Title: The Stand-In
Author: Lily Chu
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: May 3rd, 2022
Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly “friendly” boss, and yes she still hasn’t gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she’s healthy, she’s (somewhat) happy, and she’s (mostly) holding it all together.
But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema’s golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie’s ever met.
If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie’s in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end all the lists in the world won’t be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself…and her heart.
Crazy Rich Asians meets The Princess Switch in this new rom com from Lily Chu that I really loved reading. It is a great mix of light banter and serious conversations about mental health and dementia. A regular, planner obsessed woman is fired from her job after being photographed and mistaken for an actor – and they do look uncannily alike. So the actress makes her a deal, she works as a stand in for her at events when she isn’t up to attending.
There is a good conversation around depression and anxiety in this book, especially rooted in the Asian culture. The romance is amazing hate to love between the actress’ best friend and costar, and the stand in. The two women couldn’t be more opposite, but our hero just can’t resist Gracie and her quirks. I also so loved the obsession Gracie has with planners and bullet journals to organize her life and the struggle to find the perfect one – I felt SO seen!
Overall a solid romance with an adorable, cartoon cover – but one that I will likely forget quickly and move on from. It didn’t burrow itself into my brain and demand that I reread it sometime in the future. And that’s okay, I had a great time reading it and have no regrets.
Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!