Crazy Rich Asians meets Love & Gelato in this hilarious, quirky novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the decadent 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: Her boyfriend cheated on her, she didn’t get into any colleges, and she has no idea who she is or what she wants to do with her life. She’s always felt torn about being Chinese-American, feeling neither Chinese nor American enough to claim either identity. She’s just a sad pizza combo from Domino’s, as far as she’s concerned.
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 would “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents the condescension, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button on the apocalyptic disaster that has become her life.
With this trip, Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. Instead, she gets 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.
Lindsay Wong is the author of the bestselling, award-winning memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. She has a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University, and she is now based in Vancouver, Canada. My Summer of Love and Misfortune is her first YA novel. Visit her online at LindsayMWong.WordPress.com or on Twitter @LindsayMWong.
"Narrator Nancy Wu's confident and girlish voice pulls listeners into Iris's dream world, in which weed, fashion, and Sephora are paramount. When Chinese–American Iris fails her senior year of high school, she is sent to visit family in Beijing. The opportunity to connect with her culture is challenging. Her difficulty is reflected in slow, deliberate pronunciation as Iris learns Chinese and in the indignant shouts of 'What is wrong with you?' when locals are baffled at her clumsy attempts to speak the language. Iris's parents speak in stern tones; their accents are lighter than those of the Beijing family. Iris gasps and speaks in rushed, defensive tones when she's in trouble, and her cousin criticizes in harsh, clipped remarks. Wu perfectly paces her narration of Iris's journey to become a better person."