Title: Rent a Boyfriend
Author: Gloria Chao
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: November 10, 2020
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets The Farewell in this incisive romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results, from the acclaimed author of American Panda.
Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.
Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.
When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.
But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?
Chloe’s parents are pressuring her to marry their wealthy friend’s son, so she rents a boyfriend to bring home for Thanksgiving. Rent for Your ‘Rents is a company where you can fill out a questionnaire and rent a boyfriend who will fit all the requirements that your parents want in a partner for you. Chloe ends up bringing Drew to her parents’ home. Drew is an artist who is estranged from his family, so he is available to work as a fake boyfriend on holidays. As the Thanksgiving holiday progresses, Chloe and Drew get closer than he usually gets with his clients. Then, they start texting after he leaves. They start to fall for each other, which could become a problem since their relationship was built on lies.
The fake dating trope is one of my favourites so I was so excited to read this story. The tension from the fake dating comes from both people lying about their relationship. There were many secrets and lies in this story. Chloe was hiding Drew’s real identity from her parents. Drew was lying to all of the parents of his clients. Chloe’s parents were even hiding a few secrets of their own. These secrets created lots of tension when they were revealed.
This was a really fun story. There were a couple of tough moments, especially when Chloe’s parents weren’t treating fairly, but most of the romance was so cute. Chloe and Drew were meant to be together right from the beginning. They had similar relationships with their parents, though Drew ended up being kicked out of his parents home and Chloe was still visiting her parents while she was in university. They were both strong young adults, who knew they needed to follow their hearts to be happy.
I really enjoyed this story!
Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Have you read Rent a Boyfriend? What did you think of it?