Book Review: The Wangs vs. the World

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The Wangs vs. the World

Jade Chang

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

368 pages

Charles Wang emigrated to the US as a young man and became a mogul in the cosmetics industry. Now, decades later, his business has come crashing down around him and his wealth has suddenly vanished. He is now forced to withdraw his teenage children Grace and Andrew from school and they, along with stepmother Barbra, embark on a cross county road trip to New York, where eldest daughter Saina lives.

This is a story written tongue in cheek, with a lot of humor. Those of you who follow me on Litsy (reviewsbylola) may even remember me posting about an infamous incident wherein the son Andrew is caught masturbating with ketchup packets. I mean, I seriously was dying during that part. There were other parts as well where I was laughing out loud. It’s that kind of book.

However, on the flip side, The Wangs also had a tendency to really drag at times. I think I would have been better served if I read a physical copy instead of an ebook, just because of my own personal idiosyncrasies and preferences, but to be honest, by the end of the books I was sick of their antics.

Another issue for me that ties in with my initial problem outlined above was that the characters weren’t as well drawn out as they could have been. I had a difficult time connecting with them because they just didn’t seem real to me, so I started to withdraw from the book. I would love to see where Jade Chang goes from here though. This is her debut novel and I think she has a lot to offer.

Also, as an aside, A+ on the cover!

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