By book two in this Blue Cedar Falls series you know I’m hooked. I love the themes of sisterhood and family. Plus Han and May have to be my favorite side characters from the first! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
May Wu is no longer the shy teen who skipped out of her small North Carolina town right after graduation. Now she’s a successful travel writer who can handle any challenge. Until her latest assignment sends her home to Blue Cedar Falls, where, of course, she runs straight into Han Leung, a.k.a. the guy who got away. How dare he still be so good looking, funny, and easy to talk to?
Han always does the responsible thing, which is why he put aside his dreams of opening his own restaurant to run his family’s business. But when May re-enters his life, he can no longer ignore his own wants and desires. Garden gnomes are stolen, old haunts are visited, and sparks fly between the pair, just as they always did. But Han and May broke up because they wanted vastly different lives, and that hasn’t changed—or has it?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Having absolutely loved May from The Inn on Sweet Briar Lane, I was so excited for Return to Cherry Blossom Way. Han and May instantly got me. I loved the ways May is struggling to reconcile her dreams with the feeling of being at home. Being stuck back in her old ways and these old relationships, and the pain. And how Han feels like he’s so close to striking out on his dreams and seeing his path diverge. Han and May felt like such fully fleshed characters on their own.
Because at the end of the day, what happens when we have achieved our dreams but it’s not what we thought? Or we have given up on a vision of our future, only for us to have lingering questions? If you love those ideas, then you have to read Return to Cherry Blossom Way. I adored how Chin examines this feeling of being submerged back in these memories, this small town, and how May copes. Who doesn’t love a good second chance romance that forces its characters to confront the distance?
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But as an Asian American, I also loved the ways in which May has to confront her memories of being bullied as a kid. All the fear and pain and the knowledge that we have more power, more of a voice now. Return to Cherry Blossom Way is about how we can limit ourselves, how we can let these external factors control us. How hard it is to admit we need someone, to look the fear of disappointment in the eyes, or the fears within.