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Rent a Boyfriend av Gloria Chao
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Rent a Boyfriend (urspr publ 2020; utgåvan 2020)

av Gloria Chao (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
678307,680 (3.71)Ingen/inga
Medlem:chplus5
Titel:Rent a Boyfriend
Författare:Gloria Chao (Författare)
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2020), 400 pages
Samlingar:Mrs. C’s Classroom Library, Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Rent a Boyfriend av Gloria Chao (2020)

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Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
This was a great story and went so much deeper than just the breezy, fake dating premise. Chloe (Jing Jing at home) hires Drew to be her boyfriend at the Thanksgiving holidays to help stymie her parents arrangement of a marriage to the horrible sounding, but rich, Hongbo Kuo. Chao nicely adds a glossary at the back and explains in the Author's Note that bringing home a fake partner is still common in many Asian families. Drew is well prepared, even partnering with Chloe during a Mah-jjong game with her parents and being able to team up easily. I was very impressed at how well he fit in. Of course, there's a real life attraction too, and the book revolves around Chloe's eventual reveal to her parents about Drew and how she would like to have some autonomy over her life. ( )
  ethel55 | May 10, 2021 |
I liked it. Gloria Chao is a new author to me. This was a fake dating story between two Asian-American young people. Chloe wants to get out of an engagement her parents are trying to arrange for her and rents Drew to be her boyfriend. They end up liking each other for real and of course have to deal with all the un-truths they have been telling her parents. ( )
  sdbookhound | Apr 5, 2021 |
I was obviously attracted to this book because of its premise especially the entire concept of "Renting a fake boyfriend'. It was interesting to read about the different Chinese traditions and customs.

Initially the plot was interesting but I felt that it was dragged a bit too much. In terms of the main characters, I enjoyed Chloe and Drew, their gradual relationship, understanding and support for each other as well as their message interactions were all well written.

I was seriously surprised at the attitude and nature of Chloe's parents in this book, it was kind of hard to digest that such kind of parents actually exist. And Hongbo, the guy because of whom Chloe had to actually rent a boyfriend, is simply awful and has the capacity to get on your nerves every time he appears. I think I too would have hired a fake boyfriend if I had to get engaged to a guy like Hongbo.

I was quite happy with the ending and glad that both Chloe and Drew were able to find the courage to stand up for themselves and be able to communicate their choices.

Overall, an okay and easy read but not something that I would recommend in the romance category. ( )
  Vanessa_Menezes | Mar 17, 2021 |
Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Great
Recommended: Highly
Level: High School

I picked up this book expecting a cute romance, and instead got hit in the gut with one of the most relatable female characters I've ever personally encountered in YA media. While I am very much white, and this book represents Asian culture, I found myself relating very strongly to Chloe's dilemma, especially how she felt she had to be a different person around her traditional parents. There were many points throughout the book where I had to stop because things were hitting too close to home, and for that I have to say this book really resonated with me.

Rent a Boyfriend follows the story of Chloe (or Jing-Jing, if you're talking to her parents) Wang, a college student who wants nothing more than to live her life without her parents breathing down her neck. When they try to force her into an engagement with a horrendously awful man named Hongbo, Chloe decides she can't take their meddling anymore. Desperate for an escape, she seeks the help of a company named Rent for Your 'Rents, allowing her to rent a boyfriend for the holidays to get her parents off of her back. What she doesn't expect, however, is to fall in love with her boyfriend for hire. Drew is kind, smart, sensitive, and a fantastic artist who has been estranged from his own traditional family for pursuing a "dead-end" career. The harder Chloe falls for this definitely-not-parent-friendly boy, the more difficult it becomes to untangle her intricate web of lies.

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE Chloe Wang. Not only do I strongly relate to her situation with her parents, but there were many other instances in which I felt I truly understood her. Chloe struggles with severe self-esteem issues, some of which were brought on by not feeling good enough for her extremely strict parents. Her mother nags her constantly throughout the story, telling her to move closer to home and lose weight and change her major. Chloe's mother also says a number of shockingly hurtful things without meaning to be hurtful, something else I strongly related to. While some might read this and think Chao was severely overplaying the "cruel parent" part, I felt seen in an entirely new way. Yes, there really are parents out there cruel enough to tell their children, "You will never find someone who wants you without our help," and it really is devastating to hear.

Another way in which I related to Chloe was her shyness, and her inability to fit in with the "cool" crowd at school. At one point, she laments the fact that she can't hang out with people in college without feeling like a "wet blanket" because she hates drinking. As someone who spent her college years in a sorority but hated drinking, I also relate to this sentiment. It's incredibly difficult to have a social life when your interests are completely different from those of your peers, especially after having a strict upbringing that shamed you for even considering rebellion. From the very beginning of this book, I found myself rooting for Chloe, and felt that I would likely do the exact same thing if I were in her shoes.

Lastly, I relate to Chloe's unending desire to remain connected to her parents, even when they say hurtful things or push her to do things she doesn't want to do. I have spent my entire life trying to please my parents and make them proud, and I profoundly felt her pain when she despaired over never being good enough to earn their praise. I spent a large portion of my formative years feeling the same way, and even though my parents have said hurtful things, I also feel the need to reach out to them to keep our relationship intact. It's an incredibly toxic dynamic, but one that is very real and very harmful. I'm really glad that this book exists to shed some light on this dynamic.

Though I am German and know next to nothing about Chinese culture, I also really appreciated the cultural references injected into this book. I recently watched a cute animated film called Over the Moon, which featured the legend of Chang'e the moon goddess. Because of this, I was insanely happy to recognize some of the references to her and the "rabbit in the moon." I also loved the glossary of Chinese words and phrases in the back, which Chao personally defined herself rather than giving a textbook definition.

I could really see how much of herself and her culture Gloria Chao injected into this book, as she explained what some of the terms meant to her personally. I am a huge fan of Own Voice novels, and I absolutely love learning about new cultures and languages. And, while this is an excellent representation of Chao's culture, I still found it resonating very strongly with me simply because of the main character's struggles. For that, I have to say this book provides both an excellent window and mirror for me personally.

As someone who is a sucker for a good romance, I also thought Drew and Chloe were insanely cute together. While their relationship had to move fast for the sake of the plot, it still felt very genuine, as the two had a lot of instant chemistry. Drew is the kind of guy I wish I could find, as he's incredibly sweet and does everything in his power to make life easier for Chloe in any way he can. He's supportive and sensitive, and understands how important Chloe's relationship to her parents is, especially after losing his relationship with his own. At the same time, he isn't afraid to stand up for himself when he recognizes Chloe passing along some of the toxic traits she learned from her parents, and reminds her that it's not fair to constantly ask him to be a different person at the drop of a hat for her convenience. I thought this was a very healthy portrayal of a realistic relationship, and loved that it didn't have to revolve around pointless sex to get that message across.

As I mentioned above, the most important aspect of this book for me was the relationship between Chloe and her parents. While Chloe's parents say some things that make you truly want to hate them, they turn around at times and prove that their misguided words come from love. For example, Chloe's dad shields an illness from her to protect her, and her mom saves for months in order to pay for her tuition a year in advance. While their words cannot and should not be excused, the book presents the relationship between Chloe and her parents as being complicated. After all, both parties are lying to one another for good reason, and both want to understand the other's viewpoint to meet in the middle. Perhaps it was because I related so strongly to Chloe that I forgave her parents as she did, but I could certainly see the complicated nature of family dynamics playing out in a realistic way.

While I loved this book, I rated it four stars simply because some of the writing felt a little clunky and awkward at times. I loved the romance, but it did move relatively quickly, and it felt like certain things were resolved prematurely (like Drew and Chloe breaking up because she couldn't put him first) for the sake of moving the plot along. Despite this, I found myself smiling, laughing, and even shedding a few tears throughout this book, as I truly related to Chloe and wished I could find a romance like hers. After reading the Author's Note, I was glad to see that Chao had a really great relationship with her own parents, as I wouldn't wish Chloe's experience on anyone. The ending of the book gave me hope that there is always a way to see eye to eye with those you love, even if it takes some time and effort.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt misunderstood by their family, especially if you have long-lasting self esteem issues from trying too hard to be perfect all the time. I would also recommend this to anyone looking for a cute romance with diverse characters, as Asian culture isn't as readily presented in realistic romance as I would like. I will most definitely be adding this book to my library's collection, as well as my Romance list; it was an incredibly sweet, relatable story that I believe will win the hearts of many teens. ( )
  SWONroyal | Feb 9, 2021 |
Faced with pressure to marry a family friend, nineteen year old Chloe hires a boyfriend from Rent for Your ‘Rents for Thanksgiving.

Fake dating is one of my favourite romance tropes, but this example requires a lot more deception than some. Not only are Chloe and Drew lying about their relationship, Drew is pretending to be someone he’s not. There are a lot of lies to maintain -- and so much to explain if their relationship ever does become real. It’s kind of stressful!

But Rent a Boyfriend is also a thoughtful, and ultimately positive, exploration of Chloe’s experience being the child of Chinese immigrants. Communication is complicated by her parents’ cultural expectations and because of the ways Chloe’s values and perspective differs from theirs.

She rents a boyfriend because she sees it as a conflict-free way to express her disagreement with her parents’ plans for her future. And she wants to avoid conflict not just because she struggles with anxiety (which she does), but because she loves her parents and she wants a good relationship with them. Meanwhile, her parents are trying to show their love for her….

But bringing someone home -- someone who gets a front-row seat to Chloe’s family’s dynamic, with whom she can discuss the whole situation -- turns out to be helpful. Especially because, between his own family experience and his job, Drew’s observed many families with similar challenges.

So, not quite the fake dating story I expected, but really interesting nevertheless (and gave me a broader understanding of families different from my own.)

"Is there something wrong with me? How is my relationship with my parents so messed up that I’m renting a fake boyfriend AGAIN?"
"There’s more than one person in a relationship"
"I didn’t expect you to be up
Sorry if I woke you
I don’t even know why I texted in the first place"
"Because I’ve seen it firsthand"
"Yeah"
"I’m here. You’re not alone, in that sense, but also in the sense that our company has no shortage of clients. I’ve already had 2 jobs since Thanksgiving."
( )
  Herenya | Dec 27, 2020 |
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