Rent a Boyfriend, by Gloria Chao | Book Review
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Gloria Chao
Age Range: 14+
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
What to expect: Relationships, College, Romance, and Humor
Chloe, or Jing-Jing as she is known to her family, is at her wit’s end. Her very traditional Taiwanese parents are obsessed with forcing her to marry the richest (and the worst) guy she could ever imagine. He may be the son of a wealthy family friend, but he’s an awful, misogynistic human being. But clever Chloe comes up with the perfect solution: to tell her parents she already has a boyfriend, one who goes to the right school and has the right traditional Chinese family. Enter Andrew, a very expensive boyfriend-for-hire from Rent for Your’ Rents. He’s got the charm, the looks, and knows the right things to say to “Type C” parents like hers—thanks to her in-depth application.
He greets her parents in perfect Mandarin with a Taipei accent – precisely what they want to hear. So far, he’s a dream catch for Chloe, and her parents quickly start digging into his (fake) past while digging into Thanksgiving dinner (traditional Chinese food plus a restaurant-catered Turkey dinner).
The weekend visit is going as well as any fake boyfriend/girlfriend visit could go, and at some points, Chloe thinks that there might even be something more under Andrew’s surface. When she starts to fall for the real (An)Drew, she discovers that he’s as unlike his fake persona as any person could be. How can Chloe reconcile the real Drew with her real life? Can she become both Chloe and Jing-Jing while loving her roots and staying true to her authentic self?
With Chao’s signature humor and whip-smart dialog, RENT A BOYFRIEND is everything her fans have come to love—and it will delight new readers. Chloe has a hilarious inner dialog that is honest and moving. Her struggle to become the Chloe/Jing-Jing she wants to be, and who arguably she already is, will resonate with readers. The older protagonists spread the age range of readership, while still maintaining accessibility to a younger audience. Most teens can identify with wanting to be different than what their parents imagine, just like Chloe.
With hilarious scenes and heartfelt young adult musings, RENT A BOYFRIEND is Chao’s most entertaining book yet. Highly recommended!
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About the Author
Gloria Chao is the critically acclaimed author of American Panda, Our Wayward Fate, and Rent a Boyfriend. When she’s not writing, you can find her with her husband on the curling ice or hiking the Indiana Dunes. She does not regret putting aside her MIT and dental degrees to write, and she is 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.
Read our exclusive interview: Gloria Chao Discusses Rent a Boyfriend
Rent a Boyfriend, by Gloria Chao, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Rent a Boyfriend by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Asian American Books, Contemporary Romance Books, Gloria Chao, Humor, Relationships, and Young Adult Fiction.
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