Books, Uncategorized

Review: Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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At thirty-three, Andrea Tang is living the dream: she has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore’s hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she (and her mother) has ever worked for. So what if she’s poised to be the last unmarried member of her generation of the Tang clan? She doesn’t need a man to feel fulfilled, no matter what her meddling relatives have to say about it.

But for a dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter, the weight of familial expectations is hard to ignore. And so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea’s path. Men like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival for partner and the last man she should be spending time with, and Eric Deng, a wealthy entrepreneur whose vision for their future is more lavish than she could have imagined. With her workplace competition growing ever more intense, her friends bringing dramas of their own to her door, and her family scrutinizing her every romantic prospect, Andrea finds herself stretched to the breaking point. And she can’t help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?

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I’m not a big reader of rom-coms anymore, but wow, was this the perfect book to remind me how much I enjoy them when I’m in the mood! Critics who have described this as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones couldn’t have described it better!

The book is mostly in the form of a diary, which made it easy and quick to read. I flew through this book so quickly! I loved how Lauren uses more of a ‘show, don’t tell’ style of writing, as the tiniest diary entry can tell you all you need to know.

Andrea is funny and smart, but still has family/job pressures like every other adult out there! She’s such a relatable character, but also gives me an insight into Asian culture and how big the pressures to marry early and marry ‘right’ are. I obviously can’t verify if this is accurate, but I’ve seen other reviews which say their families are exactly the same! I liked how work was basically a secondary character in this story as it has such an important role. I loved the work relationships and office gossip, as well as the unlikeable characters – they made it much more interesting and funny!

I ended up loving every one of Andrea’s friends and lived for each bit of drama that Andrea has to navigate through this book. Her life was messy in an entertaining way rather than tragic as most of the drama wasn’t hers.

I only wish that there was a little more focus on Andrea and Suresh’s relationship. I wanted to see everything with them but it felt like less time was spent on it compared to other relationships in the book. I suppose Andrea’s denial and the diary form limited this slightly, but I loved their interactions so much that I wanted more!

Lauren wraps the book up with the message that everyone should choose their own path to happiness, but manages to still leaves it quite open makes me hope for a sequel where we follow Andrea as she discovers herself again. The story, while focusing on relationships, didn’t feel like that was the sole point of the story. Andrea’s personal development was as much of plot point as the men in her life and I loved this aspect.

At the end of the day, this was a cute enemies to lovers romance that is a feel-good, quick read! I gave this book 4 stars.

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