Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Release Date: November 10, 2020
- Genre: YA Contemporary
- Pages: 320 pages
- Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Book Depository
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets The Farewell in this incisive romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results, from the acclaimed author of American Panda.
Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.
Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.
When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.
But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?
A hilarious rom com with some really good characters! Being an asian myself, I know all about the parental and societal pressure in each and every aspect of life. You can’t do what you want, you can’t date who you want and before every action you take you always have to consider the consequence it will have on your own as well as your family’s reputation. This book along with being an entertaining and light rom com, it also focuses on parental pressure for marriage among other things.
Chloe didn’t want to pursue the career her parents wanted her to, of being a Doctor (no surprise there eh?) and neither does she want to marry someone of their choice. Getting them to back up on her college major was much easier than her future spouse and in a desperate attempt to get her parent’s off her back she hires a fake boyfriend. I loved Chloe’s character. She was strong, smart and funny. She tried to make herself heard even if her parents would never listen. She always stood her own ground and called out her parents on their act even if they considered it disrespectful.
Coming from a conservative Taiwanese family himself, Andrew knew how hard it was to make your parents understand your dreams. When he told them he wanted to pursue art as a career it was enough for them to disown him (seemed kinda extreme to me). Now he tries to do his best to make his client’s life easier by being the perfect fake boyfriend. Drew’s character was so well written. From the start till the end he was so supportive, caring, understanding and thoughtful. Always giving Chloe a choice and letting her speak out of herself. He was a nice refreshment from all the alpha grumpy males that are so popular these days.
Chloe and Drew pretended to be together, with Drew being a smart and successful medical student, until it wasn’t pretend anymore. I really loved the chemistry these two had. Chloe’s parents were real and the kinda parents you see in every asian book and drama. They were dramatic, narrow minded, inconsiderate of their daughter’s wishes and always throwing little insults at their daughter without knowing they were because no matter what she did her worth would always be calculated by the man she would marry. I loved Chloe for trying as hard as she did to be a part of their lives while still doing her own thing.
This one is written from dual point of view giving us the whole picture which I’m glad for because it was interesting to know more Drew’s job. The writing was enjoyable and there were so many details from Drew’s training to be a ‘Rent for your Parents’ to Chloe’s Asian roots & culture references many of which I didn’t get but were still intriguing to read and learn about. The only thing which I wish was different was how much of this book focused of Chloe’s parents. While that was necessary but I felt it could have been reduced as I grew bored at places reading about it in the form of long monologues.
Gloria Chao is the critically acclaimed author of American Panda, Our
Wayward Fate, and the upcoming Rent a Boyfriend (Nov 10, 2020).
When she’s not writing, you can find her with her husband on the
curling ice or hiking the Indiana Dunes. After a brief detour as a dentist,
she is now grateful to spend her days in fictional characters’ heads
instead of real people’s mouths.
Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at GloriaChao.wordpress.com and
find her on Twitter and Instagram @GloriacChao.
Agent: Kathleen Rushall
Publicist: Cassie Malmo
TV/Film: Kim Yau
Foreign Agent: Taryn Fagerness
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