The Stand-In // Book Review

About The Book
Gracie Reed’s barely holding it all together. But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema’s golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. Fangli so desperately needs her help. Readers will delight in this glamourous, swoon worthy enemies-to-lovers romance that is as hilarious as it is heart-wrenching.
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My Rating

This is a fun romantic comedy with the ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ trope. In the book, we follow Gracie balancing an uncomfortable work situation, getting her mom into a top-notch nursing home, and trying to create the best planner app. But, her life is flipped upside down when she gets approached by Chinese star Wei Fangli, and her supposed boyfriend Sam Yao, and asked to be her stand-in.

Now this isn’t a doppelganger story, because throughout the book- it is mentioned that the two don’t look completely alike. However, with the right makeup, clothing and lighting- they look almost identical. And, I loved every second of this book – because this is one of my favorite plot devices.

Gracie is a very shy and non-confrontational person, so she rarely, if ever, stands up for herself or goes after what she wants. I am not a fan of characters that are pushovers, but I did love seeing Gracie’s character development throughout the book. Even though the ending was a little too far fetched and happily-ever-after for my liking.

“No one else can be you. No one else can tell your story like you. You are unique. So write the movie you want to see.”

There were so many great side characters within the story, such as the love interest, Sam. You could almost call this a grumpy/sunshine romance, since Sam was much more serious than Gracie, but they did help bring out a different side of each other. Gracie was able to speak her mind to Sam. And, he let her show him how to be a regular person despite his stardom.

Although she wasn’t shown much, Wei was another great character. Her storyline was a nice addition to the plot. This is, first and foremost, a full romance plot, but mental health does play a role as well. Struggles with depression and anxiety are talked about throughout the story. I appreciate how the author let it be known that it’s okay to seek help and get on medication.

Overall, the writing was phenomenal, and really kept me interested. However, I did find that the book was a bit long, and slow at times. But that ending was amazing! I didn’t see it coming, yet it worked well and wrapped everything together. Looking back on it, however, there was a lot of foreshadowing, so one could probably figure out the twist.

In the comments, let me know if this book is on your TBR. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to get post notifications. Every week you can find new bookish posts on the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,

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Fadima Mooneira
9 months ago

Oh wow!!! Romantic comedy is definitely my genre. I will add this book to my TBR. Thank you for sharing.