February 8, 2022
After graduating from UCLA, Jasmine Tran works at her family’s donut shop, having no idea what else to do with her life and very few prospects. Enter Alex Lai: her best friend’s boyfriend’s roommate—and her old crush. Things are going great between the two… until one fateful dinner when Alex finally meets Jasmine’s parents, with his own mother in tow. It turns out that Alex lied to his mother about Jas's accomplishments to make her look better. Needless to say, the dinner does not go well, and Alex has a lot of groveling to do. Meanwhile, Jasmine takes on a new job, one that gets her out of the donut shop.
This book is centered on lies and lying. What motivates someone to lie? Jas, under pressure from her strict parents, lies to them about going out, meeting new people, and doing new things. Alex, in a bid to make Jasmine seem like a more suitable partner to his mother, lies about who she is and what she’s done with her life. But in the end, Jasmine and her parents navigate the lying minefield and have a real discussion that is wholly satisfying.
I listened to this one on audio and really enjoyed it! The dynamics (and difficulties) between the first-generation Chinese immigrant parents and the second-generation characters were so nuanced and complex. I really enjoyed vicariously exploring these cultural differences.
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