Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
It’s a classic tale of girl-meets-boy, boy-meets-other-girl, heart-gets-broken, revenge-is-plotted, everything-blows-up. Spectacularly.
At least they’re friends now. They’ve left the drama behind them back in Taipei—at their summer program, Loveboat—forever.
Now fall is here, and it’s time to focus on what really matters. Sophie is determined to be the best student Dartmouth’s ever had. Forget finding the right guy to make her dreams come true—Sophie is going to make her future happen for herself. Xavier, on the other hand, just wants to stay under his overbearing father’s radar, collect his trust fund when he turns eighteen, and concentrate on what makes him happy, for the first time ever.
But the world doesn’t seem to want Sophie and Xavier to succeed. Sophie’s college professor thinks her first major project is “too feminine.” Xavier’s father gives him an ultimatum: finish high school or be cut off from his inheritance.
Loveboat Reunion picks up right where Loveboat, Taipei ends. Instead of focusing on Ever and Rick, this book focusses on Sophie and Xavier as they are leaving Loveboat for the next stage of their lives. I would highly suggest you recap yourself on Loveboat, Taipei before going into this one because it picks right back up!
I found it really interesting to see more of Sophie and Xavier and the way in which they handle life after Loveboat. We get to see the different barriers that both the characters face. Sophie is trying to get her college to realise her skills in the tech industry. Whilst, Xavier is heading back to high school to get his diploma, after his father sends him back there, much to Xavier’s anger. Both of these storylines are interesting but it gets even more interesting when they both travel back to Taiwan for the moon festival to complete assignments they both have at school / college.
I enjoyed seeing Xavier and Sophie’s relationship develop. We see them rebuild trust for one another and explore what this might mean for them. I would have loved to see more of their relationship towards the end of the book as I felt it didn’t get the time it deserved before the book ended. There are a whole host of cute moments though which I loved.
I loved how the author discusses women in tech throughout this book. Sophie is incredibly apprehensive about her ability to fit into an environment which is extremely male dominated. This means she faces a number of challenges when she tries to combine technology with her love of fashion. Despite the challenges and backlash she gets, we see Sophie never back down. I feel this is inspiring for so many people out there. On top of this, it was lovely to see Xavier’s aunties and how amazing they are in the tech and business world.
This book does come with a content warning for parental abuse. Xavier’s father is emotionally and physically abusive towards him. Ba is so cold and calculated and it is horrible to read at times. This abuse all leads to Xavier not addressing his learning disability. We do see his learning disability explored more in this book as he learns to deal with his dyslexia and dysgraphia and it is refreshing to see his shock at the accommodations given to those with learning disabilities.
I really wish this book would have addressed what Sophie did during Loveboat, Taipei a little more. I was apprehensive going into this book due to it centring around Sophie and having what she did in the first book in the back of my mind. We do get to see Sophie feel guilty for what she does but I wish we got more insight into her motivations behind this. I did grow to like Sophie throughout reading this book but I feel I did not fully forgive her as not enough insight was given to her previous actions.
Overall, this was a good instalment to the Loveboat series. Although some may shy away from this as it is told from the perspective of Sophie and Xavier, their character development is excellent and something readers will appreciate. We also get to see some old friends from the first book which was a lot of fun. I’m not sure if there will be more books in this series but if there are I’m sure I’ll pick them up.