Weddings and Wasabi

Weddings and Wasabi by Camy TangWeddings and Wasabi by Camy Tang
Sushi Series # 4
Publisher:
Wine Press Publishing
Number of pages: 124
My copy: ebook, review copy from the author (Thank you!)

After finally graduating with a culinary degree, Jennifer Lim is pressured by her family to work at her control-freak aunty’s restaurant. But after a family dispute, Jenn is determined to no longer be a doormat and instead starts her own catering company. Her search for a wine merchant brings John into her life-a tall, dark, handsome biker in form-fitting black leather, who’s Hispanic to boot. It would be wonderfully wild to snag a man like that!

Shy engineer Edward tentatively tries out his birthday present from his winery-owner uncle-a Harley-Davidson complete with the trimmings. Jennifer seems attracted to the rough, aggressive image, but it isn’t his real self. Is she latching onto him just to spite her horrified family? And if this spark between them is real, will showing her the true guy underneath put it out?

And what’s with the goat in the backyard?

* * *

I’ve been a fan of Camy Tang ever since I heard about her and read the first book in her Sushi series, Sushi For One?. I liked that she wrote chick lit with an Asian flavor, and while I’m not Chinese/Japanese like her heroines are, I find that I could relate to the family and growing up woes that the four cousins experienced. And they’re Christian, too, so the stories resonate with my faith.

Unfortunately, Camy’s contract for the Sushi series only covers 3 books, so only Lex’s, Trish’s and Venus’ stories came out in full-length novels. Fortunately, Camy announced a few years back that she would be releasing a novella about Jennifer, the fourth cousin. Imagine my delight when she sent her street team a free copy. :)

Jennifer Lim is the nicest among the cousins, so nice that she knows she can be a doormat sometimes. When she finally graduated from her culinary degree, she finds herself pressured with having to fulfill some family “duties” that her aunts had pressed upon her. After a particularly bad party with an encounter with her ex, Jenn finally stands up for herself and starts a catering company. This starts her adventure that brings Jenn into learning that it takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams and even more to leave those dreams and trust that God will make things happen.

It felt nice reuniting with Camy’s characters again. I love the bond that Lex, Trish, Venus and Jenn had, and how they would always be there for one another no matter what. I also loved and hated their family. I don’t know how Chinese/Japanese families really are, but their Aunty Aikiko really grated my nerves. How can a relative be so manipulating and conniving and just…annoying? Ugh. It almost felt a bit unreal with that aspect, but who knew, right? Maybe people like that do exist.

I like how things came into somewhat of a full circle in this novella. While this could be read as a standalone, like the first three, but I think reading all of them would provide a fuller experience with the story. I always find back stories interesting, so knowing what happened to who in previous books while reading this one helped a lot in appreciating the events in this more. I especially liked how one of their cousins seemed to be friendlier to them now, and how their grandmother played a surprising role too.

The only thing I probably did not like in Weddings and Wasabi was how short it was! I missed the build up in the old novels, especially in the romantic sense, so I was a little detached from the romance here unlike in the others. It did provide for a good, quick and light read, but I was definitely hungry for more. :)

Weddings and Wasabi is available now in print and ebook through WinePress, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating:

2011 Challenge Status:
11 of 20 for TwentyEleven Challenge (Slim Pickings)


Zombicorns

Zombicorns by John Green
Project for Awesome contribution, 72 pages

There are a few authors who can do nothing wrong as far as I am concerned, and John Green is one of them. I’ve been seeing him tweet about a novella he was writing, but I never thought it would be released, and never thought what it was about. And then Aaron tweets about it, and I jumped in my seat. A zombie novella by John Green? And the title — does this mean there are unicorns? It was like a dream come true!

Zombicorns tells the account of Mia, a zombie apocalypse survivor in search of meaning in a bleak world. Technology and reliable document management solutions has fallen because of the rise of the zombies, so Mia’s only hope of getting her message across was this account of her life in the apocalypse. It’s a first person account that has the same kind of snark and unique to Green’s characters, despite the lack of geekiness in Mia. The circumstances that brought about the apocalypse in Zombicorns was funny and unexpected, and these zombies are the most unusual I’ve read so far. Not that I’m complaining — anything is possible in an apocalyptic novel, IMHO.

The best thing about this novella is how deep it goes. True to the John Green signature, this novel is funny and still it manages to capture human emotion in the unique way he does. The seriousness of Mia’s questions about life almost took me by surprise, but in a good way. It goes to show how good John Green is with the things he decides to write about. I didn’t even notice the lack of editing for Zombicorns — it’s even better than any of my drafts. (But hello — this is John Green we are talking about. I am not worthy to compare!)

I may be biased to say that this is a good read because I love the author, but it is a good one. If you can’t find any of his books yet, this may be a good one to start with. After all, it’s free. What’s there to lose, right? :)

Let me retract what I said on the first paragraph, though: there really are no unicorns in this story. This just means I have yet to read about actual zombie unicorns. Darn it.

Rating:

My copy: PDF, free download

Cover: from PDF

Other reviews:
Goodreads