Loveboat, Taipei is about an 18 year old Chinese American named Ever who just wants to dance. However, her very strict parents won’t hear of it and insist that she goes to school and becomes a doctor. They decided for the summer before college to send her to Taipei to study Mandarin. Little do they know this 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.
I actually really enjoyed this book. I had a feeling after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis that I would enjoy this book and it was exactly what I had envisioned. It was a quick, entertaining, fun read full of mischief and antics.
Ever was a little too naïve at the start of the book for me. She really lets her parent’s walk all over her and won’t stand up for herself at all. I understand there are cultural differences and the expectations that Ever’s parents have put on her would have weighed her down over the years. I did appreciate transformation she undertakes over the course of the plot, where she finally finds her voice and passion and decides to pursue what she loves.
I found the romances progress a little too quickly. Ever definitely comes across as quite innocent and wholesome, so the fact that after only knowing these boys for a few weeks she makes the decision to sleep with them didn’t quite make sense to me. I think she mentions that she hasn’t even had a boyfriend before so it was just a little strange. Other than that detail I enjoyed the banter between them all. I mean it was a little bit predictable to be honest but the entertainment factor kept me from being too bothered!
I loved all of the culture that is interwoven with the plot. From all the different foods that Ever discovers and the nightlife over in Taipei as well as meeting all the other Chinese Americans and how they all differ. It definitely adds a layer of realism and depth to the story and I really enjoyed seeing these differences from Ever’s point of view.
⭐️4/5 stars Kind of like a YA version of Crazy Rich Asians