Book Review

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

(From the publisher) For fans of Hustlers and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, the story of two Asian American women who band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise—an incisive and glittering blend of fashion, crime, and friendship from the author of Bury What We Cannot Take and Soy Sauce for Beginners.

Reader’s Thoughts:

Counterfeit was a thoroughly entertaining read! The story follows two main characters: Ava and Winnie and the counterfeit luxury handbag scheme they embark upon. Easy to read, fast-paced, and full of light humor — I fairly flew through this novel!

The first thing that jumped out to me while reading this novel was the lack of quotation marks. This was my first time reading a book formatted like this. And while that may not appeal to everyone, I found it oddly worked! The book is mostly from Ava’s perspective as she confesses and recounts her escapades to a detective. Truthfully, I found the character of Ava beyond annoying, but hold on! It does tie together nicely at the end.

This story is full of the luscious, glittering world of luxury handbags — and the seedy underbelly of their counterfeit companions. Knowing nothing about this subject, I found it utterly fascinating. You couldn’t help but root for these two women in their “heist-like” adventure. I also did not expect the twists! There were some great surprises throughout the novel that caught me off-guard and added to the entertainment.

This entertaining read is sure to keep you flipping pages until the very end. Suspenseful, fun, and fast-paced, this summer read is perfect for a lazy afternoon beside the pool.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Recommended for:

Those looking for a fast-paced beach read.

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. eArc provided courtesy of Netgalley and HarperCollins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the book:

(From the publisher) Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy a decent fake.

Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home—she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point.

Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help manage her business—someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the consequences.

Swift, surprising, and sharply comic, Counterfeit is a stylish and feminist caper with a strong point of view and an axe to grind. Peering behind the curtain of the upscale designer storefronts and the Chinese factories where luxury goods are produced, Kirstin Chen interrogates the myth of the model minority through two unforgettable women determined to demand more from life.

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