Book Review: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

Posted October 28, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review / 11 Comments

the donut trap
The Donut Trap
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Julie Tieu
Publication Date November 2, 2021
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 368
Format: ARC

Julie Tieu sparkles in this debut romantic comedy, which is charmingly reminiscent of the TV show Kim’s Convenience and Frankly in Love by David Yoon, about a young woman who feels caught in the life her parents have made for her until she falls in love and finds a way out of the donut trap.

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.


My Review:

The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu is a very enjoyable light, funny, multicultural romance.  And with a big donut on the cover, I just couldn’t resist this book. This is more than just a romance, it’s an emotional journey for Jasmine, and a journey for her family and her relationship with her traditional hard-working family. 

After graduating from UCLA, Jasmine Tran is still working in her family’s donut shop in the suburbs of Los Angeles, instead of following her dreams.  Except she doesn’t know what her dreams are, so her life is on a constant loop, of work, Netflix, and donuts.  

When an old college crush shows up in her shop, her life begins to change.  Alex is everything she’s been looking for, and everything her parents want her to marry.   He’s Chinese and fluent in Mandarin, the language of her parents.  But, after dinner with Alex, her parents, and his mother turns disastrous, Jasmine is not sure Alex is the man for her or she is the woman for him.  But, he’s made her realize she has to get her life in order before she can 

This book has everything I like.  A light sweet romance, a family that loves her daughter, but may not show always know how to show their love, and some fun friends to round out the story.  I think a lot of people can identify with a woman who finds herself a bit lost after graduating college, and also feel indebted to her family.  Jasmine has to find a way in life, and this is her story.  I thought the pacing was good, and the characters were all well developed.  I thought Jasmine’s relationship with her parents was complex, and Jasmine’s journey to understand herself and what she wanted for herself involved understanding her complex relationship with her parents.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

11 responses to “Book Review: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

  1. Yay! I’m glad you liked this one so much. I rarely read romance, but this does look like a fun read. And the cover makes me crave donuts something fierce. LOL.

    Good job on this review.

  2. This does sound like a sweet story – dare I say – much like the donut on the cover. 😇 I love the cultural aspect, in particular. Wonderful review!