cover image Well, That Was Unexpected

Well, That Was Unexpected

Jesse Q. Sutanto. Delacorte, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-43397-3

Sutanto’s (The Obsession) uproarious rom-com follows Sharlot Citra and George Clooney Tanuwijaya, both 17 and of Chinese Indonesian descent, as they navigate familial and cultural expectations via a fake dating scheme. Southern California native Sharlot is sent to Jakarta for the summer after her mother catches her and her secret boyfriend, Bradley, who is white, on the verge of having sex. Meanwhile, George, who lives in Jakarta, has his own troubles after his father walks in on him masturbating and an internet tab mix-up leaves his family believing he’s interested in furry porn. George and Sharlot’s lives intertwine when, to encourage associating with “respectable” people, George’s father and Sharlot’s mother set the teens up on a blind date—posing as their respective children on a social media site and effectively catfishing each other. Though Sharlot and George immediately butt heads, they agree to date to keep up appearances, but as they strip back their misconceptions and preconceived notions, the pair fall for each other. Sutanto explores the richness of Indonesian culture and history through alternating first-person perspectives, a large and vibrant Chinese Indonesian cast, well-timed comedy, and soap opera–worthy drama in this summery read. Ages 12–up. Agent: Katelyn Detweiler, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)