Rent a Boyfriend (Hardcover)
Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“Gloria Chao’s sophomore novel holds nothing back as it explores the deeply complicated relationship between child, parent, and community. Readers everywhere will see themselves in Chloe as she faces the ultimate decision of living her life with the safety of her parents’ approval or risking it all to discover her own path — a path that might even lead to the kind of love she never knew she deserved.”
— Stephanie Heinz, PRINT: A Bookstore, Portland, ME
Don’t let the fun title, gorgeous cover and romcom vibe fool you. Is this a fake dating trope with appealing characters? Why yes, yes it is. However, underneath the cotton candy premise is a lot of depth and complexity about family responsibilities as well as community relationships within the Chinese American diaspora. Both Chloe/Jing Jing and Drew/Andrew have alter egos that mask their true selves and both strive for honesty to each other as well as themselves. Chao's writing and plotting has grown over the years since American Panda was released (and that was such a good book) but here, she's reached the next level. Here, everything is interwoven so effortlessly that it's just easy to fall into the book. Be prepared to give up sleep to finish this read. TLDR: Reader, I loved this.— Audrey H.
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?
“With Chao’s signature humor and lovable characters, she once again offers insights into Taiwanese culture alongside scads of delightful rom-com ordeals, mishaps, and kisses.” —Booklist
“Rent a Boyfriend is exactly the kind of romantic romp promised by the title, but it’s also an emotional gut-punch, a careful excavation of family secrets, and a reminder to anyone who’s ever felt alone that they are absolutely worthy of love.” —Rachel Lynn Solomon, award-winning author of Today Tonight Tomorrow and You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
“Laugh-out-loud funny, achingly honest, and unbelievably swoony.” —Stephanie Kate Strohm, author of Love à la Mode and It's Not Me, It's You
“Captures perfectly the giddy sense of inevitability that happens to people when they realize they are meant for one another.” —Jessie Ann Foley, Printz honor–winning award-winning author of Sorry for Your Loss
“A beautiful story about finding and following your own path, full of warmth and humor.” —Ashley Herring Blake, author of Girl Made of Stars
“I adored this totally charming tale of two lovable fakers who find the courage to be real with one another, and with themselves.” —Rebecca Podos, author of Like Water
“Sweet, romantic, hilarious, and heartfelt, Rent a Boyfriend is the feel-good book you’ve been waiting for.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be and Something Like Gravity
“Authentically swoony, laugh-out-loud funny, and genuinely moving. I cheered for Chloe and Drew—and readers will too.” —Amy Spalding, bestselling author of We Used to Be Friends and The Summer of Jordi Perez
“Reader, I loved this.” –Audrey Huang, Belmont Books (Belmont, MA)
“The type of story that wraps itself around you like the sweater that you pull on because you need a hug.” –Kathleen March, Anderson’s Bookshop (Downers Grove, IL)
“Gloria Chao returns with a new book that will capture your heart, break it then mend it back together." –Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)
“Readers everywhere will see themselves in Chloe as she faces the ultimate decision of living her life in the safety of her parents' approval or risking it all to discover her own path.” –Stephanie Heinz, Print: A Bookstore (Portland, ME)
“Has everything you could ever want in one novel: natural humor, complicated emotions, and the power to prove that love is undeniably real.” –Andrew King, The University Book Store (Seattle, WA)
“A beautiful story not only about falling in love, but also finding who you are, following your dreams, and accepting others for who they are." –Renee Becher, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)
“Romantic, and tackles big topics like misogyny and family expectations.” –Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana Books (Frederick, MD)