Loveboat, Taipei

Abigail Hing Wen

Book - 2020

When Ever Wong's parents sent her away for the summer, she's expecting Chien Tan: a strict, educational immersion program in Taiwan. Instead, she finds the infamous "Loveboat." There, Ever is surrounded by prodigies, like Rick Woo, Chinese American wonder boy and longtime bane of her existence; Ever's roommate, the confident and clever Sophia Ha, as glamorous as she is sharp; and the intimidatingly cool Xavier Yeh, heir to an international tech empire. But her classmates... are more interested in the nonstop Taipei nightlife than anything to do with the curriculum. Hookups abound, snake-blood sake flows, and adult supervision is nonexistent. For the first time ever, Ever is discovering what freedom tastes like and it's exhilarating. But summer will end and Ever will be back to her parents and the future they've planned for her. Will she let this glimpse of freedom go - or will Loveboat give her the courage to pursue the future she dreams of, and the Ever Wong she wants to be?

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Subjects
Genres
Bildungsromans
Romance fiction
Published
New York, NY : HarperTeen [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
414 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062957276
0062957279
Main Author
Abigail Hing Wen (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ever Wong has spent 18 years being measured against the impossible standards of her parents' admiration for high-achieving Chinese Americans. They literally ran her crush away (devastatingly into the arms of her best friend!) and, on the cusp of adulthood, are forcing her to pursue medical school instead of her true love, dance. When she's sent to Chien Tan in Taipei, what she expects to be a laborious language and cultural program she finds is nicknamed Loveboat for a reason, turning Ever's summer into one of love, mischief, and self-awakening that she will soon not forget. Wen's depiction of a wild summer disguised as an educational summer camp is brimming with hormones under scant supervision and Loveboat's rowdy reputation. Ever's thorny friendship with Sophie and a love triangle between brilliant Rick, with his effortless charm, and bad boy Xavier provides a strong romance, but some heavy subplots make it a serious read, too. It's Ever's resulting growth in the face of parental expectations and heartache that will resonate most with readers far and wide. Grades 10-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

From tea eggs to snake blood sake, the energy of Taipei in the summer provides a winning backdrop to this joyful debut about a young American dancer who finds love and freedom by exploring her Taiwanese roots. By the time Ever Wong's conservative immigrant parents send her to Taiwan for a summer of cultural immersion, she has abandoned her dreams of Broadway for a career in medicine. What she finds instead is the friendship of glamorous Manhattanite Sophie Ha and the romantic attentions of both mercurial prodigy Rick Woo and playboy heir Xavier Yeh. While navigating humid nightclub rendezvous, terrible mistakes, and barely passed Mandarin lessons, Ever gloriously sheds her shame and insecurity and finds the courage to own her choices. Wen deftly conveys the less-explored experience of being an Asian-American in Asia and, importantly, her characters embody the diversity within Asian-American identity. Sobering subjects, including animal abuse and mental health challenges, add additional layers to the heady summer story, but Wen keeps the strongest focus on her characters' freedom and evolution as they grow secure in their identities and desires. Ages 13–up. (Jan.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Ever Wong is waiting to hear back from colleges and decide where her life will lead. Like many teenagers, the path she dreams of is not the same as the one her parents have in mind. She longs to dance while her parents expect her to attend medical school, for which they have been grooming her since birth, and it doesn't seem to matter that the sight of blood makes her faint. When she is forced to leave Ohio and study abroad in Taipei, Ever is devastated. Once again, her parents are deciding her future without her involvement, and dancing is looking more and more like an impossibility. However, Ever learns from the other students that this educational experience is really a chance for teens to live without rules and experiment with love, and it may not be as bad as she anticipated. For a girl who has lived by her parents' strict rules, this freedom is refreshing and exciting. Wen creates a relatable story line for teens discovering who they really are and want to be. The author does a great job of immersing readers in the sights and sounds of Taipei, and she illustrates the culture through scenes of gatherings with friends and Ever's interactions with locals in the city. VERDICT YA readers will love the mix of romance, defiance, adventure, culture, and friendship.—Jessica Perovich, US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Library Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Sent from her Ohio home to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, a Chinese American girl struggles through strict educational practices and unfamiliar dating norms before discovering the painful secrets held by an assortment of new friends. 150,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"And just like that, Ever Wong's summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is 'Chien Tan,' the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, and the nightlife runs nonstop"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

When her parents send her to Taipei for an immersion program, Ever Wong finds herself surrounded by classmates who are more interested in the Taipei nightlife and discovering what freedom feels like.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A New York Times bestseller!Optioned for film by the producers of Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I've LOVED BEFORE.Most anticipated novel of 2020: Boston Globe, Book Riot, Bustle, Nerd Daily, Seventeen, She Reads.Praised as 'an intense rush of rebellion and romance' by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered debut from Abigail Hing Wen is 'a roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery.' (Kirkus)'Our cousins have done this program," Sophie whispers. "Best kept secret. Zero supervision.' And just like that, Ever Wong's summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.But not every student is quite what they seem:Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever's existence whose perfection hides a secret.Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.And under sexy Xavier Yeh's shell is buried a shameful truth he'll never admit.When these students' lives collide, it's guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.'A unique story from an exciting and authentic new voice.' 'sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes'Equal parts surprising, original, and intelligent. An intense rush of rebellion and romance.' 'stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval'Fresh as a first kiss.' 'stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon"Fresh, fun, heartfelt, and totally addictive, a story about finding your place'and your people'where you least expected." 'Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of the William C. Morris Award finalist Conviction

Review by Publisher Summary 5

-An instant New York Times Bestseller and Indie Bestseller!-Optioned for film by the producers of Jenny Han's Netflix series, TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE -#1 Cosmopolitan Audiobook of the Year-Featured in Entertainment Weekly, Seventeen, Boston Globe, South China Morning Post, World Journal, UK Evening Standard, Book Riot, Bustle, Nerd Daily, Forbes, Bloomberg, NBC Bay Area, ABC7- Barnes and Noble YA Book Club Pick- Companion novel Loveboat Reunion out Jan 25, 2022Praised as “an intense rush of rebellion and romance” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered debut from Abigail Hing Wen is “a roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery.” (Kirkus)“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.” And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.But not every student is quite what they seem:Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.“A unique story from an exciting and authentic new voice.” —Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes“Equal parts surprising, original, and intelligent. An intense rush of rebellion and romance.” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval“Fresh as a first kiss.” —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon"Fresh, fun, heartfelt, and totally addictive, a story about finding your place—and your people—where you least expected." —Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of the William C. Morris Award finalist Conviction