Book Review: Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Posted September 26, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 36 Comments

Well, That Was Unexpected
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Publication Date September 27, 2022
Published by Random House Children's Books
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Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Family / Multigenerational, Young Adult Fiction / People & Places / Asia, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

"A delightful, hilarious, captivating love letter to Indonesia, and coming of age in a large meddlesome family, and the thrill of finding your person where you least expect it!"--Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

A laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who's whisked from LA to her mother's native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there, from the bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties and The Obsession

After Sharlot Citra's mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It'll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks.

When George Clooney Tanuwijaya's father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot's mother and George's father do what any "good" parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children.

When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?

Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto is a funny, heartwarming tale of family and love.  I enjoyed this multicultural story, with charming side characters and a beautiful love story. 

Sharlot Citra just wants to be a normal girl in school in California.  But, when her mother finds her in a compromising position with her boyfriend, her mother takes her to Indonesia to visit the family she barely knows.  Sharlot doesn’t want to leave her friends in California, but her mother knows best.  

George Clooney Tanuwijaya is the son of one of the wealthiest families in Indonesia.  His father insists that he settle down soon and find a wife.  

George’s father and Sharlot’s mother both begin texting each other as their children, not knowing that each are not the real George or Sharlot, and they decide to meet up.  George and Sharlot know they are not right for each other from the start, but they continue to date, and after several amazing dates, they begin to wonder if their parents are right. 

I just love the setting of this book.  George and Sharlot travel through Indonesia on their many dates, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the country and its beauty and customs.  But, it’s really the humor in this book that kept me turning the pages and laughing and giggling as I continued reading.  And I enjoyed watching Sharlot not only accept her heritage but embrace it.  

I also enjoyed the characters, all the characters!  Sharlot and George are terrific together, and they are truly meant to be, but of course, they don’t realize it for a while.  And the side characters are so well developed and just a lot of fun.  The way they all interfere with Sharlot and George’s life is hilarious, and I enjoyed both families so much.  

I highly recommend Well, That Was Unexpected to anyone who enjoys romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q Sutanto is the author of Dial A for Aunties, The Obsession, and Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Oxford University, though she hasn't found a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. The film rights to her women’s fiction, Dial A for Aunties, was bought by Netflix in a competitive bidding war. The novel will be out in April 2021. Jesse lives in Indonesia with her husband, her two daughters, and her ridiculously large extended family, many of whom live just down the road.

Uk Version:

I’m not sure which cover I like best. What do you think?

Have you read Well, That Was Unexpected? Which cover do you prefer?

36 responses to “Book Review: Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto

  1. Great review Wendy! This sounds like a sweet romance and I love multicultural books that teach about customs. I prefer the US cover.