I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for Fake Dates and Mooncakes that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
How would you describe Fake Dates and Mooncakes in one sentence?
Two boys fake date and fall in love around mooncakes and the Mid-Autumn Festival!
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Fake Dates and Mooncakes?
Dylan Tang’s parents are from Singapore, but he was born in the States. He wants to win the Mid-Autumn mooncake-making contest in his mom’s memory—they had wanted to enter the contest together—as well as to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Singaporean Chinese takeout, Wok Warriors. Dylan hasn’t had much luck in love, nor has he had much time for it, as he’s busy with senior year and helping to deliver food—which is how he meets Theo.
Theo Somers is biracial Asian American—his dad is white, and his late mom was from Hong Kong. He’s the boy with the wealthy, absent dad who has everything he could ask for. He and Dylan come from completely different backgrounds, but he’s attracted to Dylan’s down-to-earth personality and self-deprecating manner. He asks Dylan to be his fake date to a glitzy family wedding in the Hamptons, where Crazy Rich Asians-style hijinks ensue!
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
A bit of both! I nearly always need to have the major beats and the end of the story plotted out before I can start drafting. But the journey—how the characters make their way through the story, face challenges, and grow—is a discovery during the drafting process and often includes some unexpected detours. In short, Act 1 and Act 3 usually turn out according to plan, but Act 2 is an adventure.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
A favorite quote from the book is the Chinese phrase 有缘千里来相会 (yǒu yuán qiān lǐ lái xiāng huì), which means “We have the destiny to meet across a thousand miles.” I’ll leave readers to discover for themselves why this phrase is so meaningful in the story!
What is something readers will find in Fake Dates and Mooncakes that they may not realize based on the
While it’s a rom-com, many early readers have commented on the themes of grief and healing that are woven into both boys’ lives and interactions. We also see how their found families have supported them, and they help each other honor the memory of their loved ones in a really special and touching way.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Fake Dates and Mooncakes?
A curiosity about Singaporean Chinese food and cultural traditions! As my author bio confesses, I have an abiding love for local street food, including an incredible weakness for xiao long bao. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also my favorite festival and a cherished part of my childhood. I have fond memories of walking around with lanterns under the full moon as a kid and, when I was older, making snow-skin mooncakes with my dear aunt.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Fake Dates and Mooncakes?
I love THE CHARM OFFENSIVE by Alison Cochrun, an incredible author I admire, who also gave a wonderful blurb for Fake Dates and Mooncakes!
WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is one of my favorite YA rom-coms, with an adorable accidental meet-cute, and it’s also set in New York City.
LUNAR LOVE by Lauren Kung Jessen is another great rom-com that features Asian culture and traditions—it revolves around matchmaking and the Chinese zodiac.
ABOUT THE BOOK
TITLE: Fake Dates and Mooncakes
AUTHOR: Sher Lee
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2023
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Rep: Chinese, Singaporean Chinese, Singaporean, Gay
Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians in this heartfelt, joyful paperback original rom-com that follows an aspiring chef who discovers the recipe for love is more complicated than it seems when he starts fake-dating a handsome new customer.
Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.
Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.
In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.
Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?
Content Warning: Grief
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sher Lee writes rom-coms and fantasy novels for teens. She lives in Singapore and has an abiding love for local street food (including an incredible weakness for xiao long bao).
FAKE DATES AND MOONCAKES, pitched as Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians, is her debut YA rom-com coming Summer 2023 from Penguin Random House.