08 November 2016

Today's Read & Giveaway: The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade ChangImagine that you left your native China to achieve success in America, complete with booming business and Bel-Air mansion. Now suppose it's 2008 and you have just learned you lost it all. What would you do for your wife, your kids, yourself, or even your ancestors? Here are Charles Wang's current thoughts:

Charles Wang was mad at America.

Actually, Charles Wang was mad at history.

If the death-bent Japanese had never invaded China, if a million—a billion—misguided students and serfs and never idolized a balding academic who parroted Russian madmen and couldn't pay for his promises, then Charles wouldn't be standing here, staring out the window of his beloved Bel-Air home, holding an aspirin in his hand, waiting for those calculating assholes from the bank—the bank that had once gotten down on its Italinate-marble knees and kissed his ass—to come over and repossess his life.

Without history, he wouldn't be here at all.
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, p. 3)

Quick Facts

  • Setting: modern times (about 2008), on the road from California to New York
  • Circumstances: The Wangs are trying to cope with their fall from the 1 percent, each with his or her own identity crisis issues, although they're more or less facing the future as a family. Homeless and almost carless they leave LA to move into the elder daughter's rural New York farmhouse. A wacky road trip novel that explores some thoughtful themes.
  • Genre: contemporary adult fiction; a debut novel
  • Themes: family dynamics, the immigration experience, self-discovery, young and mature love, dashed dreams, cultural and racial identity
  • Characters: Charles Wang, once a cosmetic business giant; Barbra, his second wife, also a Chinese American; Grace, his youngest child, a high school fashion blogger; Andrew, the middle child, an aspiring comedian / college student; Grace, the eldest child, a troubled artist; the people they meet on the road
  • Everyone's talking: Chang's debut novel is getting all the buzz: It's one of Entertainment Weekly's most anticipated titles of 2016, a fall 2016 Barnes & Noble discover pick, a Publishers Lunch fall 2016 buzz book, the Millions most anticipated book, and one of Library Journal's five big debuts for fall 2016
  • What I'm looking forward to: I love a good road trip book and I think The Wangs vs. the World, featuring a dysfunctional family whose members are simply trying to stay afloat in changing circumstances, will be fun to read just before the winter holiday season. This novel promises to be funny, smart, and thoughtful all at once.
  • To learn more: Visit the novel's website or follow it on Instagram; follow Jade Chang on Instagram and Twitter; or follow Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Giveaway

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt I can offer one of my readers with a USA mailing address a copy of Jade Chang's debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win a copy of this book is to fill out the following form with your USA mailing address. I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on November 15. After the winner has been confirmed and the address has been passed along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!


Sarah's Book Shelves 11/8/16, 7:30 AM  

I really liked the opening, but unfortunately this novel didn't work for me. I bailed around 30%. But, I've seen lots of other positive reviews, so I could be an outlier.

bermudaonion 11/8/16, 7:46 AM  

I'm really looking forward to this one.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 11/8/16, 8:16 AM  

Nice choice. I'd keep reading. There's been so much buzz about this book and I have it on my wish list.

Reading with Jade 11/8/16, 9:21 AM  

This doesn't sound like my kind of book - the themes aren't things I'd typically go for - but I hope you're enjoying!

Daryl 11/8/16, 9:47 AM  

sounds good ... but i just cant bring myself to carry a book .. too lazy, too reliant on my iPad and its reading apps

Nise' 11/8/16, 9:49 AM  

I love the sound of this book and would continue reading. Thanks for hosting a giveaway.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/8/16, 10:30 AM  

I like the sound of this one as well; I'd read more.

Laura 11/8/16, 10:45 AM  

I love the title, but not sure the book is for me. Thanks for sharing your teaser from it. My Teaser

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/8/16, 10:55 AM  

I've been noticing this one, but the title and cover didn't do much for me...but now...well, you've hooked me! Road trip. Dysfunctional family. My kind of fun.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Vicki 11/8/16, 1:16 PM  

This is very different than what I usually read, but from what you shared, I'd keep reading.

Margot 11/8/16, 1:22 PM  

I like the style in that first paragraph. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Kathy Martin 11/8/16, 3:21 PM  

This isn't really my genre. I think I'll be content finding out what others thought of it. Happy reading!

Unknown 11/8/16, 3:44 PM  

I really like the sound of this book. Am adding it to my TBR list.
Thanks for sharing

Unknown 11/8/16, 4:31 PM  

I've been on the fence about this book. Your choice of teaser has me curious again.

My TT from The Scorpio Races

Tea 11/8/16, 4:36 PM  

I have written the title of this one down in my notebook.

Emma Litttlefield 11/8/16, 8:15 PM  

I like the sound of this and the introduction. I bet it would be fascinating so I'd carry on reading.

Unknown 11/9/16, 6:32 AM  

This is actually on my TBR and that opening sounds fascinating. Read on!

Cleopatra Loves Books 11/10/16, 2:03 PM  

This sounds brilliant what with the humour and the dysfunctional family - good luck to all the US readers.

Iliana 11/10/16, 5:36 PM  

Thank you so much for hosting the giveaway. This sounds like a great read!

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/13/16, 5:40 PM  

I saw the author on Seth Meyers show this week and she was so funny and charming.

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