Reviewed by Jenna
TITLE: Red Envelope
AUTHOR: Atom Yang
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
LENGTH: 49 Pages
RELEASE DATE: 12/04/2015
The Chinese New Year is a time for saying goodbye to the past and hello to the future, but Clint doesn’t want to bid farewell to his cousin’s handsome American friend, Weaver, after they share an unexpected passionate encounter.
The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar, a time for family reunions, and for saying goodbye to the past and hello to the future. Clint, however, doesn’t want to bid farewell to what happened after last year’s celebration, when he and his Cousin Maggie’s handsome Caucasian friend, Weaver, shared an unexpected but long-desired passionate encounter. East is East and West is West, and Weaver seems to want to keep it that way, but maybe Clint can bridge that great divide this coming New Year, and show Weaver what it means to be loved and accepted.
The story begins with an introduction to Clint who is of Chinese origins but is growing up in the United States. He often feels like he has two identities, but this feeling soon fades as he gets older. Clint knows he likes guys and when he meets the blond beauty, Weaver, he can think of nothing but him. However, Clint has to endure a long period of separation while Weaver is away in China. When Weaver returns, Clint can no longer hold back his feelings.
I have to start off by saying that I decided to read this book since I had the pleasure of meeting the author at GRL this year, and he made a great impression on me. With that said, I’m glad I took a chance on him and read this book. Aside from being well written, Red Envelope was a perfectly sweet and romantic debut novella. I loved having an insight into Chinese culture, especially seeing how it played out when it came to a cross-cultural romance. Though most of the story is about Clint’s experience and his longing for Weaver while he was away, I liked seeing how Weaver reciprocates his feelings by studying Chinese. Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I recommend Red Envelope to anyone who loves Chinese culture and interracial m/m romance.