Cover image for Loveboat, Taipei
Loveboat, Taipei
1st ed.
Physical Description:
414 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
When Ever Wong's parents sent her away for the summer, she's expecting Chien Tan: a strict, educational immersion program in Taiwan. Instead, she finds the infamous "Loveboat." There, Ever is surrounded by prodigies, like Rick Woo, Chinese American wonder boy and longtime bane of her existence; Ever's roommate, the confident and clever Sophia Ha, as glamorous as she is sharp; and the intimidatingly cool Xavier Yeh, heir to an international tech empire. But her classmates are more interested in the nonstop Taipei nightlife than anything to do with the curriculum. Hookups abound, snake-blood sake flows, and adult supervision is nonexistent. For the first time ever, Ever is discovering what freedom tastes like and it's exhilarating. But summer will end and Ever will be back to her parents and the future they've planned for her. Will she let this glimpse of freedom go - or will Loveboat give her the courage to pursue the future she dreams of, and the Ever Wong she wants to be?


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A New York Times bestseller!

Optioned for film by the producers of Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE.

Most anticipated novel of 2020: Boston Globe, Book Riot, Bustle, Nerd Daily, Seventeen, She Reads.

Praised as "an intense rush of rebellion and romance" by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is "a roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery." (Kirkus)

"Our cousins have done this program," Sophie whispers. "Best kept secret. Zero supervision."

And just like that, Ever Wong's summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem:

Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.

Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever's existence whose perfection hides a secret.

Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.

And under sexy Xavier Yeh's shell is buried a shameful truth he'll never admit.

When these students' lives collide, it's guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.

"A unique story from an exciting and authentic new voice." --Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

"Equal parts surprising, original, and intelligent. An intense rush of rebellion and romance." --Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

"Fresh as a first kiss." --Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon

"Fresh, fun, heartfelt, and totally addictive, a story about finding your place--and your people--where you least expected." --Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of the William C. Morris Award finalist Conviction

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--Ever Wong is waiting to hear back from colleges and decide where her life will lead. Like many teenagers, the path she dreams of is not the same as the one her parents have in mind. She longs to dance while her parents expect her to attend medical school, for which they have been grooming her since birth, and it doesn't seem to matter that the sight of blood makes her faint. When she is forced to leave Ohio and study abroad in Taipei, Ever is devastated. Once again, her parents are deciding her future without her involvement, and dancing is looking more and more like an impossibility. However, Ever learns from the other students that this educational experience is really a chance for teens to live without rules and experiment with love, and it may not be as bad as she anticipated. For a girl who has lived by her parents' strict rules, this freedom is refreshing and exciting. Wen creates a relatable story line for teens discovering who they really are and want to be. The author does a great job of immersing readers in the sights and sounds of Taipei, and she illustrates the culture through scenes of gatherings with friends and Ever's interactions with locals in the city. VERDICT YA readers will love the mix of romance, defiance, adventure, culture, and friendship.--Jessica Perovich, US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Library

Publisher's Weekly Review

From tea eggs to snake blood sake, the energy of Taipei in the summer provides a winning backdrop to this joyful debut about a young American dancer who finds love and freedom by exploring her Taiwanese roots. By the time Ever Wong's conservative immigrant parents send her to Taiwan for a summer of cultural immersion, she has abandoned her dreams of Broadway for a career in medicine. What she finds instead is the friendship of glamorous Manhattanite Sophie Ha and the romantic attentions of both mercurial prodigy Rick Woo and playboy heir Xavier Yeh. While navigating humid nightclub rendezvous, terrible mistakes, and barely passed Mandarin lessons, Ever gloriously sheds her shame and insecurity and finds the courage to own her choices. Wen deftly conveys the less-explored experience of being an Asian-American in Asia and, importantly, her characters embody the diversity within Asian-American identity. Sobering subjects, including animal abuse and mental health challenges, add additional layers to the heady summer story, but Wen keeps the strongest focus on her characters' freedom and evolution as they grow secure in their identities and desires. Ages 13--up. (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

A sheltered teen with a passion for dance finds love, drama, and herself at a summer camp in Taiwan.Eighteen-year-old Everett "Ever" Wong braces herself for a summer of curfews and vocabulary lessons after her parents reveal that they signed her up for a Mandarin language and Chinese culture program. But upon arriving at Chien Tan, Ever quickly discovers how the program earned its nickname, Loveboat. As her new roommate, Sophie, says, "Ever, you are never going to meet this many eligible guys in one place." Ever seizes this opportunity away from her strict parents to experience a slew of forbidden activities, from sneaking out at night with other campers for illicit clubbing to taking classes at a local ballet studio. Complications arise when she unintentionally stumbles into a love quadrangle involving bad boy Xavier, handsome prodigy Rick, and glamorous Sophie. The novel evokes the style of bingeworthy Taiwanese TV dramas, complete with dramatic plot developments and characterizations that occasionally toe the line between exaggeration and caricature. Between hookups, glamour photo shoots, and camp classes, Wen addresses a number of hot-button issues for many Asian Americans, the foremost being the struggle to reconcile immigrant parents' expectations with personal aspirations. Characters are predominantly Chinese American; a secondary character is Indigenous Taiwanese.An entertaining and heartfelt debut that takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of romance and self-discovery. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.