Friday, January 27, 2012

Sushi for One by Camy Tang

Lex Sakai is a young, Japansese-American woman doomed to become the oldest single cousin in a few short month’s time. Her over-bearing grandmother threatens to withdrawal financial support from Lex’s beloved girls’ volleyball league if Lex can’t find a man…. and soon.

But, Lex is not your typical gal. Unlike the majority of her family, she and her three closest cousins ( and best friends) are Christians and Lex is a sports-loving, volley-ball playing male-repellant. She doesn’t know how to interact with guys and when forced to confront her singles’ group and volleyball friends for a prospective date, to appease granny and save the funding, her blurted-out lines are hilarious.

Sushi for One is unlike any other Christian chicklit you’ve read: at least it was when it first published in 2007 ( it has been followed by four other books by Tang in the same ilk: each focusing on one of Lex’s cousins and their journey toward romance ). Tang’s heartfelt infusion of multi-culturalism and the culture of her spunky, sprightly heroine is welcome throughout as she paints Lex’s relationships with her colleagues and her tightly-knit traditional family. Sushi is possibly my favourite food in the world and I was craving it throughout as Tang elicits some of her favourite Asian dishes in the novel. From sashimi to hot pot, you’ll be left salivating: in a good way.

As well as featuring a wonderfully unique and spicy heroine, Tang does well at painting a world relatively unknown in Christian fiction: the world of athleticism and sports. Lex’s job, her chance to play for an elite volleyball league, her endeavours as coach, her sports injuries and her passion for all things Athlete are a fresh twist of air to a genre where women are usually employed in more typified female gender roles. It takes the dashing (Tang says he smiles like Orlando Bloom) physiotherapist Aiden to turn Lex’s head.

Tang’s series boasts “romance with a kick of wasabi” and I can certainly appraise her narrative of having just that. This is edgy Christian chicklit, folks! It involves dancing, mentions of wine and hangovers, women who are too closely attracted and sexually assertive, flirting and spice. In fact, I loved that there were no self-reverential passages or italicized prayers. Rather, Lex and her cousins are strong, independently liberal Christians who put faith first; but also live beyond the bubble in the real world. This was a nice change to some of the overtly-evangelical fare I often read.

I found myself laughing throughout the novel: more at Lex’s subconscious train of thought and the snippy narrative than the many ( and I say WAAAY too many) accidents involving Lex and some sort of liquid. This is a little over-hyped: taking clumsy to a new level ---especially because Lex is described as possessing an athletic grace. Furthermore, a competent athlete would have the balance needed to withstand the multiple incidents which plague her. This goes from amusing to tiring infinitesimally. Otherwise, I found this a fresh and original chicklit and I look forward to reading some of Camy Tang’s other books!

You can buy Sushi for One at amazon
Visit Camy Tang on the web


ducKy Boyd said...

Is Aiden Asian?

Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much for your review! I totally appreciate it! I'm so glad you enjoyed my debut novel.

Ducky, Aiden is not Asian, although now looking back, I realize I never explicitly described him. If the book is ever reprinted, I could definitely look into making that more obvious.

Unknown said...

Glad you liked this one! :)