Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto was..not what I expected #review

Synopsis

A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Story Locale: Southern California

 

Review

3 stars

I think I would have loved this much more had it been a movie than a book.

I love romcom but I need some subtlety between laughing out loud moments. Dial A for Aunties was rather a satirical tale than a romcom.

If in the beginning I really enjoyed the “everything goes wrong” and “our plans are once more thwarted” tropes when the author piled them up and had them on a loop, forcing me to suspend all belief…it lost its luster and magic.
I honestly didn’t expect that.
Would have I known it I wouldn’t have read it.
Not because it’s poorly written, not at all, but because it’s not what I appreciate in my stories.
But if you like the genre, honestly go for it because the book has many assets!

What I did love though was learning about the Chinese Indonesian cultures. Seeing how the respect of elders is engrained in the young generation and all the little things you can only learn from native authors.
The banter and bickering between Maddie’s aunts were entertaining as well as all the “misplaced priorities” these women demonstrated.
The family ties were strong and it was heartwarming to see these women banding together, never hesitating, to help one of their own. After all, I don’t even know if my own mother would help me bury a dead body!

The romance was cute too and Maddie was a sweet and loveable heroine. Very relatable even though from a totally different upbringing than my own.

One thing that bothered me was that even accidental, there was a murder and I didn’t feel that Maddie and her aunt felt much remorse. Granted the victim was maybe not the better person but I was shocked to see it somewhat brushed under the rug.

All in all, I think this story missed the mark with me but will be a hit for people amateurs of the satire genre.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Sophie

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14 Replies to “Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto was..not what I expected #review”

  1. Love the honesty, Sophie! I found the nod to Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder funny. A bit saddening that it wasn’t that mind-blowing! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. It does sound good from the synopsis. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    1. Thank you Laura!

  3. Sorry to hear this one didn’t work all that well for you. I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ll be curious to see if the same things that bothered you bother me too.

    1. I hope you’ll love it Suzanne!

  4. This isn’t my preferred genre anyway so I doubt I’d read it, but sorry it didn’t work better for you.

    1. Thank you Tammy!

  5. Awww, sorry this was not a good one for you. I loved it! I laughed so much and so hard. I just embraced the farce and enjoyed it.

    1. I should have Sam but farce has never worked for me even as a kid.

  6. Great review, sorry you didn’t love x

    1. It happens Caro!

      1. It does (I’m always gutted when it happens!)

  7. I unplugged my sense of disbelief and went all in on this one because it did make me laugh, and if you understand Indo Chinese drama, then you get an understanding of how Sutanto handled the murder aspect. But yes, to most of us, it is a little blasé and the elephant in the room.

    1. I guess I am not familiar enough with Indo Chinese drama Alex! But I am glad you really loved it!

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