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Lily Chu

Forfatter af The Stand-In

5 Værker 561 Medlemmer 19 Anmeldelser

Værker af Lily Chu

The Stand-In (2021) 405 eksemplarer, 9 anmeldelser
The Comeback (2022) 124 eksemplarer, 10 anmeldelser
The Takedown (2024) 28 eksemplarer
Bottled Up 1 eksemplar

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This was a cute listen, though at times the plot felt comfortable and predictable (especially the email part). I would have liked to see more of Ari’s relationship growth with her father and sister. I would have also liked to see Ari stick it to her coworkers. Phillipa Soo was amazing, as always.
ehoustonmyatt | 9 andre anmeldelser | May 19, 2024 |
Ariadne (Ari) Hui is a lawyer whose primary focus, right now, is making partner at her firm. She works hard, tries to do all the right things, and does her best not to stick out any more than she already does by being visibly Asian. It's not a job that makes her happy, but that doesn't really matter.

Then she comes home one evening to find some random stranger in the apartment she shares with her friend Hana. His name is Choi Jihoon, and it turns out that he's Hana's cousin. He's come from Seoul to Toronto for a few weeks in order to get over a bad breakup - Hana's on a work trip and forgot to mention him. Ari tries to simultaneously be a good hostess and not let him upset her routine and her work. However, he's ridiculously good-looking, and there's a steadily growing attraction between them. Ari finds herself drawn to him and enjoying his company even as she worries he might still be hung up on his ex. Plus, he's leaving soon and she has her career to worry about.

Then Jihoon's secrets blow up in both their faces, and Ari finds herself faced with complications and decisions she never expected. Both Jihoon and Ari have to figure out who they are when they're not doing their jobs, and what they really want enough to fight for.

The publisher had some choices to make here, and they opted to spoil something on the back cover description that isn't fully revealed in the text until about 150 pages in, although I suppose there are enough hints that it isn't too hard to guess. The back cover spoiler helped underscore one of the draws of this book but, at the same time, I think it made the pacing seem worse than it actually was. It seemed to take ages for Ari to finally learn what was really going on with Jihoon, who'd only told her that he worked in the music industry and that he was having some writer's block with his newest lyrics.

While I liked Chu's The Stand-in, I felt that the growing friendship between Gracie and Fangli was stronger than the romance between Gracie and Sam. This time, however, she got the balance right. Ari and Jihoon got plenty of time to get to know each other and become more comfortable with each other - Ari's passion was planning excursions and trips for people based on what she knew about them, and the walks she planned for Jihoon were fun and interesting. I think Ari noted this herself, but when they went out on walks together it was almost like they were going on dates without actually dating.

At the same time, Ari's relationships with her family and best friend still got enough room to breathe. Chu writes some great, complex minor characters, especially women.

Professionally and family-wise, it was pretty obvious from the outside what Ari needed to do, although it took her a while to get to a point where she could see it and then get the courage to do it. Things were more complicated when it came to Jihoon. There was a moment that was an absolute gut punch, and I was glad that Chu gave Ari (and me!) time to process it and how she felt about it before nudging her towards the HEA.

All in all, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading Chu's next release.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
… (mere)
Familiar_Diversions | 9 andre anmeldelser | Apr 7, 2024 |
Romance which includes but lightly traverses issues of mental health, multi-racial identity and self-worth, the last being the one bearing the most weight. Fun and well paced with some satisfactory glam wardrobe moments.
1 stem
quondame | 8 andre anmeldelser | Mar 19, 2024 |
Loved it. Well written and cute story. I figured it out part way through but written so well that I kept reading. Where is the planner app? I need that planner in my life!
mybookloveobsession | 8 andre anmeldelser | Mar 12, 2024 |


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Associated Authors

Phillipa Soo Narrator
Leni Kauffman Cover artist



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