Bullet Point Review: Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck and Fortune, Roselle Lim

There are no spoilers in this review.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, Roselle Lim

Publishing on June 11th, 2019 by Berkley.
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At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

Since I usually review young adult books on this blog, a little heads-up here: please note that this is an adult book, the main character is 28 years old. That being said, I feel like it could appeal to older young adult books readers with its themes and all.

I ENJOYED…

☂️

  • Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune warmed my heart SO much overall, it was such a wonderful debut that was a delight to read, had me smiling, had my heart aching and made me very happy, too, overall.
  • At the heart of the story, we have Natalie, coming back home after her mother’s death, re-discovering the Chinatown she knew slowly fading, re-discovering her community, her neighbors and so on. She was a great main character, driven by her own dream, grappling with her family’s past, doing her very best, sometimes stumbling and making mistakes, I really loved her a lot.
  • The relationships between the characters were so, so great to follow and I think that’s what I loved the most about it all. If there is romance (more on that later), the book follows even more deeply the relationships within Chinatown and the community, the way they have each other’s back, help each other, gain trust in each other again and so on. This made me so, so happy and warmed my heart and, when complications came I wanted them all to be okay again. I adored that.
  • There was a little bit of romance there to make you swoon, but I appreciated that it didn’t take over the entire story, either. The love interest was really, really sweet and supportive and all I’m asking for, really, yet his presence and the slow-starting romance didn’t take over everything.
  • This book made me VERY HUNGRY. Natalie is a fantastic chef and, as you read on, you get to read all about her family’s recipes, how she cooks, how the food melts in your mouth, Chinese, Vietnamian, Filipino dishes and so many others, too and ahh I’m very hungry okay.
  • From family to food to community, to mental illness and more, I loved how immersed I felt into these lives and this Chinatown community that felt like family. I loved it.

I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…

☂️

  • I felt a little confused while reading at times because I didn’t expect the magical realism parts of the book, at all, I had no idea there was magical realism in this story and, when I first read some passages, I felt.. well, really confused.
  • I didn’t really have a hard time with this overall, and even if I put it in the positives of this review, too, I just want to talk for a second about the romance. I appreciated Daniel a whole lot, but I feel like the romance wasn’t entirely necessary to the story as a whole. You know me, I love a good romance overall, but here, in this particular story, I feel like it wasn’t entirely necessary.

OVERALL

☂️

If you’re looking for a fun, endearing, heartwarming read that will make you very hungry, I’d 200% recommend Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck and Fortune!

Final rating:  4 drops!

The biggest thanks to Penguin Random House International, Berkley & NetGalley for sending me a free e-ARC of this book for review. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings: loss of a loved one, grief, talks of agoraphobia and depression.

Diversity: all-cast of Chinese characters. This is an #ownvoices book: the author is Filipino-Chinese.

Did you read Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune? Do you want to?

Do you know any books with A LOT OF FOOD? Let me know in comments!

 

 

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

37 thoughts on “Bullet Point Review: Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck and Fortune, Roselle Lim

  1. I really want to read this book! It sounds right up my ally! (Even if it doesn’t have an emphasis on romance.) I really enjoy books centered on food, and that’s on of the biggest reason I’m excited for this one! I just recently read With the Fire on High, which besides for being written beautifully, had this wonderful emphasis on food and how it hold so many memories and emotions. I think this is the perfect book to fill my craving (pun 100% intended) after finishing With the Fire on High!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, if you love all the food, you’ll LOVE this one!
      I haven’t read With The Fire On High, but … well it’s going higher on my TBR after hearing that it talks about food, too, I LOVE food haha, these kind of books are so good to read every now and then ahah, warm books to make you hungry haha 🙂
      I hope you’ll give this one a try, Malka! and thank you so much ❤

      Like

  2. I enjoyed this book. It is firmly women’s fiction as far as I am concerned, though, I wish we got more of the romance, because those little bits we did get, were amazing! I am with you, it was swoony.

    Like

  3. So much of what you said in this review is exactly how I felt about this book (especially the part about being VERY hungry while reading it haha). And yes, the relationship with Daniel was just…not my favorite. It was too cheesy and over-the-top for my tastes. Like when she compares watching him eat to pornography???? Not my sort of thing. Oh well. *shrugs* Anyways, this was a great review, Marie! Like always 🙂

    Like

  4. Oh my, you had me at books and food! Your review reminds me a little of the Crazy Rich Asian series – it had me HUNGRY ALL THE TIME & craving food I’ve never heard of! Definitely adding this book to my TBR ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow, I didn’t even know this had some magical aspects!! I just thought it was a complete contemporary haha, but it sucks that those parts were confusing!! I’m really excited to read this book, especially for all the food parts, but I think I might also find the romance unnecessary sadly. Lovely review, Marie!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s only because I didn’t quite expected it, that it made me feel very confused at times :/ still, it was such a lovely read, definitely worth reading for all the wonderful food ❤
      Thank you so much!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok the aesthetics in this review are to die for! I really should try my hand at making them someday! This review was great as always, and your points came across beautifully! Thanks for the heads up about the things you didn’t like though because I think they won’t bother me as much if I know they’re coming. Ahh I am just so excited for this book now and i can’t wait for my mouth to water while reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh Caitlin you’re way, way too sweet, thank you SO much, I’m so happy you enjoyed them!! ❤
      I hope you'll love this book and all of the food, get ready to be reaaaally hungry haha 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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