Posted in Reviews

Review: Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho

Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho

Recommended: sure!
For a unique plot of romance, for a story of motherhood with wonderful friend support, for a lot of laugh-inducing moments, for a glimpse of how co-parenting can start and work


Management consultant Lucie Yi is done waiting for Mr. Right. After a harrowing breakup foiled her plans for children—and drove her to a meltdown in a Tribeca baby store—she’s ready to take matters into her own hands. She signs up for an elective co-parenting website to find a suitable partner with whom to procreate—as platonic as family planning can be.

Collin Read checks all of Lucie’s boxes; he shares a similar cultural background, he’s honest, and most important, he’s ready to become a father. When they match, it doesn’t take long for Lucie to take a leap of faith for her future. So what if her conservative family might not approve? When Lucie becomes pregnant, the pair return to Singapore and, sure enough, her parents refuse to look on the bright side. Even more complicated, Lucie’s ex-fiancé reappears, sparking unresolved feelings and compounding work pressures and the baffling ways her body is changing. Suddenly her straightforward arrangement is falling apart before her very eyes, and Lucie will have to decide how to juggle the demands of the people she loves while pursuing the life she really wants


If you look back at my Fast Forward Friday post for this book, I got everything I wanted out of this and more. HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN? (Not often!) So I’m really impressed and delighted by this story. I did expect it to be a little bit more serious and dry, but I’m really pleased that I was wrong about that one point, because it was so much fun in addition to being thoughtful and emotional. There was a lot more rom-com to this than I thought there’d be!

Since Lucie is 37, I really appreciated that she handled things more maturely than a 17 or 27 year-old in these stories/situations. She can still be driven by her emotions, and kind of blind and stunted in some of her own flaws (Suzie, so sorry doll). For the most part though, she considers things, and apologizes when she’s in the wrong, and tries to see things from the other person’s perspective, and considers the advice from others she trusts. I just really appreciated that I could believe she was competent enough to raise a child in the first place, and thought through her plan.

37-year-olds are still fun and funny though, and Lucie proves that in spades. I cackled my way through a lot of this book, and thankfully at this point my boyfriend just knows that he can ask, but he’s going to get a several minute explanation to properly set up the context and motivation of the characters before I explain what happened and why it’s funny. The delivery in the book is much better than my own, I promise.

The characters absolutely drove this story, and they were exceptionally well done. On top of everything I’ve already mentioned, I didn’t feel like there was a “villain” in this book, which I loved. It was nuanced and human, where a lot of the pain people cause each other is due to a situation with tough choices, and not from them purposefully or unapologetically seeking to cause them pain. The conflict is a lot more internal and a deliberation of identity and desire. The question was more about what’s best for each character instead of good person beating out bad person. They’re all decent people. Some just get the shit end of the stick, like in real life.

Besides the character growth, the main conflict is Lucie navigating her demanding, traditional family and how extremely vocally angry they are at her choices in having a child and managing her relationships with others. The family angle was a piece of it, but the conclusion to it felt sort of abrupt. There was a boiling point, and then it seemed to just end there and move on the wrapping up the other loose ends. I was fine with it because I think it served its purpose in helping Lucie to grow as a person, but thinking back I’m a bit wondering what exactly the status of that ended up being.

And finally, for a book about motherhood, I’m so grateful that it was handled the way it was. A lot of the “in between” time was skipped to continue progressing the story, but the motherhood (and fatherhood!) aspect remained strong. The horrors of pregnancy that people sometimes gloss over were on full display here (extra nipples, peeing yourself, losing hair, lots of farting, constant vaginal discharge so you have to change your underwear a bunch, you know, all that fun stuff). Lucie’s support from her friends AND her male co-parent was so refreshing! It was relatable and funny and for a lot of folks, potentially informative in a really honest helpful way.

And one last quick note on Lucie’s friendships. I adored how they were so constant throughout it all. This isn’t a story where a friend gets mentioned once or twice randomly: they are an integral part of Lucie’s life. Lucie herself was a bit of a dolt for part of the friends’ subplot, but I still loved their conversations and reminiscing and joking. Also weird how childish Lucie was when Weina mentioned anything about sex with her husband? But whatever, I guess to each her own.

SO! Overall: yeah. This was a great pick for a Fast Forward Friday title. I think this has to be the fastest turnaround time ever for one — started it day it published, finished in two days, and reviewed barely a week after my FFF post. NICE!


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

11 thoughts on “Review: Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho

  1. That’s so great that this book was everything you’d hoped it would be! Friendships in a book like this are hugely important, and I’m glad to hear that the MC acts her actual age. (So many older protagonists—when we get them—are written no differently than their younger counterparts.) Though, reading your comments on the pregnancy part… I’m REALLY glad I never had kids. O.O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yo, pregnancy is TERRIFYING. Or it can be, at least. That’s not even the really tough stuff. But anyway, yes: I hate when the mentality and age doesn’t match the experience they would have at that point. So jarring!


      1. I do wish more people talked about all aspects of pregnancy. I’m not going to be going through it at this point, but still. There are so many parts of it that are never talked about and so come as a surprise or a shock.


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