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Review | Last Tang Standing (Lauren Ho)

Set in Singapore with a Malaysian protagonist, this is an irresistible debut novel…

Logline

A coming-of-age comedic novel that follows one Andrea Tang, a 33-year-old power-lawyer navigating through life, romance and figuring out what makes her happy.

 

Back of Book

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ meets ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ in this funny and irresistible debut novel.

 

Read It Because

This book is a hoot! It’s fabulous reading a book that you can relate to from makcik bawang shenanigans, self-reflection on work-life choices, figuring out the vagaries of your heart and dealing with needy friends (just to name a few). The fact that it’s set in Singapore with a Malaysian protagonist, gives it a whole other layer. If you’re Southeast Asian there will be things that will make you go, ‘aha!’ Everything from socialising, filial responsibilities, inter-racial dating and cringy family gatherings. I have often said that readers sometimes don’t realise that they crave for representation in the books they read. But oh I do and this book is solidly that. Plus, Andrea’s inner voice is sparklingly neurotic, self-depreciating and funneee… hence the Bridget Jones nod. So you get to live in her head, feel her elations and also her mortifications (which are many). There are also other really useful urban survival guides here like how to sift through Tinder profiles and did you know there is an angpow rate spreadsheet wafting about? I want one of those!

 

Is This Really for Me?

This book is smack within chic-lit territory (not to pigeon-hole it in rom-com, it’s more than that) however, the story does centre on Andrea’s romantic life and first person narration, so if this is not your wheelhouse then move along.

 

A Prose Taster

“For desperate times call for desperate measures, and there is no period of time more desperate for single Chinese females over the age of thirty everywhere than the Annual Spinster-Shaming Festival, a.k.a. Chinese New Year. God help us persecuted singletons; God help us all.”

 

In a Nutshell

This book is launched during the whole pandemic hoopla which is a strange time. Some people did not read at all, some devoured books on pandemics, some went back to comfort reads. In the plethora of books at the moment that seemed depressingly dystopian and puts forth the darker view of humanity, picking up this book is like a whiff of fresh pandan cake because life goes on and there’s always room for a finding-your-self-story and hot men that smell of cinnamon.

 

Honey Ahmad (Ipoh Mari) is a scriptwriter, foodie and book nerd that’s constantly trying to marshal her thoughts into some semblance of order.  She has a book podcast called Two Book Nerds Talking (on Spotify, iTunes, Spreaker etc.) Listen to the interview with Lauren Ho here:

IG: tbntbooks

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