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.
My Summer of Love and Misfortune is the funniest book I’ve read this year. Think Crazy Rich Asians meets Sandhya Menon’s books. The premise: Iris is sent to live with relatives she’s never met in Beijing, after failing high school and being a general mess. Iris acts and thinks like a teenager, but the book reads more adult than YA. There are so many funny moments with traveling faux pas, awkward teenage moments, delicious foodie descriptions. Family and connecting with culture is at the heart of this book. This book is a hilarious adventure that will cure the travel bug while we’re all staying home this summer.