2 Fun Asian Contemporary YA Reads: Fake It Till You Break It & Anna K

November 19, 2020 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

2 Fun Asian Contemporary YA Reads: Fake It Till You Break It & Anna KFake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
Published by Swoon Reads on May 28, 2019
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Own Voices
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.
After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.
The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought...

Fake It Till You Break It

This was the cutest romcom about fake dating ever! How do you get a teenager to do NOT something you want? Suggest they should do it of course. Seeing Mia and Jake agree to date one another to get their moms off their backs was so cute, and I loved all the childhood moments that they shared with one another.

The characters were also completely adorable, I adored the talkative, loyal and adorable Mia, especially in contrast to the quiet, sweet Jake. I was totally here for their relationship evolving over time and it was filled with many cute moments. In the story, Mia does kind of date two guys at one time which made for some pretty awkward double dating moments with some cringe-worthy scenes. I did find the cheating to be kind of annoying, with some predictable scenes and confrontations that you could imagine. However, I still managed to enjoy it, especially with the alternating chapters between Mia and Jake as well.

If you’re looking for a sweet, romantic romcom about fake dating, with lots of mentions of dumplings, Korean dramas and bubble tea, let this one brighten up your day!

Rating: 3 out of 5

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy. 

Fake it til You Break It is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$29.99 or from The Book Depository.


2 Fun Asian Contemporary YA Reads: Fake It Till You Break It & Anna KAnna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee
on March 5, 2020
Source: Borrowed
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Own Voices
Amazon | Book Depository | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.
Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna's brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather an sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.
As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.
Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy's timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

Anna K: A Love Story

Sex, drugs and rock n roll, or should I say, partying up in elite Manhattan – with Asian characters! I was definitely intrigued when it was described as a cross between Crazy Rich Asians and Gossip Girl, and I was really glad I picked it up, because I really enjoyed it. I would probably highlight it as a New Adult read – there’s a lot of sex, drug use and abuse and some themes such as female sexuality and slut shaming.

There’s many important discussions here, such as white male privilege, Asian diaspora and expectations from traditional parents, having high expectations of your children (in high society or otherwise, it’s still applicable), gendered consequences of female desire and having sex compared to male privilege, racism and so many other important points. I haven’t read the original classic, but this is the perfect way to experience the tale as its updated for a modern setting.

I did struggle with the messy characters and trying to connect to some of them, particularly Anna who cheats on her boyfriend who is in hospital with another guy. In fact, the whole plot seems to be centered around the cheating. It’s great to read a sex positive read, especially with so few YA covering this topic, but it definitely still had its issues.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Anna K is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$16.99 or from The Book Depository.

Trigger warnings: suicide, animal abuse, drug addiction and abuse, drug-related death, eating disorders

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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2 responses to “2 Fun Asian Contemporary YA Reads: Fake It Till You Break It & Anna K

  1. I’ve been pretty skeptical about Anna K! I was strangely drawn to the original book because it dealt with infidelity in a way that opened my eyes at that point, but it did annoy me a lot because Anna was a difficult protagonist for the most part. I don’t want to judge the retelling based on the original, but the book is pretty hefty, lol, and I really want to make sure I’ll like it before I take the plunge.
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  2. I appreciate the trigger warnings for Anna K. As interesting as the books sounds, I don’t think I would be able to get through it with the triggers listed. I will have to check out Fake It Till You Break Out though. Great reviews!
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