The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

Jasmine Tran has just graduated from college. While her friends are moving into adult life, finding a job or career, or as her best friend is doing, going to law school, Jas has come back home to help her parents in their donut shop. She has every intention of trying to find a job, once she figures out exactly what she wants to do, but unfortunately she finds her parents have become too dependent on her at their shop. So while people she went to college and high school with have moved on, she finds herself in a depressing rut. Working long hours at the shop, going home eating dinner and then either watching television or reading, depending on the day. She feels trapped in her life, trying to please everyone, except for herself.

All her mother really wants for her daughter is to get a boyfriend, get married and work at the shop. Her mother is always trying to fix her up (with distant cousins) or giving her tips on ways she can make herself more appealing (to boys). She wishes she was her brother, the apple of the Tran’s eye who can do no wrong and already has a career path but is away at school. He is difficult to be compared to.

Then Jas gets worse news. The landlord of The Donut Shop has decided to raise the rent. Her parents, never business savvy, have not raised their prices in years. Jasmine now must somehow come up with a plan to save the business, on top of trying to find a job she will finally be able to call her own.

But, one day, something happens which will change her life. Jasmine is accidentally reintroduced to a guy she had a chance encounter with when she was at college. She named him “window guy” back then. Hi real name is Alex Lai and he is perfect in every way. He is also Chinese which makes her parents very happy. But for Jas, nothing ever seems to go right. A disastrous dinner ensues where her parents meet Alex’s mother, and no one is happy about anyone. Jas begins to see and feel as if Alex is not quite as perfect as she once thought.

What do you do when you want to grow up and don’t want to hurt the most important people in your life? Well, lie of course!

So comedy and drama arises as we find Jas trying to navigate life and Alex, an old high school flame her parents never knew about, while trying to get her stubborn parents to agree to some new changes she feels will make the shop more popular. All the while secretly trying to find a job without hurting her parent’s and trying to figure out her own feelings for Alex. And a visit home by her brother does not help the situation.

The Donut Trap is a wonderful funny and thoughtful story of family, love and respect. It deals with the inevitability of coming of age and growing up and making adult decisions, trying to not hurt anyone’s feelings, realizing the importance of loved ones and compromise but recognizing the importance of oneself.

Thank you #NetGalley #Avon #TheDonutTrap #JulieTieu for the advanced copy. The Donut Trap will be out November 9th.

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