Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars – maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.
Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.
With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.
The Donut Trap centres around Jasmin Tran trying to find her footing post-graduation. She is stuck in a rut and unable to find a job outside of her family donut shop. Although classed as a romantic comedy, I felt the focus was mainly on Jas’s personal journey rather than the romance, her struggles establishing her career, her self doubt and the dynamics with her family. The romance that was in there was lighthearted and funny with some witty dialogue and the text communications are particularly amusing. The story moved at a fast pace, at times it felt a little rushed, for example in one chapter Jas was asking for ‘more space’ from Alex, I then turned a page and she is meeting him for coffee. The chemistry between them could have been heightened as the relationship developed, there was a consistent air of awkwardness between them, which may or may not have been intentional.
The characters are well developed and each one has their own unique personality. Jas is a delightful character, she’s funny, awkward, emotional and entirely relatable. This book will make you very hungry with all the gorgeous references to Asian food and of course the donuts. This is a good, but not outstanding, debut novel, it’s easy reading and entertaining, however a little too light on the romance for me.
Publication Date (UK): 9 December 2021
Page Count: 368
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊