Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing WenLoveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 7th January 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

In 2020 I’m going to be bringing back my Debut Showcase feature in which I showcase debut books and authors. Throughout the year there will be interviews, giveaways, reviews, and other fun things for you to take part in. Check out previous posts in this feature here, and take a look at my introduction post and my list for January’s debut books!

I think a lot of people will love Loveboat, Taipei but unfortunately it was not a good book for me. I was intrigued by it because I was promised a YA version of Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m always here for a bit of Rich People Drama, but instead the book dragged and was super boring the entire time.

I did really like the main character, Ever. She was headstrong and a very well developed character in many ways. Unfortunately, I didn’t like her relationships with the other characters. Some of them felt like fake friendships, and she was doing so much for them even though they were terrible to her, and one of the love interests was downright wrong for her.

I’m never a fan of cheating in relationships, and this book contained some lowkey emotional cheating that I was not here for. It really put me off during the first third of the book, and I couldn’t regain my enthusiasm as the book went on.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t love this one, especially as it has received so many glowing reviews!

Thank you for reading my review of Loveboat, Taipei! Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments below.

Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

Three Things I Know Are True by Betty CulleyThree Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 7th January 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

This moving debut novel in verse about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of an accident that nearly takes her brother’s life is a stunning exploration of grief and the power of forgiveness.

The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite blasts rock—leaving a soft crater.

Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body.

With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.

In 2020 I’m going to be bringing back my Debut Showcase feature in which I showcase debut books and authors. Throughout the year there will be interviews, giveaways, reviews, and other fun things for you to take part in. Check out previous posts in this feature here, and take a look at my introduction post and my list for January’s debut books!

Three Things I Know Are True has the honour of being my first review of 2020, and my first featured debut book! I have to admit that I don’t usually care for novels that are written in verse. Something about it just stops me from connecting to the book like I would with normal prose.

This was still the case for Three Things I Know Are True. I really, really enjoyed it, but because I struggled with the format in which it is written, I couldn’t truly connect with it. That said, the book gave me a lot to think about and it has stuck with me for over a month after finishing it.

Three Things I Know Are True is a truly emotional story about a girl whose brother has been paralysed after playing around with a gum. It gave me so much to think about in terms of the topic at hand – gum control in the US. I don’t think the author advocated for either side of the debate overly strongly, but she did lay out the situation and the reasoning behind people’s opinions.

I really, really enjoyed this book, and I think if it had been written in normal prose, it would have hit me a lot harder. As it stands, I was still hit quite hard by the situation that the characters were in, but there was definitely some disconnect there.

I would highly, highly recommend reading Three Things I Know Are True, so please don’t be put off by my star rating. If you enjoy novels told in verse then this is a book that you should definitely read. The characters manage to draw so much emotion and the relationships between the characters was a joy to read about.

Debut Interview: Betty Culley

I’m delighted to have interviewed debut author Betty Culley for my first interview of this new(ish) feature! I’m planning on hosting a lot more authors on the blog in the coming months, and I’m so glad that Betty gets to be the first.

Betty Culley wrote a YA contemporary novel called Three Things I Know Are True, which is coming out on 7th January. It’s a great book about a girl whose brother is now paralysed from a gun accident, and she has now become his carer. She also has feelings for her brother’s friend who was with him at the time of the accident, so it’s a bit complicated! Three Things I Know Are True is super emotional, and I’m so happy to be giving it and Betty a spotlight today.

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Debut Showcase 2020: Introduction & January 2020 Debut Books

And we’re back in the game! Debut Showcase is an old feature from back in the day when I was posting more regularly, and I wanted to bring it back for 2020 with some new faces and some fresh ideas. I’m so incredibly passionate about promoting debut authors, and due to me wanting to share the love, this feature was born.

What to expect from Debut Showcase

These Debut Showcase posts will be posted throughout the month. The first post of the month will list all of the debuts that are releasing in the upcoming month, as well as the dates I’ll be posting my interviews with the debut authors.

Throughout the month I will be posting my reviews of the debut books, as well as author interviews so you can get to know the authors and their works.

At the end of the month, I’ll be posting a wrap up post that will collect all of these things, PLUS I’ll be including links to posts from other members of the community, PLUS there will be a monthly giveaway in which you can win one debut from that previous month. Sound good? I thought so.

Why bring Debut Showcase back now?

Like I said, I’ve been passionate about promoting debut authors ever since I first started blogging. I launched this feature in 2012, and I was sad when I could no longer keep it up. But now I have the time to do it, and I have the knowledge and the connections to make it into something even bigger, so why not now? Also, having it be a new decade was really motivating for me. 2020 is going to be great!

How can I be involved?

If you’re a blogger, it would greatly help me if you subscribed to my blog and shared my posts! If you know of any debut book that I haven’t featured in my posts, then shoot me a message. There’s always a chance I could miss something. And if you have written your own posts about the book(s), send me the link and I’ll put it in my post! I love to share the love.

I also have a couple of things planned for the coming year (a challenge and a readathon may be on the horizon!)

If you’re a debut author in 2020, feel free to send me a message about your book, as well as telling me whether or not you’d like to be interviewed. If you’re traditionally published, there’s a good chance your book is on my radar anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

All in all, what would really help promote debut authors is engagement and sharing my posts.

Anyway, enough with the rambling. Let me tell you about the debut authors that have books coming out in January 2020!

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