flat on its face because Iris' sudden 180 is just unbelievable and inauthentic. Especially because the lack of accountability in this book is astonishing. All in all, the success of My Summer of Love and Misfortune lies in Iris Wang's character, and unfortunately, Iris cannot be redeemed. She is the Britta of YA literature. This is the closest I've felt to wanting to cyber-bully a fictional character. And the forced hilarity in the author's writing style is so off-putting that I'll most likely never pick up any of her future books. Not recommended. * I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes used in this review are subject to changes in the final copy. 🌻 My links: Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 1.5/5 Stars Full review HERE It's really hard for me to try and say something nice about Iris, the main character of this story. I think she's one of the most annoying characters I've ever read about. Not only that, but she's also very self-absorbed, shallow and careless. Since the book is totally narrated from her point of view, you can easily understand why I didn't enjoy this novel. I think this The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 1.5/5 Stars Full review HERE It's really hard for me to try and say something nice about Iris, the main character of this story. I think she's one of the most annoying characters I've ever read about. Not only that, but she's also very self-absorbed, shallow and careless. Since the book is totally narrated from her point of view, you can easily understand why I didn't enjoy this novel. I think this book had the opportunity to do a lot of good by showing China and its beautiful culture, instead we got a spoiled teenager who doesn't care about a single thing of the country she's been sent to. The only thing I appreciated about this story was how fast-paced it was and also how there was never a dull moment, something was always happening. Other than that this book definitely didn't work for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany (Read By Tiffany)

    I always try to give a book a fair shot and power through until the end, but oh my goodness…THIS BOOK WAS B A D. 🤧 Starring a self-absorbed main character and filled with elementary writing, My Summer of Love and Misfortune was, unfortunately, a cringe-fest. When I started this book, I thought it would be my next love, but unfortunately, I had to DNF the book at the 20% mark, or 70 pages. My Summer of Love and Misfortune follows the life of Iris Wang, a high school senior whose life is filled wit I always try to give a book a fair shot and power through until the end, but oh my goodness…THIS BOOK WAS B A D. 🤧 Starring a self-absorbed main character and filled with elementary writing, My Summer of Love and Misfortune was, unfortunately, a cringe-fest. When I started this book, I thought it would be my next love, but unfortunately, I had to DNF the book at the 20% mark, or 70 pages. My Summer of Love and Misfortune follows the life of Iris Wang, a high school senior whose life is filled with parties, boys, glamour, and avoiding every responsibility ever given to her. 🙄 After putting -10% effort into her college applications, she’s *shocker* rejected by every university and proven to be a disgrace to her parents. I shit you not…here’s a direct quote from Iris’s mother: “Let’s face it, Jeff. Our daughter is going to be a loser.” Iris Wang belongs in the Hall of Fame for delusional main characters alongside Shane from Again, But Better and Belly from The Summer I Turned Pretty . I truly have never read from the perspective of a protagonist that was so out-of-touch with reality. She remembers the wrong date for her boyfriend’s birthday. She drives WHILE DRUNK and crashes her $50,000 car. When her father drops her off at the airport, she throws a tantrum and exclaims that if he loves her, he wouldn’t send her off to China…and that he must not even be her real father. #what?! “And how can I be self-absorbed? I’m the most selfless person on the planet, after Gandhi.” Honestly, this book is almost hilariously bad. Some of the scenes just felt so outrageous I couldn’t help but laugh. 😂 When another Asian family comes over to Iris’s house to brag about their daughter’s acceptance into Princeton, Iris’s mother is so ashamed…she tells her daughter to hide in the food pantry. The main plot of the book follows Iris’s dramatic character transformation when she’s sent to Beijing for the summer, but unfortunately, I had to stop reading before we landed in China. “How can my dad be kicking me out of my home and sending me to live with a strange country with strange people???!!” Friends…I really tried. 😭 I thought this book would be my next love since it sounded so similar to Loveboat, Taipei , but truthfully, it didn’t just fall flat…it metaphorically flung itself off a cliff. If you’re looking for a fun contemporary featuring a transformative story for the main character, I wouldn’t recommend this one. Content/Trigger Warnings:(view spoiler)[drunk driving, cheating (hide spoiler)] Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Blog (Read By Tiffany) | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Bloglovin

  4. 5 out of 5

    San

    I really wanted to like this book. After reading description and also looking at cover I thought this book would be something that will cheer me up. Unfortunately because of the main character it wasn't a case. Iris was just so annoying and self-center and acting so immature. The writing however was good so I hope i will have a chance to read some other books written by this author because I believe that with better characters they could be really something enjoyable. Thank you to NetGalley and I really wanted to like this book. After reading description and also looking at cover I thought this book would be something that will cheer me up. Unfortunately because of the main character it wasn't a case. Iris was just so annoying and self-center and acting so immature. The writing however was good so I hope i will have a chance to read some other books written by this author because I believe that with better characters they could be really something enjoyable. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly (Deity of Books)

    This is the worst book I have ever read. I really had high hopes for this book since the main character is an ABC, American Born Chinese (Whoo! Asian Rep), but the plot and characters were very boring and bland. Iris Wang, our main character, is Annoying, Spoiled, Egotistical, and Narcissistic. She is a failure in her parents' eyes (well, and others). She spends her time shopping, drinking, and partying. She knows basically nothing about her heritage. She is in her senior year of high school and This is the worst book I have ever read. I really had high hopes for this book since the main character is an ABC, American Born Chinese (Whoo! Asian Rep), but the plot and characters were very boring and bland. Iris Wang, our main character, is Annoying, Spoiled, Egotistical, and Narcissistic. She is a failure in her parents' eyes (well, and others). She spends her time shopping, drinking, and partying. She knows basically nothing about her heritage. She is in her senior year of high school and failing all her classes. One day, while her parents are out of town, she throws a party. At this party, she finds her best friend, Samira, and her boyfriend of 2 years, Peter, sleeping together in her own house. Since there is a party at her house (and I guess she didn't want others seeing what a mess she was), she goes into the garage and sits in the driver's seat of her mother's new Mercedes. Then, she accidentally backs the Mercedes into the garage. Idiot. Her parents immediately come back from their trip after hearing about this car "accident", only to find out that she hosted a party and got herself into this mess. Later, her parents find out that she did not get into a single university. They finally decide to send her to Beijing, where she is to stay with her father's half-brother (which she has never known about) and learn about her heritage and become more mature. Sometimes I do not know whether I am reading from the perspective of a 7-year-old or a 17-year-old. Her personality and way of thinking are so childish and immature. This book has character growth, but it is at the very end and doesn't seem natural at all. This book was very hard to read without wanting to punch one of the characters. The author uses a lot of metaphors and similes. They're good literary devices -if you use them well. The metaphors and similes that written were terrible. It made Iris seems even more immature than she already is. I guess I'll end with a positive note. My favorite part of the book is the chapter titles. I don't think many books in the YA category have this (which is why I think this should definitely be in the middle-grade category). The chapter titles are so cute and the typeface looks great. Received eARC from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    My Summer of Love and Misfortune is a Young Adult contemporary novel. I really loved the idea of this book. Iris Wang is a Chinese American teen who cannot speak the language and gets thrust into high society Beijing. The book is supposed to be funny. The only problem is that the heroine, Iris (17) is a spoiled brat. She is completely selfish and it's completely impossible to relate to her lack of awareness. This is a hard book to rate. Because the last third was really strong. The book definitely My Summer of Love and Misfortune is a Young Adult contemporary novel. I really loved the idea of this book. Iris Wang is a Chinese American teen who cannot speak the language and gets thrust into high society Beijing. The book is supposed to be funny. The only problem is that the heroine, Iris (17) is a spoiled brat. She is completely selfish and it's completely impossible to relate to her lack of awareness. This is a hard book to rate. Because the last third was really strong. The book definitely wanted to be Crazy Rich Asians mixed with Sophie Kinsella's Becky Bloomwood (Shopaholic series). But there is a very fine line between the heroine being quirky and misunderstood vs her not caring about anyone but herself. I really struggled with the first half of this book. The narrator is Iris (1st person POV). She grows up fairly well off. But she spends money like she doesn't have any impulse-control. And honestly she was extremely irresponsible. And pretty unlikable for much of this book. I was really hoping that somehow she would redeem herself. I think that the author was off a bit by making her so self-absorbed. The mishaps would have been funnier if the narrator had been just a little bit relatable. I did find some of the situations to be funny. But I just wish that Iris had not be so clueless about everything. If she had not been so delusional or entitled I think that what she went through could have been so much funnier. I really liked the whole idea of Beijing. There were some really amazing things about that part of the story. I loved the whole competitive dog grooming thing. I really enjoyed all of the characters from there (especially her family members). That was a really good part of the story. There is romance. But it is not really the focus of this book. Overall, the idea of a teenager out of her element in a different country was a good one. This was a fairly quick read. The last third was actually very strong. And I enjoyed that part of the book a lot. Thanks to netgalley and Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    DNF @ 33% I kept pushing myself to read this and it was still so hard to do, and I'm really sad about it because I thought this would be my summer book. The story is over-the-top and outlandish, which I'm okay with, but Iris is so incredibly unlikeable that it was hard to be in her perspective. She is completely out of touch with reality and is easily one of the most self absorbed characters I've ever encountered. There was no reason to get behind her or want to see her potential growth, because DNF @ 33% I kept pushing myself to read this and it was still so hard to do, and I'm really sad about it because I thought this would be my summer book. The story is over-the-top and outlandish, which I'm okay with, but Iris is so incredibly unlikeable that it was hard to be in her perspective. She is completely out of touch with reality and is easily one of the most self absorbed characters I've ever encountered. There was no reason to get behind her or want to see her potential growth, because honestly, I'm not sure it would have been satisfying or believable given where she starts out. The story read more like a first draft and lacked detail and genuineness that could have grounded all the over the top stuff.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Ugh, this book was a mess! You know when you see a cover that gives you hope that it will be the cutest book ever? Not only was this book bland and boring but the romance was barely existent. There just wasn't enough chemistry or interaction for her to act like it was the end of the world at the end. Iris Wang is the most obnoxious lead I've read in a YA book in some time. She acted like a self centered 13 yr old versus a girl on the cusp of college. She really cared about no one but herself and Ugh, this book was a mess! You know when you see a cover that gives you hope that it will be the cutest book ever? Not only was this book bland and boring but the romance was barely existent. There just wasn't enough chemistry or interaction for her to act like it was the end of the world at the end. Iris Wang is the most obnoxious lead I've read in a YA book in some time. She acted like a self centered 13 yr old versus a girl on the cusp of college. She really cared about no one but herself and I'm not surprised her friends only seemed to hang around her to mooch off her parent's money that she freely spent without haste. She spends most of the book whining about her life while spending thousands of dollars freely. And spends at least 80% of the book being her self-centered self who could care less about her commitments to her family or friends. Long review here https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    What a WILD ride with this novel! Due to the main character and her behaviour, it really impacted how I felt about the overall story. I really had a difficult time getting through the first half to three quarters of this novel. However, eventually, the main character's behaviours seemed to change and I had some real hope and was enjoying/anticipating the story's conclusion. Well. I have to be extremely vague here to avoid spoilers but.....I understand the message that the author was trying to del What a WILD ride with this novel! Due to the main character and her behaviour, it really impacted how I felt about the overall story. I really had a difficult time getting through the first half to three quarters of this novel. However, eventually, the main character's behaviours seemed to change and I had some real hope and was enjoying/anticipating the story's conclusion. Well. I have to be extremely vague here to avoid spoilers but.....I understand the message that the author was trying to deliver. I just don't feel that the message was delivered in the right manner. This main character made a lot of mistakes, lied, and people forgave her. I don't understand how a different character's mistakes are unforgivable and worse than her own. Especially as the mistakes made from the other character were at least justified and unselfish compared to the main character's mistakes. I think the ending took away from any of the character development that may have occurred for the main character throughout this novel. It didn't sit right with me and impacted how I felt about the whole novel. ***Thank you to the publisher for supplying me with an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kate R

    Well, I thought this one would be right up my alley. The blurb literally mentions two of my favorite books. But, unfortunately, I could not finish this one. I have to say the writing was good, the setting was awesome and the descriptions were very detailed, but the main character was awful, just absolutely horrible. Ultimately, I could not get past her ridiculous ways and I did not finish. However, I will read other books the author writes because like I said this was just a character that I str Well, I thought this one would be right up my alley. The blurb literally mentions two of my favorite books. But, unfortunately, I could not finish this one. I have to say the writing was good, the setting was awesome and the descriptions were very detailed, but the main character was awful, just absolutely horrible. Ultimately, I could not get past her ridiculous ways and I did not finish. However, I will read other books the author writes because like I said this was just a character that I struggled with, not the writing at all. * ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Okay, so I knew going into this that the main character was going to be a hard one to like. But her almost total lack of growth and development throughout the book was just too much for me to swallow. Which is a shame, because the Beijing setting was AWESEOME. Eighteen-year-old Iris Wang is basically every Chinese parent’s worst nightmare. Instead of studying, she prefers to hang out getting wasted and having sex with her slacker b ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Okay, so I knew going into this that the main character was going to be a hard one to like. But her almost total lack of growth and development throughout the book was just too much for me to swallow. Which is a shame, because the Beijing setting was AWESEOME. Eighteen-year-old Iris Wang is basically every Chinese parent’s worst nightmare. Instead of studying, she prefers to hang out getting wasted and having sex with her slacker boyfriend, Peter, or spending way more money than she should on designer dresses with her best friend Samira. When she throws a party one horrible night and catches Peter cheating on her with Samira, she ends up crashing her parents’ brand-new Mercedes into her house and nearly wrecking both the car (and herself) in the process. Obviously, her parents are not happy. Even less so when – having taken her SAT hungover – she fails to get into a single university, while Samira has a place at Princeton. Iris’s dad puts his foot down: she is going to go to Beijing to stay with the half-brother she never knew he had, and she isn’t allowed to come back for a long time. Maybe ever. When Iris shows up in Beijing, she’s prepared for the worst. But even though her cousin Ruby hates her and is obsessed with her dog-grooming shows, things aren’t all bad. Uncle Dai is the owner of Feng Corp and one of the richest men in Asia. Iris, as a confirmed shopaholic, is in heaven. Even the fact that she’s being forced to learn Mandarin is only a minor blip on her horizon, since her tutor Frank Liao is so hot. Is Beijing really going to be the making of Iris, like her parents hope it will? The short answer: no. No, it is not. Iris Wang is one of the most insufferable heroines I have ever had the misfortune to read about. Now, that actually didn’t bother me at first. This book obviously was going to be all about an arc of character development, and I expected to see her gradually redeem herself over the course of the story. But you know what? IT DOESN’T HAPPEN. At 80% of the way through, Iris is still as self-absorbed, reckless, and needy as she was when I was 8% through. There was no change. Not a single thing that had happened to her had any discernible impact in making her change her behaviour. When the change did finally come, it was unrealistic and unbelievable (but I’ll go into that later). Let’s review all the reasons I loathe Iris Wang. ❌ She’s a wastrel. No, I’m not going to say ‘shopaholic.’ She’s a wastrel. She racked up six thousand dollars of credit card debt at the beginning of the book, and by the end of it, she was still on the verge of spending 20,000 yuan on designer handbags. NEVER did she bother to learn the conversion rate of dollars to yuan, and she spends her uncle’s money to an extent that makes me feel almost physically ill. ❌ She’s crazily selfish and self-absorbed. It’s super obvious that Frank DOES NOT want to do anything romantic with her. She pressures him into it, throwing herself at him, to an extent that was sickening to read about. It is never acknowledged that she pretty much forces a guy she’s known for a couple of weeks to have sex with her, a guy moreover who did not initiate anything with her and very much asks her to stop and is uncomfortable with the situation. She keeps going. Yet somehow, she also balances being selfish with sticking her nose into places it’s not wanted, where it’s very much not her business to be telling people what to think or feel, and she does that too. ❌ Meanwhile, while she’s having a forced romantic interlude with Frank, she forgets the commitment she made to Ruby to pick up her dog, AND she vanished for the whole weekend without telling her uncle where she went!!! He was going insane with worry, and I would not have blamed him if he’d sent her back to New Jersey on the spot. It never even crossed her mind to inform her family of where she was, which puts the lie to all the ‘family should be everything to each other!’ stuff she constantly harps on about. ❌ She hates studying. Like, bone-deep hates it. I truly cannot see any other explanation than laziness. The thought of studying apparently gives her a panic attack, but this has been true of her since kindergarten. There honestly is no reason why she should struggle so much to memorise a couple of Chinese phrases, or not know what the Tiananmen Square massacre is, or NOT HAVE HEARD OF PROUST OR MAO ZEDONG!! Also, the author is a bit inconsistent on this. At one point Iris doesn’t know what the word ‘acute’ means, but she know ‘vernacular’ and ‘osmosis’? Really? ❌ All she does is find excuses for why she’s the way she is. The answer: astrology and fortune telling. She was born in the Year of the Tiger, and is a ‘flower-heart’ which apparently means she gives in to her impulses a lot. Being a ‘flower-heart’ is used to excuse literally every single thing she does wrong. This is one character flaw that doesn’t change for the whole book, right up until the last page, and it’s so frustrating. The Unrealistic Redemption of Iris Wang This is my biggest issue with the book. At the 80% mark, she’s still happy in her selfish wastrel bubble. And then she sees a slum – and, might I add, poverty in China is something she has seen before – and it’s like a switch flips inside her head. Suddenly she’s committed to socialism and community spirit and charity and whatever. This comes totally out of left field. Instead of gradually changing her character in a believable fashion throughout the book, Iris does a 180 in the last twenty pages, which pretty much wrecks any chance of realistic growth. Did I like anything about this book? Well, now that you ask, I do. The Chinese food descriptions are SO GOOD. They make me want to run outside and order Chinese RIGHT NOW. I’m also appreciative of the direction the romantic ending took, one fairly unconventional for a YA novel, and the decision Iris makes then is perhaps the only time I really feel like I’m rooting for her. Overall Strong writing, but a horrific heroine ruined my enjoyment. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    The summary is so relatable - I’m super glad there’s an own voices take on this because I feel like there aren’t enough As-Am stories where the main character doesn’t get have a successful college application season.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher theough NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 1 ⭐️ DNF at 46% If this is how Lindsay Wong sees teenagers, she should stop writing about them right now. Or at least, she should spend a few years around them before ever trying to write another YA novel. This book is terrible. There’s no other way to put this. I tried and tried to keep reading in the hopes that Iris would eventually grow a brain, but she never does. She’s the epitome of spoiled s I received a copy of this book from the publisher theough NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 1 ⭐️ DNF at 46% If this is how Lindsay Wong sees teenagers, she should stop writing about them right now. Or at least, she should spend a few years around them before ever trying to write another YA novel. This book is terrible. There’s no other way to put this. I tried and tried to keep reading in the hopes that Iris would eventually grow a brain, but she never does. She’s the epitome of spoiled shopaholic airhead, and she’s not even rich! I assume that her parents are upper-middle class, but she’s nowhere near the class level you’d usually see this kind of behaviour (read here: rich spoiled heiress). And she’s so freaking stupid! Not even funny dumb, just incredibly not self-aware and so profoundly idiotic. Nothing she does makes any sense, and her internal monologue is cringeworthy. I ran out of synonyms for her stupidity way before I gave up on this book. Frankly, I do not understand how this was picked up by a big 5, other than that it’s ownvoice for Chinese rep. But it’s kind of really shitty rep. There are much better books out there depicting Chinese culture without having to read through the worst teen MC I’ve seen in a long time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Krisha||Bookathon

    DNF @ 43% I was really excited for this book so it's definitely sad that I did not like it. The main character was just so obnoxious and annoying. She was so ignorant about everything and was borderline insulting. How a 17/18 year old can say things like "I don't understand global warming" and "I am the most selfless person since Gandhi and my parents", I do not know. I wanted to push through but by 43% it was becoming too much so had to DNF!

  15. 5 out of 5

    delph ✨

    Full review on my blog. An e-ARC was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. When Iris Wang failed her senior year in top of destroying the garage door after backing up her dad’s car in it, she’s sent to Beijing by her parents in the hope that she’ll mature. Honestly, I tried. I was so excited for this book because I’ve always loved books with teenagers sent to another countries to discover and reconnect with their cul Full review on my blog. An e-ARC was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. When Iris Wang failed her senior year in top of destroying the garage door after backing up her dad’s car in it, she’s sent to Beijing by her parents in the hope that she’ll mature. Honestly, I tried. I was so excited for this book because I’ve always loved books with teenagers sent to another countries to discover and reconnect with their culture. I loved Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay with a teenage boy going to the Philippines to learn more about his cousin’s death but also to learn more about the political context of this country. I loved I Love You so Mochi by Sarah Kuhn where a teenage girl goes to Japan to discover what she wants to do while discovering Japan. So when I read this synopsis, read that it was a girl who was sent to Beijing to « reconnect with her culture, » I was sold. I don’t know if I expected too much but I was disappointed because I got nothing of that. Well, nothing may be a bit harsh. She learnt something like ten sentences of Mandarin (in three months???) and visited one or two famous places. But then, Iris as a character deserves a whole section of this review for herself so I’ll talk about her later. Diversity tag: chinese-american mc, chinese-american side characters, chinese side-characters, #ownvoices, chinese-american author Trigger warnings/content warnings: underage drinking, drugs, drunk driving, sex scenes (not explicit), cheating

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽♔

    Well unlike most of my classmates in high school, I actually enjoyed The Joy Luck Club. So I'm interested to see how this book resembles that, if at all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    My Summer of Love and Misfortune was a huge letdown. I didn’t like the main character and the story at all. Iris Wang was a spoiled, narcissistic, annoying, self-absorbed, and dense brat. Some of her actions throughout the book were so childish. Her parents exiled her to China because of her spoiled behavior. Her parents were also hoping that she will learn about her heritage and the language Mandarin. Instead, She spent most of the time wishing that she knew Mandarin so that she could understan My Summer of Love and Misfortune was a huge letdown. I didn’t like the main character and the story at all. Iris Wang was a spoiled, narcissistic, annoying, self-absorbed, and dense brat. Some of her actions throughout the book were so childish. Her parents exiled her to China because of her spoiled behavior. Her parents were also hoping that she will learn about her heritage and the language Mandarin. Instead, She spent most of the time wishing that she knew Mandarin so that she could understand what the people are saying, but she wouldn’t put the effort to learn it. Her uncle even hired a tutor to teach her basic Mandarin. She was so self-centered that she doesn't care for the people around her but only herself. She had broken promises and did reckless things. She kept saying sorry, but she wouldn't correct her behavior She had multiple opportunities to change, but she didn’t. She even kept telling herself that she will. She doesn’t listen to other people. Towards the end of the book, the character miraculously had an instant character development just because she went to a poor place. She was now a better person because she will do a fundraiser for them to help them. One thing that I can commend her for is not continuing to have a romantic relationship with Frank/Paul and friendship with Samira. I wanted to like this book but I couldn't.

  18. 5 out of 5

    KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books

    Chinese American slice-of-life? Now that is a YA contemporary I will read. Thank you to Edelweiss and the Publisher for granting this eARC in exchange for an honest review This story is incredibly entertaining. That is the grace I grant this book since I did not finish it. DNF Sometimes you start a book and you feel you can read that book cover to cover in one sitting. And then you put the book down and it feels like you’ve missed a chance at a life with that book because you never feel like reading Chinese American slice-of-life? Now that is a YA contemporary I will read. Thank you to Edelweiss and the Publisher for granting this eARC in exchange for an honest review This story is incredibly entertaining. That is the grace I grant this book since I did not finish it. DNF Sometimes you start a book and you feel you can read that book cover to cover in one sitting. And then you put the book down and it feels like you’ve missed a chance at a life with that book because you never feel like reading it again. That’s exactly what happened in this case. I do not doubt this book will be successful. I’m simply no longer the crowd for this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi ♠

    this is literally gonna be me next summer (thank you school; minus the Beijing trip . . . so far haha) so hey I gotta read this, right??

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Yikes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    I received this as an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A sincere thank you to them for that opportunity. I was initially excited about this story centering around a young Asian-American woman wanting to connect with her heritage. I thought the first chapter was cute and quirky. I thought it told us a lot about her and her father in a way that was informative without being an info-dump of exposition. Unfortunately, it went downhill from that point. My biggest issue with this bo I received this as an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A sincere thank you to them for that opportunity. I was initially excited about this story centering around a young Asian-American woman wanting to connect with her heritage. I thought the first chapter was cute and quirky. I thought it told us a lot about her and her father in a way that was informative without being an info-dump of exposition. Unfortunately, it went downhill from that point. My biggest issue with this book was with Iris, our protagonist. She is perhaps the dumbest and most willfully-ignorant character I've ever read about. EVER. It felt like there was an attempt made to make her a Cher-Horowitz-type character, but it just didn't work. She lacked the care Cher has for the people around her. She was vapid, self-absorbed, and unapologetic in her disinterest and disdain for the people and situations going on around her. I spent a good deal of time before writing this review trying to figure out what the purpose of this character was. Are we supposed to start out disliking her and then as she matures we learn to love her? If that's the case, it failed. Her 'transformation' was far too little, too late. Are we supposed to find her ignorance quirky and fun? Again, it didn't work that way for me. It felt like this book was trying way too hard to be funny and quirky instead of giving us characters that felt real and believable. The following are just a few examples of things that drove me nuts about Iris: 1. She ditches class and tutor sessions, shows up to the SAT test (that she didn't study for) half-drunk, and is then shocked when she doesn't get accepted to any of the colleges she applied for and when she isn't 'voted' valedictorian. By the way, that is not the way valedictorian's are chosen. I'm not sure if this is actually how the author thinks this happens or is just supposed to be another example of how clueless Iris is. The fact that it isn't clear is a sign to me that it doesn't work in the story. Any teenager in America who goes to public high school would be able to tell you how a valedictorian is chosen. It's not realistic that she wouldn't know, even if she is a total moron. 2. She doesn't know what global warming is, except that it's some sort of 'current event'. She then likens it to face cream. Again, I just don't see how even the most self-absorbed 18-year old wouldn't know what global warming is. 3. She questions her parentage for the entire book, just because her parents are taller than her. The first time she mentioned wondering if she was adopted, I thought it was just some sort of throwaway comment from a sullen teenager. But then she spends the entire book thinking about it and it comes off as absolutely ridiculous. 4. She doesn't know how to pronounce her Chinese name because she never asked her dad how to pronounce it. I just can't imagine being so apathetic. 5. She doesn't 'understand' Star Wars, even though she's watched the films with her father. It's not that deep. 6. She doesn't have any idea what the exchange rate is between yuan and US Dollars, even though it was explained to her. She remains ignorant of this throughout the course of the book. 7. At one point she says that she hasn't eaten in twelve hours, or 'practically half a day.' People aren't this stupid. 8. She blames all of her flaws and faults on her birth sign. 9. She tells someone she has 22/22 vision. This isn't a thing. 10. Someone asks her what the word 'acute' means. She proudly answers that it means 'adorable' (like, a cute dog! or a cute bag! STAHP) 11. She doesn't know that cousins have the same grandparents. 12. SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT A MUSEUM IS. She's surprised that there aren't price tags on the pieces and no one is haggling. I just...don't believe that someone who has grown up in American in the upper-middle class doesn't understand the concept of a museum. This is cringy. There is no way to root for this girl. She is too ridiculous. 13. She doesn't know where China is in relation to America on a world map. 14. She agrees to help her cousin with something, then breaks her promise. The cousin texts her and Iris basically ignores it. Then later on she acts completely shocked that she forgot, as if she hadn't received the text a couple chapters earlier. I'm not sure if that's a structural error with the writing or if we are really supposed to think that Iris is that stupid and selfish. Again, the fact that it isn't clear is a problem. This is just a sample of this character's idiocy. Every single page of this book had multiple eye-rolling moments with regard to her sheer ineptitude at life. I have to question the decision to make her the butt of a thousand jokes throughout the course of this book. It just doesn't make sense. Ignorance and stupidity aren't cute and quirky in our society. They're just sad and frankly inexcusable. I also thought her parents were really inconsistent with regard to their characterization. On the one hand, we're supposed to believe that they are these traditional Chinese parents putting pressure on their child to get good grades, go to a good college, be a successful adult. But on the other hand, they are completely neglectful and oblivious to the reality of who their daughter is. They apparently have no idea that their daughter doesn't go to class or tutor sessions. They don't know that she bombed her SAT test. They don't know that she is on the cusp of failing her senior year of high school. THAT IS NOT REALISTIC. If a child isn't showing up to school, her parents would've received multiple calls from the school. If they were risking failing out, the counselor would call the parents, not the lazy teenager. Her father never told her about his family in China, but then decides that, instead of actually PARENTING their child, they'll send her to live in China with said brother who she's never met or spoken to. She doesn't even know his name or what he looks like when she's sent off. They also give her free access to a credit card, apparently completely unaware that she is totally irresponsible with money and also totally disrespectful of her parents finances and belongings. Making them so ignorant about her shenanigans but then also being shocked that she isn't accepted to good colleges just doesn't track. I wasn't a fan of any of the other characters either. Not enough to rant about them, since this is already getting really long, but suffice it to say, I made several notes on my Kindle about the fact that everyone in this book is an asshole. The plot, what there was of a plot, felt like something that could've been interesting, but the book spent too long on Iris's idiotic decisions and not enough on her minimal growth. By the time we got to it I was so annoyed by the main character that I couldn't bring myself to care about what else was going on. As far as the writing goes, I wasn't impressed. The sheer number of similes and metaphors used on essentially every page was just ridiculous. Most of them made no sense, and many of them were redundancies of similes and metaphors used in previous paragraphs on the EXACT SAME PAGE. I started highlighting them about a third of the way through the book and it's just excessive. A couple other head-scratchers: 1. On the plane to China, she drops her phone into the toilet, which ruins it because water gets into it. Anyone who has been on a plane in the last couple of decades will tell you that's not how airplane toilets work. 2. Early in the book, we are told that Iris' parents own a swanky Mercedes. Later she talks about her parents and their 'boring Volkswagon'...which is it? 3. There were three comments about pupils that made me wonder if the author didn't mean something else. The first was about how you're supposed to 'widen your pupils' to show sorrow. The second was about someone being sad. We're told that her 'pupils are wet'. The third is Iris talking about how she can't stop looking at someone 'with her pupils'. None of these sentences make any sense. It feels like the word pupil is being used as a synonym for eye, but they aren't synonyms. 4. the term 'expiry date' is used and that's not something someone from the U.S. would say. We would say 'expiration date'. The one saving grace of this book is the descriptions of the food. Oh my goodness, I want a dozen steamed pork buns right now. Every time she talked about food (with the exception of the scene where they eat scorpion and caterpillar...sorry, I'm just not that adventurous) my mouth would start watering. Unfortunately, that doesn't make up for all of the issues I had with this book. At the end of the day, I think this story gets bogged down by a mind-numbingly stupid protagonist and a lack of intention with regards to the plot and characterizations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: My Summer of Love and Misfortune Author: Lindsay Wong Book Series: Standalone Rating: 1/5 Diversity: Chinese American main character! Recommended For...: Chinese American main and finding yourself Publication Date: June 2, 2020 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 384 Synopsis: Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: My Summer of Love and Misfortune Author: Lindsay Wong Book Series: Standalone Rating: 1/5 Diversity: Chinese American main character! Recommended For...: Chinese American main and finding yourself Publication Date: June 2, 2020 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 384 Synopsis: Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button. Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself. Review: I had to DNF this read. I loved seeing a Chinese American main character, but I didn’t like a lot of things about her. In short, she’s a brat and while the author tries to redeem her, this character wasn’t redeemed at all. She blew through credit cards like nothing, she lives off of excuses, she ran away from home, and she has no character growth. It’s very unflattering and by 62% (the part I got to before putting the book down) I would have expected the author to have made the character redeemable. I think the book is salvageable, I think the character could be rewritten and saved (and truthfully I want it to be saved! I hardly see Chinese American YA Contemporaries and I would love to enjoy this one too), but until then it’s hard to read about her when I’m swimming in debt and would love the opportunities she has. Verdict: Not for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rivalie

    There have been many less than stellar reviews circling the internet about this novel but I was still holding onto the hope that I might somehow enjoy the story. Iris Wang has got to be one of the most irritating characters I have ever read about - she's incredibly self-obsessed with the intelligence, common-sense, and emotional depth of a rock (and that's an insult to rocks). I kept waiting for a moment where something would click in her brain and she would start to show some character developm There have been many less than stellar reviews circling the internet about this novel but I was still holding onto the hope that I might somehow enjoy the story. Iris Wang has got to be one of the most irritating characters I have ever read about - she's incredibly self-obsessed with the intelligence, common-sense, and emotional depth of a rock (and that's an insult to rocks). I kept waiting for a moment where something would click in her brain and she would start to show some character development. While Iris claims to have "developed" and "experienced growth," I honestly could not pinpoint where exactly that happened. This ultimately damaged the reading experience for me because the story was so heavily character-driven. Iris' voice is so prominent which could be a testament to Lindsay Wong's ability to craft her characters, but because she was so unlikable, I couldn't get past that to enjoy the other elements of the story. Iris inherently represents the negative reaction many people face when trying to reconcile their dual culture - she has little to no respect for tradition and doesn't really care to learn her parents' language (only going on to later complain about why she can't understand people). While I'm glad that we are getting more stories by Asian authors, the portrayal of her character feels damaging to the narrative that many Asian American readers like myself are hoping to find. Ok, so what are some good things - I did enjoy the portrayal of Beijing culture. There's a good introductory conversation about the rich, nouveau rich, and the poor - the very polarizing class systems in Beijing society. I almost wish this could have been expanded upon more especially when Iris realizes the luxuries of her middle-class American lifestyle in comparison to her cousin's origins. There's also an immersive introduction to Chinese culture - the food, the art, the history which Iris, unfortunately, doesn't appreciate for 95% of the book. Despite that, I had to admit that Lindsay Wong is skillful at bringing her culture to life through her words and that did make the reading experience slightly more bearable. Bottom line, I really wanted to enjoy this story but it ultimately didn't live up to my expectations. I did however get an eye-rolling workout so one part of my body is in shape during this quarantine. More reviews posted at Small Stained Pages

  24. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    Crazy Rich Asians meets Shopaholic in this YA rom-com. This book is funny, wild, and completely over the top. The writing style is unique. It's silly to the point of being unbelievable. And yet, I found myself entirely entertained by it. The voice of the main character will definitely not be for everyone, and I'll admit that it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put this down. It was an unexpected delight. I had a lot of fun reading this and found it to be a much needed di Crazy Rich Asians meets Shopaholic in this YA rom-com. This book is funny, wild, and completely over the top. The writing style is unique. It's silly to the point of being unbelievable. And yet, I found myself entirely entertained by it. The voice of the main character will definitely not be for everyone, and I'll admit that it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put this down. It was an unexpected delight. I had a lot of fun reading this and found it to be a much needed distraction!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    DNF @ 18% LMFAO who thinks it's okay to bake their phone in the oven like a brownie?

  26. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover 2.5 Stars My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong is a novel I was positive I would enjoy based on the premise. I love books about characters connecting with their culture, and the Beijing setting is immersive. However, the main character is unrealistically clueless, and there is not a single thing I liked about her. This book seems like an attempt to be quirky, but it instead becomes cringey and difficult to relate to. This book is immediately overdramatic. Full Review on The Candid Cover 2.5 Stars My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong is a novel I was positive I would enjoy based on the premise. I love books about characters connecting with their culture, and the Beijing setting is immersive. However, the main character is unrealistically clueless, and there is not a single thing I liked about her. This book seems like an attempt to be quirky, but it instead becomes cringey and difficult to relate to. This book is immediately overdramatic. Iris Wang, a rich teen, fails her classes and crashes her parents’ car, so she is sent to Beijing to learn about her heritage and hopefully change her ways. I was interested in this one because characters connecting with their culture is typically a plot I enjoy. The descriptions of Chinese culture were well done (especially the food), although the main character does not appreciate any of this. Honestly, the setting was one of the only aspects of the novel I truly enjoyed, but it was dampened because of the main character’s disinterest. ❀ DISLIKABLE MAIN CHARACTER My biggest issue with this novel is the main character. Iris is selfish, ignorant, and incredibly dislikable. I understand that she is meant to be spoiled so that she can grow at the end of the book, but I was not convinced that Iris had changed after almost 400 pages of her antics. One of the things I hated most about her is how unrealistic she is. There is a long list of things Iris has said that are completely unbelievable, but the ones that come to mind are the fact that she does not know what a museum is, nor climate change, nor where China is on the map. All she really does is spend money and use the fact that she was born in the year of the Tiger as an excuse for everything. I had a lot of difficulty rooting for Iris, let alone connecting with her. ❀ ROMANCE IS COMPLETELY FLAT While the story manages to be over the top, it is also completely flat. The romance is poorly written, and Frank and Iris have no connection. I have issues with the way Frank is clearly not interested in Iris, but she continues to pressure him into a relationship. There is also very little character development, and Iris does not really “transform” until the last pages of the book. Much of the plot could have been exciting, but it is too unrealistic to become invested in. I believe this stems from the author trying too hard to be quirky and funny. I don’t know a single person who could possibly be as clueless as Iris, and instead of being entertaining, the story is frustrating to read. ❀ LOTS OF POTENTIAL FOR A FUN SUMMER READ My Summer of Love and Misfortune has so much potential to be a fun summer read. I enjoyed the setting, but the main character’s ignorance made her unrealistic and annoying. Too much of the plot seems exaggerated for it to be enjoyable. This one was not for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    So Iris, the MC, is a terribly self-absorbed, oblivious, and delusional (to name just a few of her best traits) highschool senior born in the year of the Tiger (for which she is doomed + she has been cursed). She doesn’t care for the world around her and lives only for her own pleasure. When a series of dreadful events result as a consequence of her clueless, impulsive, and irresponsible actions and her world starts to crumble, Iris’ parents take a drastic decision (I kid you not): half to hide h So Iris, the MC, is a terribly self-absorbed, oblivious, and delusional (to name just a few of her best traits) highschool senior born in the year of the Tiger (for which she is doomed + she has been cursed). She doesn’t care for the world around her and lives only for her own pleasure. When a series of dreadful events result as a consequence of her clueless, impulsive, and irresponsible actions and her world starts to crumble, Iris’ parents take a drastic decision (I kid you not): half to hide her dishonoring failures, half to punish her, they send her to live with relatives she had never known to have (incredibly responsible behavior there, dude). As a 17-year-old American girl who only looks Chinese but knows nothing of the culture and language tied to her origins, Iris is shipped to Beijing, where she will very begrudgingly sail on a journey of change and introspection. Nothing of what she does, thinks, or plans seems to go well, and she will end up discovering, against her will and terrible love for laziness, hidden family secrets on a big scale. Allow me to say that this was a disastrous read with an ending that lightly makes up for it. Full review **Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.** Blog | Twitter

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    7/3/20 🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴 Embarrassing. The main character Iris Wang possesses zero cognitive skills and has the likeability of dry feet. How can a person be so fucking stupid and delusional? Let’s not even discuss the laundry list of basic things she doesn’t know. I think the cheating boyfriend said it best when describing her. “You’re superficial, self-absorbed, and you kind of think the world revolves around you.” [insert Parks and Rec’s She’s the woooorsssttttt gif] All the other characters ar 7/3/20 🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴 Embarrassing. The main character Iris Wang possesses zero cognitive skills and has the likeability of dry feet. How can a person be so fucking stupid and delusional? Let’s not even discuss the laundry list of basic things she doesn’t know. I think the cheating boyfriend said it best when describing her. “You’re superficial, self-absorbed, and you kind of think the world revolves around you.” [insert Parks and Rec’s She’s the woooorsssttttt gif] All the other characters are also horrible (aside from Frank, I guess) and it was such a cheap strategy to make the reader sympathize with Iris who is equally horrible if not more. The “redemption arc” attempt which happens during the 85% mark was pitiful and beyond disingenuous like those IG influencers who went to the protests to snap a picture for the gram. Fuck off, Iris and Ruby. I literally felt like I was being gaslighted by this book/Iris Wang. 2/6/20 Getting Love, Taipei vibes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me of an eARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is currently set to be published in May 2020. So, to be honest with you all, this is not the first book that I have read by Lindsay Wong. I previously completed The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family and did not care for it at all...1-star rating level of did not care for it at all. That book, however, was a no Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me of an eARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is currently set to be published in May 2020. So, to be honest with you all, this is not the first book that I have read by Lindsay Wong. I previously completed The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family and did not care for it at all...1-star rating level of did not care for it at all. That book, however, was a non-fiction memoir piece, so I decided to give Wong's attempt at YA fiction a chance. The writing and story in this one was much improved, but I am still debating whether to give it 2 or 3 stars. My Summer of Love and Misfortune is DRAMA-FULL. The summary compared it to "Crazy Rich Asians meets Love & Gelato" which I can kind of envision, but it was like forcing myself to eat a Costco party-sized pound cake long after the desire for anything sweet had left my system. I enjoyed the drama of Crazy Rich Asians, but it did not feel anything like this. The bare bones of the story line itself was gripping - Chinese American girl really messes up (drugs, drinking, sex, parties, fails high school & SATs, rejected from every college application...you know...every parents' nightmare) and gets shipped to live with her newly discovered family in Beijing? Awesome! I loved the setting and references to history, culture and food. The writing-style was solid, I was captivated by the story, all of this should have added up to an amazing review. But then you meet the protagonist, Iris Wang. Iris Wang was honestly the reason this novel came apart at the seams. Not only was she unlikable - I can get passed unlikable characters - but she was disgustingly vapid, spoiled and self-absorbed to the point of being unbelievable. She did not develop or grow as a character at all throughout the ENTIRE novel. How is that possible? How was there nothing to redeem her even after the lessons of hardship others attempted to impart on her? Iris' next-level selfishness and lack of awareness was nausea-inducing. She was unimaginably thoughtless and persisted in her willful ignorance, even though Wong tried to absolve her at the end through a vaguely compassionate act (in reality Ruby's idea) that STILL did not reconcile all of her previous thoughts and actions. I refuse to believe that anyone can be this dense and unteachable without being deliberately malicious. I hate saying this, but I repeatedly wanted to scream at her for her stupidity and blindness. It was such an intense feeling of revulsion that it detracted from the overall story. There definitely needed to be more balance and growth when it came to her personality, and for that I cannot say that I would recommend this novel to others, even though it was an easy, fluffy read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I immediately requested this from NetGalley as soon as I read the incredible blurb: "Crazy Rich Asians meets Love & Gelato in this hilarious, quirky novel". Unfortunately, Iris' wildly self-absorbed and cringey antics never lived up to the blurb's promise. I read all of the book, hoping for some kind of redemption or growth for Iris, but nope, should have DNF'd it the first time Iris mentioned her extreme facial hair issues. This should have been titled, "My Undeserved Summer of Stupidity and Gr I immediately requested this from NetGalley as soon as I read the incredible blurb: "Crazy Rich Asians meets Love & Gelato in this hilarious, quirky novel". Unfortunately, Iris' wildly self-absorbed and cringey antics never lived up to the blurb's promise. I read all of the book, hoping for some kind of redemption or growth for Iris, but nope, should have DNF'd it the first time Iris mentioned her extreme facial hair issues. This should have been titled, "My Undeserved Summer of Stupidity and Gross Bodily Functions". Iris is the worst kind of YA heroine: ignorant, spoiled, selfish, silly, without any of the sweetness that made us love Cher Horowitz. Having flunked out of high school without getting accepted to any colleges and after running up an insane credit card debt, her parents send Iris to spend the summer with her uncle's family in Beijing. After discovering her uncle is one of the top billionaires in China, Iris proceeds to whine, mope, screech, lie, and spend money around Beijing for her own sake. I felt less sorry for Iris than I did her cousin Ruby who was saddled with Iris for the summer. Unredeemable heroine aside, Iris' story was full of icky moments that seemed intended to play at comedic pratfalls but came across as gross or cringey. Iris tends to sprout enormously thick facial hair when under stress, something she blames on being born a Tiger (she blames almost everything on being born a Tiger). She blathers endlessly about being lactose intolerant so her consumption of dairy and the gassy aftermath are not fun to witness. Pages are dedicated to her dropping and retrieving her phone from an airplane toilet. There are subplots involving Iris' hostile cousin Ruby, long lost grandparents, a famed fortuneteller named Madame Xing, and Frank, Iris' enigmatic tutor. But just like she did to her parents, Iris essentially hurts or disappoints all of them. There's no development or growth here, with the exception of Iris' often-mentioned mustache hairs. From the blurb, I had high hopes for a YA Crazy Rich Asians but instead got a disappointingly crass look at an unbelievably self-absorbed teenager let loose in Beijing. For the full review, see my blog Lucky Reads Romance text

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