Wednesday, the 6th of October, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

My pick today is the first of a set of young adult companion novels (the second follows a different set of characters from the first) Loveboat Taipei (2020) by Abigail Hing Wen. In this one we have eighteen-year-old Ever Wong who is sent by her parents from Ohio to Taipei during the holidays to attend what they believe is a summer school to study Mandarin. Here Ever finds a set of kids who are overachievers and represent just the kind of person her parents wanted her to be, including a Yale-bound prodigy, Rick Woo. But unknown to her parents, this is no Mandarin study program at all but a teen-meet market, where club-hopping and drinking sake are what attendees engage in, and not calligraphy lessons or touring shrines. Here Ever gets to live without her parents’ strict rules for the first time. And also assess her real dreams–not simply those her parents dream for her. The book is being adapted for the screen as well.

So, this is a very different book from what I usually read. While I do like young adult fiction, it is usually mysteries or historical fiction that I pick up but this one is classed as a romance (I don’t read very many romance novels in general either). But what really attracted me to this book was that it is set in Taipei and I’ve never read anything much about Taiwan and no stories ever set there. And this is one major reason I would love to pick one this up. Also, the broad plot of immigrant children being sent back every year to study their language and stay in touch with their culture–this is real since the author based the setting on her own experiences–is something I’m interesting in reading about as well. So though I’m not as interested in the romance threads of the book, I think these other facets certainly make me want to read it.

Have you read this one? How did you find it? Do you read young adult fiction? Which are some of your favourite reads? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Lisa’s pick this week is also a 2020 publication, This is How We Fly by Anna Meriano, a Cinderella retelling which involves a ‘muggle’ Quidditch team.

The cover image and book description are from Goodreads as always


11 thoughts on “Shelf Control #154: Loveboat Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

  1. This does sound fun, Mallika, though heaven knows if I’ll ever get round to it! Also, with Taiwan being in the news because of mainland China’s continuing bellicosity, it may be a storyline that mayn’t be replicated in the not too distant future. 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is rather a frightening scenario. I was watching an interview with someone on the news yesterday who seemed to suggest that this was a bullying tactic but mayn’t take a more serious turn. One can only hope he’s right.

      Liked by 1 person

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