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Fly for Both of Us by Melly Sutjitro, #40 review

Publication date: 3 March 2020

Fifteen-year-old Ben Leung can’t believe a girl like Kai Gupta would want to be his friend, let alone his girlfriend. They have absolutely nothing in common. He’s Chinese; she’s British Indian. He’s a Star Trek nerd; she’s a model.

When Kai is offered a modeling career that requires her to move overseas, she persuades Ben to come along. They hatch a plot. They pinky promise.
Everything is running according to plan… until it isn’t.

Can a young love survive 7,235 miles between Hong Kong and Los Angeles?
Theoretically, it can.
Theoretically…

From the author of MY LEA and I WON’T BREAK comes a geeky and tender story about falling in love, fulfilling family duties, and chasing dreams.

My first five-stars read of the year. It is candid. True people of colour representation and it takes you through the journey of love maturing with years.

Fly for Both of Us is a stunning masterpiece of timeless romance that will continue to inspire others and give faith to people who need it most. I fell in love since page one, I cried, I laughed, I raged and most of all, I love. I have to thank Melly for several reasons, the main one being how lucky I am to receive a paperback ARC signed by her! And secondly, for doing her research material on the book thoroughly.

Having been to Hong Kong twice, I am no stranger to this city being the Asian version of New York City. It is bustling with activity and PEOPLE! So much people everywhere! it is a sardine can! Not to mention, with that crazy amount of people, we definitely have to celebrate the FOOD and different cuisines from different cultures which made me appreciate the swap lunches that Kai and Ben did even more. Since I know how to speak Cantonese, which is the main language in Hong Kong, I have to applaud Melly for getting her homework done on the ways to pronounce the language AND incorporating it into the dialogue of the characters.

“When life comes kicking, dreams shatter.”

Ben

The starting of the book almost made me cry. So be warned! Standby tissues! Or I’m too emotionally invested in the book and characters, meh. There are four parts in the book, the first part is how they met and fell in love then the story continues in the separate parts, AKA phases of their lives as they grow up.

Let’s get on to our main characters, Kai and Ben!

Kai: WoW, this girl is a mix of cultures into one. She is born Indian but raised in England and then her family moved to Hong Kong. To make it easier for you to understand, she is brown and she speaks British English in a city of Chinese who speaks Cantonese which she also speaks as well. Oh and not to forget, she is drop-dead gorgeous. Her character is very much like me in the sense of humour, we both love lame (awesome and clever) puns and we talk smart which tends to piss off someone unintentionally. Whoops. It is all part of the charm to make someone fall in love with you. It is a secret recipe, write it down ya’ll. Born into a rich family, she has the privilege of the easy life. Which is a stark contrast to Ben’s, it was interesting to see their dynamic from their background to their upbringing. Despite coming from a rich family, Kai is very down to earth and compassionate. Her empathy is one of her best qualities.

Ben: Meet the K-pop looking Asian Ron Weasley. His character brings the lyrics “I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover” by Taylor Swift true to Kai’s love for him. This whole book is basically written after “Lover” album okayyyyyy!! He reminds me a lot of Peter Pevensie from Narnia as well. He carries so much weight on his shoulders that I’m honestly surprised that he isn’t the hunchback from The Hunchback. Oh and he’s such a nerd! And dork! He loves Star Trek to death. Kai always teases him by getting the Star Wars and Star Trek franchise mixed up which triggers him into a lengthy explanation. HA! Little did he know that Kai did it just to spite him! Muahahha, I love my evil girl. Wait, this is about Ben. Rewin. Ben is a family man, even at his teens, it is obvious that he is more mature in the mind compared to other teens because of the manners he was instilled at a young age. There is a flaw that comes out of this kind of upbringing. As a man in an Asian household, you are taught to shoulder the mass of responsibility alone thus it was not easy for Ben to see past his male masculinity and share his burdens with Kai. Ben is a very well developed character. Love that. I rarely see these traits in male characters shown on pages.

{Just putting it out there for readers}
There are many references to the word “Fly” in the book, it is a LOT. I myself, don’t find it overused. It is a word that carries so much more meaning than just “soar” to Kai and Ben, it is their love for one another so “Fly” like “Love”, it used in the correct dosage in the book.
This is mature content. There are swear words and some well, ADULTY STUFF! Like… S-E-X, you have been warned so if you’re like 12? (I like to think that most of the people who read this are teens and adults, not tweens) Read with responsibility.

{Trigger Warnings}
There is mention of an eating disorder in the book, it is towards the back where Kai is in LA. Ok, let’s start with how real this disorder is among models. It is no secret that many models have an eating disorder. In order to survive in the brutal modelling industry, you need to have a somewhat perfect body with the right boobs, the right curves, the right butt, a thigh gap. There’s no fucking winning! Naturally, as an Indian, their bodies are built to be curvier as their culture is more expressive in dance and food. When Kai goes through her disorder, my heart sank for the phoenix who flew with grace and fierceness.

Fly for Both of Us comes out on 3.3.2020, be sure to get your copy or you will regret it!! FOR REAL!!! Thank you once more to Melly for sending me an ARC! I am blown away! It is truly a book with its own voice.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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