Well, That Was Unexpected

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Well, That Was Unexpected
Jesse Q Sutanto

352 pages

Delacorte Press
Published September 27, 2022

Amazon | Goodreads| Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | Indie Bound

About the book:

An outrageous, laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who’s whisked from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there, from the author of Dial A for Aunties.  After Sharlot Citra’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It’ll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks.  When George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands.  To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any good parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children.  When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?

My Review:

What a fun YA romance.  We have George Clooney, whose sister’s name is Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sharlot, that end up fake dating due to some hilarious antics with their family texting for each of them to try and find them a boyfriend/girlfriend.  Those names, right?  This is my second book in a row with miscommunication also at the forefront, which is one of my least favorite tropes, but for some reason it just adds to the fun in this book.  And I am always a fan of books based in another culture and this one takes place in Indonesia with family culture at the forefront.

There is great banter between the two as they pretend to date.  But wait, are they pretending?

Here are some of my favorite moments:

“What is it about George that makes my thoughts zip around like they are in a hurricane and my heart pound like a mallet being pounded into a vat of glutinous rice to make mochi?”

“Um, my insides are twisting like snakes.  Like…Snakes on a Plane snakes.”

“And the family – I should start referring to my family as The Family, Godfather-style, since they are practically a mob, except their weapon of choice is guilt instead of guns…”

“When I first came back to Jakarta after my first year at Oxford, my stomach was so weak from all that clean British food that I had to go to the hospital after eating my favorite roadside nasi goreng.”

“I just have to get through the next few days as the fake girlfriend of someone I don’t like, who doesn’t like me back.”  That’s totally fine.  That’s very doable.  What can possibly go wrong.” 

This is just a fun read that kept me giggling.

About the author:

I grew up going back and forth between Jakarta and Singapore and consider both places my homes. Iwas fortunate enough to do my Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, which is surely one of the most gorgeous places in the world.  I am passionate about women’s rights and diversity in publishing. I regularly do giveaways where I critique queries or the first few pages, and I am especially interested in helping writers from marginalized communities. If you are a writer from a marginalized community, do hit me up! I love hearing from other writers, even if it’s just to say a quick hello.

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