Friends with ARCs | The Donut Trap

The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu
⭐⭐💫 2.5 stars | The Donut Shop had a really cute premise (it literally had me at donuts) but unfortunately, it didn’t quite deliver. Jasmine Tran is currently living at home, has no professional or dating prospects (much to the disappointment of her mother), and is forced to work at her parents’ donut shop as a result. She knows she needs to break out of her rut but when a rent increase weights heavily over the family business, her parents  expect her to help out more than ever. At the same time, she runs into an old college crush, Alex Lai, who pretty much ticks off all the boxes for her and her parents, but their new relationship soon begins to hit some bumps in the road. Between relationship drama, family expectations, and her own internal conflicts: there was a lot going on. 

First and foremost, I struggled to relate because I had a very different upbringing from Jasmine. The author leans very heavily into the strict Asian parents stereotype, which does exist (my ex-friend from college can attest to this) but that wasn’t my experience. I was never pressured to have a certain career or to date or get married. I was also never afraid to stand up for myself. While my parents and I definitely had a big generational divide that prevented us from seeing eye to eye when I was younger, we organically became very close as I got older. This conflict is a huge part of Jasmine’s story and journey, and it’s not resolved in a cathartic way. Suddenly things were just better after Jasmine’s big “confrontation” (which was supposed to be the climax and utterly laughable, and not in a good way). But that was pretty much the pattern with this book. Parent drama? Fixed. No job? She lands the first one to fall into her lap and of course, she excels at it. Relationship drama? Easily resolved too. Jasmine spends the majority of the book complaining and flailing about (can you tell I couldn’t empathize with her?), but I felt as though we never really saw her work hard to put in the effort to earn how easily everything worked out for her in the end. 

What’s your favorite donut flavor? | It depends on where I am! If I’m walking into Dunkin Donuts, I always choose strawberry frosted donuts with sprinkles or glazed. If I’m walking into a donut specialty shop, I’m a sucker for anything matcha or caramel flavored. 

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


with love,