OUR WAYWARD FATE
October 15th, 2019
Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Signed copies from 57th Street Books (specify in comments)
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A teen outcast is simultaneously swept up in a whirlwind romance and down a rabbit hole of dark family secrets when another Taiwanese family moves to her small, predominantly white midwestern town in this remarkable new novel from the critically acclaimed author of American Panda, which The Wall Street Journal called “weepingly funny.”
Seventeen-year-old Ali Chu knows that as the only Asian person at her school in middle-of-nowhere Indiana, she must be bland as white toast to survive. This means swapping her congee lunch for PB&Js, ignoring the clueless racism from her classmates and teachers, and keeping her mouth shut when people wrongly call her Allie instead of her actual name, pronounced Āh-lěe, after the mountain in Taiwan.
Her autopilot existence is disrupted when she finds out that Chase Yu, the new kid in school, is also Taiwanese. Despite some initial resistance due to the “they belong together” whispers, Ali and Chase soon spark a chemistry rooted in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and, most importantly, pushing back against the discrimination they face.
But when Ali’s mom finds out about the relationship, she forces Ali to end it. As Ali covertly digs into the why behind her mother’s disapproval, she uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that force her to question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.
Snippets of a love story from nineteenth-century China (a retelling of the Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers) are interspersed with Ali’s narrative and intertwined with her fate.
Praise for Our Wayward Fate
“With OUR WAYWARD FATE, Chao establishes herself as one of the premier writers in contemporary YA. Ali’s story is one of young love, long-hidden secrets, cultural divides, and the pressure, not only to find balance between one’s history and future, but to understand how the one affects the other. No one writes family in all its beauty and complexity like Gloria Chao.”—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, Kids of Appetite, and Mosquitoland
“Chao is a master of combining humor with more serious moments in a story that’s sure to stick with you for a long time.” —Buzzfeed
“OUR WAYWARD FATE is [an] amazing story about juggling family expectations and what you want for yourself. If that’s not the essential teen journey, we’re not sure what is.” —Paste Magazine“This is more than a coming-of-age novel, and readers will fall in love with Ali.”—School Library Journal“Chao brings readers a witty protagonist who breaks stereotypes of Chinese Americans by simply being herself.” —Kirkus“[an] inventive, deeply heartfelt love story that explores connections of many kinds.” —Booklist
Buzz for Our Wayward Fate
Buzzfeed’s 24 YA Books To Devour During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Buzzfeed’s 19 Really Great YA Books You’ll Want To Pick Up This Fall
Barnes & Noble’s October’s Best YA Reads
Paste Magazine’s Best YA Novels of October 2019
Barnes & Noble’s Most Anticipated Sophomore Novels of 2019: July to December
She Reads’s 10 Diverse books by women to read in 2019
BookRiot’s Authors Don’t Have Much Control Over Covers Here’s Why
An Indigo’s Most Anticipated Teen Title
RENT A BOYFRIEND
Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
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The dual POV story follows a college student who hires a fake boyfriend from Rent for Your ‘Rents to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents. But when she falls for the guy behind the role who is not ‘rent-worthy, her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Publication is planned for fall 2020.
More information to come!
Four starred reviews for this incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.
At seventeen, Mei Lu should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.
But when she reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.
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Praise for American Panda
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Amelia Bloomer List 2019
Booklist‘s Best Debut YA Book of 2018
Bustle‘s Best Young Adult Book of 2018
Seventeen Magazine‘s Best YA Book of 2018
Paste Magazine‘s Best Young Adult Novel of 2018
PopSugar‘s Most Riveting YA Book of 2018
A Chicago Public Library Best YA Book of 2018
A Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year
YMCA’s Summer Reading List for Teens
Illinois Reads 2019
Indie’s Next Pick
“Weepingly funny“—The Wall Street Journal
“Vibrant and bright.” —Bustle
“Beautifully told.” —Hypable
“Vibrant, complex, and refreshing . . . A soulful and hilarious debut.”—★ Booklist, Starred Review
“Effervescent.”—★ Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“This deserves a place on every shelf, though it will not stay there long.”—★ VOYA magazine, Starred Review
“Universal.”—★ School Library Journal, Starred Review
“Eye-opening, hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking.” —Shelf Awareness
“An earnest, funny, and emotional story.” —Book Riot
“An absolute delight . . . Overflowing with wit and empathy, Chao’s debut charmed my socks off.” —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland
“A charming and hilarious tale . . . Mei Lu is a goofy, lovable American teenager. I loved her.” —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon
“Incredibly timely, honest, and moving—the must-read book of the season!” —Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi
“A dazzling debut that hooked me with its humor and heart from the very first page.” —Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician
“The perfect coming of age story for anyone who’s ever felt unsure of where they belong.”—Kerri Maniscalco, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stalking Jack the Ripper
Awards and Nominations for American Panda
Buzz for American Panda
Seventeen’s 15 Life-Changing Books You Have to Read This Summer
Buzzfeed’s 21 YA Queens Of Color Who, If You Don’t Know, You Should
King County Library System’s Best Teen Books 2018
Teen Vogue’s 9 Asian-Led Books that Deserve Their Own Movie Adaption
Book Riot’s 10 Books about Teens with Big Secrets
Bookish’s All Grown Up: YA Books Set in College
Refinery29’s The Ultimate YA Beach Reads of 2018
Buzzfeed’s 31 Young Adult Debut Novels From 2018 That Prove First-Time Authors Can Have A Serious Impact
Bustle’s 27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books
Barnes & Noble’s 21 Most Anticipated Debuts of 2018
Buzzfeed’s Start Off Your 2018 Right by Reading These 18 YA Books
New York Public Library’s Most Anticipated YA Books of 2018
Justine Magazine’s Most Anticipated Books of 2018
Barnes & Noble’s 8 Diverse YA Romances to Read Right Now
Teen Librarian Toolbox’s 18 2018 YA Books To Have On Your Radar
Bustle’s 11 Novels For ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Fans Who Want More Modern (And Diverse) Takes On The Classic Tale
Epic Read’s 12 Most Exciting Books, Winter 2018
Bustle’s 17 YA Books by Authors of Color To Look Out For, first half of 2018
Hypable’s Most Anticipated Diverse YA Books of 2018
Book Riot’s 6 YA Romance Novels to Swoon for in Winter 2018
Read Brightly’s 18 Most Exciting YA Books of 2018
Cultured Vultures’s 20 Most Anticipated Books of 2018
YA Books Central’s Buzzworthy Books of Winter 2018
Epic Read’s 17 #OwnVoices YA Books Coming Out This Year We Can’t Wait to Read
Pick My YA’s 18 YA Books to Read in 2018
School Library Journal’s List of Asian American Voices in Young Adult Literature
Book Riot’s 10 YA Books Set in College
Cultured Vultures’s 13 Biggest New Books of February 2018
Epic Read’s 17 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in February
Bustle’s 17 Best YA Books of February
Barnes and Noble’s 28 Most Anticipated February YA Books
Book Riot’s Must Read February Books
Barnes & Noble’s 8 YAs About Defying Parental Expectations
Barnes & Noble’s 7 YA Novels That Take on the Journey from High School to College
Sadie Nash’s 13 Extraordinary Novels by Women of Color
SLJ’s 32 YA titles for Every Day of Asian Pacific American History Month & Beyond
Barnes & Noble’s 12 Books to Keep You Swooning After Watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Book Riot’s 12 Great Young Adult Audiobooks from 2018
Book Riot’s 50 Must Read 2018-2019 Releases with East Asians on the Cover
Get Literary’s 6 Books to Read After You Read and Watch Crazy Rich Asians
Barnes & Noble’s 10 New and Upcoming College-Set YA Novels
For those who preordered American Panda, you can still access the exclusive content here.
If you missed that, don’t worry! The Our Wayward Fate preorder campaign is live here!