If you are on the lookout for a romance novel not based in the usual US or UK locations, then you should pick something like this up. It has an intelligent, high achiever who is torn between what she feels her ‘duty’ is and what her heart wants, even if the goals sometimes overlap.
We are thrown right into the mix with our leading lady, Andrea Tang gearing up to face her extended family and the barrage of questions that might follow. This provides a very accurate picture of the various ways that families( especially the Tang clan) maintain a semblance of interconnections even while moving with the times. Andrea may not like ‘having’ to be married with kids on the way at her age but secretly admits (multiple times) that personally, she likes the idea of that image and the stability and companionship that the thought provides. This might be just her year when it comes out that she might actually be the last of her generation to be unmarried, everyone pitches in to help her move on. Although the word ironically is used once too often, or the narrative leans towards that style more than is comfortable, the entire picture feels very realistic. The struggles at work, the constant self-doubt as well as the varying degrees of relationships with close friends all are pretty vividly described. At its heart, it is a romance novel, so we should be geared for the inevitable happily ever after but Andrea has to work hard to reach that, both for herself and for us. The writing was light while not belittling the overarching ties of some Asian flavour when it comes to family and more.
I would recommend this to those on the lookout for something different. Not having read or watched Crazy Rich Asians, I cannot comment on the likeness ( as touted in many places online). Given that they are based in the same country, there might be some similarity.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience as well as the fact that I am Indian ( you will understand this once you read about the conversations about exams, rankings etc.)