Review: Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee

Title: Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Author: Sher Lee

Publisher: Random House Children’s, Underlined

Published: May 16, 2023

Pages: 272

Format: e-arc, via Netgalley

Goodreads Blurb

Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians in this heartfelt, joyful paperback original rom-com that follows an aspiring chef who discovers the recipe for love is more complicated than it seems when he starts fake-dating a handsome new customer.

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?”

My Review

Oof. This one hurts a little bit. I buddy-read this with Julie and Dini. We all kind of had some similar thoughts. I just don’t think this was the book for me or my age.

First, I’ll start with what I did like…

I really love the cover. LOL. I mean it’s pretty great and inviting. I also really enjoyed all the food and culture. It’s packed full of culture. Dylan was kind of teaching Theo about his culture but helping us understand too. A couple of times, it turned into “info-dumps.”Another thing that I really enjoyed was Dylan’s family! His cousin Meg was hilarious and I would probably consider reading a book about her.

The beginning and middle of this book were the hardest parts to get through. It does get a little better towards the end but there are several things I struggled with throughout this book. There are a lot of cringe moments between Dylan and Theo. I don’t really want to get into specifics because I don’t want to give spoilers away. Most of these moments came when it had to do with the differences in their social status or in sexual aspects. I almost felt like Theo didn’t take Dylan’s feelings into consideration and he kind of steamrolled him into whatever he wanted. It was almost like he was trying to change him and I was not about that.

The writing was also hard to get through in this book. While this is a rather quick read, the writing was all over the place. There are a lot of choppy sentences and dialogue that really took me out of my flow. The pacing is off and I felt like the last bit of the book was really rushed to get it to come together.

Overall, It was just not the book for me. The family aspect, culture, and food are the best parts. I’m not kidding, I was constantly hungry while reading this book!!

Many thanks to Underlined and Netgalley for an e-arc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

28 thoughts on “Review: Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee

  1. Yikes! This book has been getting so much hype. I expected to hear it was better. I’m sorry the writing, pacing, and character’s actions ruined the great cultural experience. I’ll be skipping this one for sure now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad this was a bust! I tried really hard to keep my review as pointed yet concise as you (and Julie) did but I didn’t manage to do it 😂 It was a bit of a rant and it’ll go up on Monday! Phew, I’m glad we got this out of the way early though. It’s still such a bummer that we didn’t end up loving this especially since it is getting soo much hype/promo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know… I edited it more after the way she responded. It was so much nicer and a bit longer. When she was rude and stuff.. I edited it all out and stuff. haha. I believe this might have been our worst rated buddy read?? I hardly ever rate books 2 stars. lol


  3. Pingback: March Wrap-Up! | Books Are The New Black

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