Abigail Hing Wen on How One Summer Can Change a Lifetime

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper.

Our guest today is the novelist Abigail Hing Wen, who joins us to talk about her new YA novel Loveboat, Taipei, a coming-of-age story about taking risks, finding your voice, and discovering yourself in places you never would have predicted. Ever’s Chinese-American parents have planned every aspect of her future: but one summer in Taiwan — a trip they’ve sprung on their daughter as a not-very-welcome surprise might change everything. The result is an absolutely sparkling story that’s based in part on the author’s own young experience and a program that’s still going on today, and it’s B&N’s latest YA Book Club selection. Abigail Hing Wen sat down with Bill Tipper in the B&N studio to talk about the real summer-in-Taiwan experience that was the genesis for the story of Loveboat, Taipei.


Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, and praised as “an intense rush of rebellion and romance” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is a dazzling, fun-filled romp.

“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”

And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem:

Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.

Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.

Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.

And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.

When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.

The Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition contains a letter from the author and three bonus deleted scenes!

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