Book review

[Book Review] The Stand-In by Lily Chu

May is AANHPI Heritage Month, so I decided to read many Asian works. I’d really love to feature an indie book, to be honest, but I settled for “The Stand-In” by Lily Chu because I didn’t find any indie books by Asian authors that I loved. An ARC I’ve read (and am still reading) is way too “AI-esque.” It’s just a feeling, so I won’t judge it solely on that.

However, I HATE supporting any AI-generated work—whether it’s music, art, or writing. I prefer true human talent.

Anyway, let’s move on to the book review.

I loved it overall, but I wish there was no romance…

I know! A romance writer like myself not wanting romance is strange 😂 but I just didn’t feel the romance here. What made me stay was the friendship and the author’s writing.

However, the romance was not bad. I kind of enjoyed it, just not as much as I hoped.

I know I wanted to read this book the moment I read the book description. That the cover is gorgeous is an extra push. The characters being Asian is more push. So I bought a copy despite me declaring a book buying ban.

I love retellings, but one of my most favorite is The Prince and the Pauper. I always make sure to watch every series and movie made about them. This is part of the reason I wanted to read this book, and I’m so happy I did!

I admit I hated Sam’s character in the beginning, not because he’s an annoying character but because I preferred if the story didn’t have romance. Thank goodness it didn’t focus on it, because honestly, I can’t feel the romance. They have chemistry, but it’s no different from his chemistry with Fangli. I would have liked it better if they never fell for each other. But it was not the worst, and I kind of liked the romance after the scene of Gracie being a bitch for making him pretend in front of her mom.

And her mom? Wow, I can’t relate. As a mother, I can’t imagine doing what she did. So selfish. I feel bad for Fangli.

I was very sure Gracie and Fangli were twins thanks to all the clues being dropped throughout the book, but I’m also glad to be wrong.

To be honest, I think this version of The Prince and the Pauper (or Princess and the Pauper 🤣) is one of the best because it explains why two strangers could look so much alike.

Anyway. Love the book. And my most favorite moments are when Gracie and Fangli were together; their moments are so heartwarming 💖

Are you an indie author and wish to have me read your book? Contact me with your details, and I might consider reviewing it. I especially like books with “mild spice” more story / plot and less sex. Sex is okay, but it’s not okay when half of the book is about them physically (or mentally) fcking each other.

As a reader, do you mind if books includes AI generated content?

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Jessica / Jessie Winterspring is a time travel romance fanatic who loves writing fiction about ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. She blogs music inspired stories, poems, micro-fictions, moments in life. She enjoy spending time outdoors, adore animals and traveling with her family. She like anything unusual and fun. CLICK HERE to read more about her or CLICK HERE to view her books

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