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Bloom by Kenneth Oppel and Sophie Amos (Narrator)
Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton and Margaret Strom (Narrator)
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe
Cleopatra in Space: Queen of the Nile by Mike Maihack
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates and Elise Arsenault (Narrator)
Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Giant Days, Volume 14 by John Allison Giant Days, Volume 14 by John Allison
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alka
The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
Handbook for Homicide by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (narrator)
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers by Shauna Holyoak
Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn
A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh
Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1 by Naru Narumi
The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves and Gordon Griffin (narrator)
Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
Restaurant to Another World Volume 2 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman
The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert
The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum
Shadowspell by Jenna Black
Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
The Wall and the Wing by Laura Ruby
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

November 2020 Sources

November 2020 Summary

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Rent a Boyfriend: 12/05/20

Rent a Boyfriend

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao is a rom-com set over the course of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chinese New Year. Chloe Wang trying to avoid being forced into a relationship with the reprehensible Hongbo rents Drew to play the part of her perfect boyfriend from Chicago, Andrew.

Drew works for Rent for Your 'Rents, a company specializing in fake boyfriends for Chinese American women who are under pressure from their parents. The set up, while gender swapped and focused on Chinese culture, reminds me of the anime, Rent a Girlfriend (Summer 2020).

Chloe's mother reminds me of Lana Lee's mother from the Noodle Shop mystery series, especially in the earliest books. Chloe's mother means well and doesn't want her daughter repeating her mistakes, but she's terrible at expressing these thoughts. Instead she comes off as the most extreme of the helicopter parents.

Meanwhile, Chloe's father is stoically trying to deal with his health and the reality that he's much other than his wife. He wants to make sure his daughter will be cared for but can't see that she's perfectly capable of doing that herself.

Drew meanwhile is living with the fear that he'll never measure up to the perfect characters he plays. If he opens up to Chloe he's sure to disappoint her. He's sure to not get the approval of her parents.

All of this unfolds organically and over a believable amount of time. As it happens, I started the book during Thanksgiving and it was weird reading things in real time.

Five stars

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