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Loveboat, Taipei

by Abigail Hing Wen

Series: Loveboat, Taipei (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
2196100,611 (3.59)None
A New York Times bestseller! Optioned for film by the producers of Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE. Most anticipated novel of 2020: Boston Globe, Book Riot, Bustle, Nerd Daily, Seventeen, She Reads. 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 roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery." (Kirkus) "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… (more)
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It was cute and at times funny. Some annoying things such as "anyways." A little steamy for a YA book. ( )
  Dairyqueen84 | Mar 15, 2022 |
soapy and sappy. I still enjoyed it.

It's a young adult book with love triangles. Main difference is that it's set in Love Boat Taipei ... where parents send their kids to get educated in Chinese culture and language ... and instead those kids get an education in other things.

I actually disliked Ever, the protagonist, for a good part of the book. As a parent of an eighteen year old, I found a lot of their advice practical. It's the story that kept me turning pages ... like the back story of Xaiver and Rick. And the mystery artist who drew pictures of Ever.

I found this book because my wife was Abby's real life roommate in Love Boat. So I have heard many stories of Love Boat already. And no, my wife and I didn't meet at Love Boat. But we did both go to Taiwan at different times as kids.



( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Teen) for promotional purposes.

I was really looking forward to reading this one since it is an Asian American Own Voices novel, but unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

The whole beginning and middle section felt like an early 2000’s teen book. There was a lot of unnecessary drama and it felt so unrealistic. The main character, Ever, went from total good girl to rebellious teenager so quickly. Also, the students in the program would often get in trouble for some things, but for other things, the faculty had no clue what was going on. (Sorry if that sounds super vague, I’m trying to remain spoiler free).

Additionally, I didn’t love either of the two potential love interests for Ever. I just didn’t see any chemistry between Ever and either one of them.

The book did get better towards the end (around the last quarter). Once a lot of the initial drama was resolved, the book became more enjoyable. There was actually time spent on character development, which was sorely missing for a large part of the book. Also at the end, the message and lessons really shined through.

Overall, parts of this book were lacking, while other parts were satisfying. ( )
  oddandbookish | Apr 28, 2021 |
I struggled with how to rate this one, for the most part I found it entertaining and I enjoyed the setting and the cultural elements, but as much as I did like Ever, there were other characters that I think I may have preferred to be at the forefront of the story.

Ever’s parents fear boys and dancing will steer their doctor-to-be down the wrong path so they send her to a summer program in Taiwan where they hope she’ll learn mandarin and stay on track as the “perfect” daughter. However, Loveboat Taipei, as the program is known among the students, offers many opportunities for rebellion and for the first time in her life, Ever decides to indulge.

Partying isn’t remotely my thing in life, so it isn’t necessarily high on my list to read about either, but I could see how it was important in Ever’s process of figuring out who she is without her parents making all her decisions for her, so even though those weren’t my favorite scenes in the book, at least they didn’t just feel like the obligatory YA scenes where the characters make obviously questionable decisions, it did feel like that experience was necessary to Ever’s growth.

I’m torn over whether or not this book had too much going on. It touches on bigotry, stereotypes, slut-shaming, mental health, dyslexia, self-esteem, and abuse, which is a lot, but because it only touches on those things, the book rarely feels all that heavy, so on the one hand I think this is a great way for readers who typically shy away from more serious subject matter to just kind of dip their toe in the water without feeling like they’re drowning in difficult things. But for readers like myself who are okay with delving into heavier material, there were definitely moments where I longed for a larger page count that would allow for digging deeper into these subjects, especially since it felt like the author would be capable of doing so.

That’s kind of tied into how I feel about Ever and wondering if maybe I would have liked Loveboat Taipei that much more had other characters been the lead instead of her. I do think having to choose between happiness and pleasing your parents is a strong story, relatable for plenty of people, and I wasn’t bored by Ever, it’s just that her story felt more familiar and I guess to some degree less complicated than what Sophie, Jenna, and Xavier were going through, and so oftentimes I found myself more invested in what was happening with them as side characters than what was happening with Ever the main character. I think part of that was about all three of those characters being a bit more morally gray than Ever, and in a way, a bit more vulnerable than her as well, and where Ever is mostly (though not always) an observer of the serious topics mentioned in the previous paragraph, Sophie, Jenna, and Xavier, were more directly involved in those situations, and to be in the very heart of those issues might have made for a more emotionally involving read.

While this wasn’t ultimately a five star read for me, I do like an author willing/able to mix fluffiness with seriousness and who crafts dimensional characters, so I’ll be happy to give the sequel a try whenever it releases. ( )
  SJGirl | May 12, 2020 |
A college friend was part of a so-called Loveboat program so I was curious to pick this up and see how the experience is portrayed. Ever (short for Everett) chafes at her strict parents’ expectations and dreams for her. They want her to attend medical school; she gets woozy at the sight of blood and her passion is dance. Without asking, they sign Ever up for an 8-week Chinese cultural program in Taipei. Once there, she finds herself one among many Asian American teens versus one of the few in her Ohio town. The program is known for its meat-market aspect; there are plenty of dalliances, flirting, short-lived relationships, and hookups. Ever finds herself in a love triangle between Rick, the prodigy kid her parents have held her up to, and his roommate Xavier, a brooding playa with unexpected secrets. A jacket blurb described this as “Crazy Rich Asians” meets Jane Austen. It didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. The characters weren’t fleshed out fully and I wanted more depth in the presentation of the Loveboat program and why it’s a big deal for Chinese American families. However, this #ownvoices book is unique in portraying this cultural phenomenon, and worth checking out for that. ( )
  Salsabrarian | May 11, 2020 |
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A New York Times bestseller! Optioned for film by the producers of Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE. Most anticipated novel of 2020: Boston Globe, Book Riot, Bustle, Nerd Daily, Seventeen, She Reads. 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 roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery." (Kirkus) "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

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