Jackie Lau


Baldwin Village: Ice Cream Lover (2019)

Baldwin Village

Ice Cream Lover (2019)

Ice Cream LoverDrew Lum has sworn off dating. His fiancee left him standing at the alter, and then wrote a book about “your inner ice cream sandwich” that accuses Drew (under a pseudonym) of stifling her, being a terrible boyfriend, and someone who would make a terrible father.

Chloe Jenkin’s mother died four years ago, and it upended her life. Instead of becoming a dentist as everyone expected, she dropped out of college and just opened her own ice cream shop–a shop focusing on Asian flavors.

So Drew is a grump–everyone says so (including him)–but he doesn’t especially come off as that grumpy in the story.

Of course, I could try to change who I am as a person, but the two days I spent attempting to be cheerful and charming last fall were a disaster. Everyone looked at me funny, probably thinking I was on drugs, and it felt so forced and uncomfortable.

But to be honest, he doesn’t come across as grumpy in the story. Much of the early story, when he isn’t think about the book his ex wrote about him, he’s with his niece, and he is very much not a grump around her.

“I ordered the lemon-lime tart, pecan pie, and strawberry-rhubarb pie for you.”

“Yes, because what I need is three slices of pie.”

“You’re lots bigger than me, so you need lots more dessert.”

“Let me guess,” I say. “You were planning on trying all of these desserts?”

She nods vigorously. “But just a little bite.”

Chloe is a little more complicated.

In addition to being the only non-white person in my dad’s family, I’m also the only one— to my knowledge— who isn’t straight.

She’s also relentlessly chipper and outgoing.

I really wanted to like this story. It had so much going for it, from lots of descriptions of food, to own-voices characters.

But a some of it just plain didn’t work for me (ie, the casual sex) and some of it felt off to me (ie, Drew being a known grump). And I had issues with the Big Misunderstanding and it’s resolution. Primarily that Drew would have caused the Big Misunderstanding after Chloe came to him a mess after a fight with her father (the way that worked out just felt mean) and then Chole’s willingness to forgive and forget with almost no effort on Drew’s part.

Mind you, this wasn’t a bad book, it just was not a book for me.

Publisher: Jackie Lau Books
Rating: 6.5/10