Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the My Summer of Love and Misfortune blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to read an excerpt of the book! Plus, find out more about the book and author, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of My Summer of Love and Misfortune!
My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong
Published by Simon Pulse on May 5, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary
A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China.
Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button.
Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.
I, Iris Wang, was born to be unlucky.
This is because I was born in the Year of the Tiger, and everyone in our Chinese family knows that girls born in Tiger Year are bad luck.
A flower-hearted tiger girl, such as yours truly, means that I’m destined to pick loser boys and never listen to my parents. A flower-heart is someone who shows up hungover to her SATs and half-asses her college admission essays. She’s also addicted to Starbucks lattes, expensive makeup, and super-fun parties.
But a tiger son born into the family is supposed to make a lot of money and bring honor to his family name. Total sexist bullshit, am I right? Maybe that superstition existed in China in the time of Confucius, but not in 21st century America, where Siri and iPhones practically run our lives.
Can I tell you an embarrassing and hideous secret?
When I was born, I was covered with thick, abundant hair all over my entire body, like I was an actual tiger cub. According to my parents, I even had coarse hairs growing on my chin, forehead and cheeks.
My mom likes to joke that I actually looked like a hairball spat out by a designer cat.
My dad says that he dreamed that my mom had given birth to a tiger cub two weeks before I was born, but he’s deeply superstitious. He’s the kind of guy who checks with a feng shui master before buying a painting for the house or making a new friend. My dad is born in the Year of the Goat, so he believes that anyone who isn’t a farm animal, like his tiger daughter, i.e. me, brings him bad luck. Before he could propose to my mom, who is a Zodiac Dog, he consulted the Chinese almanac. Then he hired a Chinese monk to work out the math and interview his future bride.
When my mom told him she was going to give birth to a tiger, he was extremely worried. “A Dog and Goat for parents are no match for a tiger!” he exclaimed.
When he found out that his tiger cub was going to be a girl, I think he actually cried from anxiety.
Anyway, I was lucky that a lot of my facial hair fell off by kindergarten. But it doesn’t explain the gross, extremely long mustache-like hairs that sometimes appear when I’m super stressed. These hairs sprout above my upper lip and even grow out of my ears. I swear, those hairs are like, my whiskers. Thank god for the invention of hair wax and affordable laser treatment.
Without deluxe Nair Wax-Ready Strips, I don’t think I could ever be seen in public during times of great personal duress.
That, and I have to blame my bad luck on my sometimes too loving, overprotective parents. As soon as I was born, they took me to a famous fortune-teller who was visiting from China to ask her how to fix my life trajectory.
It all went wrong from the very beginning.
You see, the fortune teller, Madame Xing, found a funny-shaped mole under my right eye and said it looked like a teardrop. Like I was born to be permanently crying.
“This flower-heart is no good,” she announced to my parents after a quick examination. My mom and dad were probably horrified and praying that they could send me back to the hospital and switch me for a Tiger Boy.
It also didn’t help that I was one of those babies who was always crying and puking everywhere. My mom said that I just barfed on Madame Xing’s mink fur and she got flustered and started cussing nonstop. My dad swears that this was bad luck, as it offended a powerful fortune-teller, who must have put a double curse on me.
After our first and only fortune-telling session, Madame Xing cryptically said, “Keep both eyes on your tiger daughter. If you take one eye off, she will bring shame on your family with her weak flower-heart.”
Whatever she said was true. Since I was born, I guess I was destined to be a flower-heart. I have a weakness for terrible choices and terrible boys.
This brings me to my current situation.
Lindsay Wong‘s fearless writing and askew sense of humour chronicle adventures and disasters with copious amounts of playfulness and generosity.
She is the author of the #1 bestselling debut memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, which won the 2019 Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize and was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Newsweek, CBC Books, the Globe and Mail, and the Quill and Quire. It was also a finalist for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize and Canada Reads 2019.
In between Walmart parking lot holidays, Lindsay spends her time as a muscle for hire teaching writing workshops and editing manuscripts as a freelance editor.
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Are you adding this book to your #TBR? It’s been on mine for months, and I’m so excited to finally read it! Let me know if you’re adding it in the comments and have a splendiferous day!