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SARONG PARTY GIRLS by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Just before her twenty-seventh birthday, Jazzy hatches a plan. Before the year is out, she and her best girlfriends will all have spectacular weddings to rich ang moh – Western expat – husbands, with Chanel babies to follow.

As Jazzy – razor-sharp and vulgar, yet vulnerable – fervently pursues her quest to find a white husband, the contentious gender politics and class tensions thrumming beneath the shiny exterior of Singapore’s glamorous nightclubs are revealed. Desperate to move up in Asia’s financial and international capital, will Jazzy and her friends succeed?

Vividly told in Singlish – colourful Singaporean English with its distinctive cadence and slang – Sarong Party Girls brilliantly captures the unique voice of a young, striving woman caught between worlds. With remarkable vibrancy and empathy, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan brings not only Jazzy, but her city of Singapore, to dazzling, dizzying life.

Title : Sarong Party Girls
Author : Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 320
Genre : Contemporary, chick-lit
Publisher : Allen & Unwin
Release Date : August 1, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★

I’m going to be rather brief in my review on this one because it was a struggle to be engaged or stay engaged with this read. SARONG PARTY GIRLS feels initally like a light read with vapid characters, I could see quite quickly that that most of the characters were deeper than first glance but I struggled nonetheless to make connections with them.

Singapore life for the rich and entitled was like many that of the young and rich in other cities but with a different cultural landscape. These women were aiming to secure a white, western man but all did not go to plan. The tale completely immerses the reader from the first page in Singlish – a patois of the region which although was comprehensible, it was difficult to get lost in the words or story because I was constantly trying to make meaning and connections between words.

Overall, this read wasn’t for me.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

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