Book Review: A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

This book was so cute, and deep, sad and to be honest, relatable. I loved Zhuang’s character and got really frustrated at how she put up with her insufferable boyfriend. But that’s me in my thirties knowing that I might have done the same in my early twenties. That I also once long ago thought that love needs work, you gotta put in the time, suck up your ego, sacrifice yourself to love and shape your partner into husband potential. Now I know love is a lot of things but never a chore. Love does not need martyrs. Love is a force that should elicit a reaction back with the same intensity or it consumes itself.

But this is not only a cute romance. It is a coming of age story about finding yourself, learning how to love and be free, about loneliness and cultural identity. About the West vs East discourse that is as old as time yet here it is. Still here with renewed force. I am very happy to have read this. The light yet profound read I needed while I go through my reading slump.

Author: Carla Hafez

Reader of mostly literary fiction and own-voices fiction. Latina. Feminist. Amateur reviewer. Opinionated. Unapologetically progressive. Mom. Wife. Believer.

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