May is here, meaning Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is in full swing! And today, we’re highlighting Sher Lee’s swoon-worthy debut rom-com, Fake Dates And Mooncakes!
Fake Dates And Mooncakes is our definition of a feel-good read. The romance between our main characters, Dylan and Theo, can face any obstacle, and we’re absolutely here for their fated love. We have faith in destiny, and this novel confirms it!
So listen up, fans of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper and Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians: this book is for you! Here are three things we love about Sher Lee’s Fake Dates And Mooncakes!
Content Warnings: deceased parents, mention of alcoholism
Summary: Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.
Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.
In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.
Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?
It’s Rich With Elements From Singaporean Chinese Culture
If you didn’t already know, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important holiday after the Lunar New Year. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunions, no matter how busy everyone is. And we love how the Singaporean-American characters in the novel never fail to keep their traditions and honor their heritage in the States. The author explains the lunar calendar and gives us a history of mooncakes and their significance during the Mid-Autumn Festival. And we can’t forget the classic tale of Houyi and Chang’e, the goddess of the moon. Fake Dates And Mooncakes goes in-depth with Singaporean Chinese cultural references that hook us from the first chapter!
The Devoted Love Interest
It’s not every day we read a book about a love interest who’s willing to go to the moon and back for our protagonist. (No, not literally to the moon. But it was close enough!) Be warned: there’s a bit of drama because Theo comes from a rich family with unrealistic expectations. Despite everything, Theo Somers is the poster boy for “If he wanted to, he would.” It doesn’t matter that he casually spends $10,000 on a pair of limited-edition Cartier cuff links. He’s down-to-earth with a passion for art and music and knows how to use resources to his advantage. Even though they come from two different worlds, Dylan and Theo’s romance is the sweetest! We’re still gushing about them.
Focus On Family Values
Family drives everything in Fake Dates And Mooncakes, and we love that! Dylan’s close-knit, working-class family contrasts with Theo’s distant, super-rich one. And did we mention there’s a wedding with dysfunctional family hijinks? Our main characters crash and save the wedding at the same time. The wedding also introduces us to more context and lovely side characters we need for the story to feel complete. And we live for the messiness of family drama when it doesn’t involve us. Seeing how everything gets resolved in the end is so heartwarming.
We’ll look for any reason to recommend Sher Lee’s Fake Dates And Mooncakes to others. We learned much about the Mid-Autumn Festival and how much care and effort goes into making the best mooncakes. The romance and pacing were top-tier, and the drama was worth it!
Fake Dates And Mooncakes is out May 16th and is available for preorder here!
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