Roselle Lim’s sophomore book, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, is just as amazing and lovely as I expected. After Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune I had extremely high hopes for Lim’s next book. I was not disappointed. It’s a book full of dreams, family, and good food! Keep reading this book review to find out all the things I loved!
Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.
Ever since she can remember, Vanessa Yu has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.
The day before her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa accidentally sees her own fate: death by traffic accident. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric aunt, Evelyn, shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to America and bonjour to Paris.
While working at Evelyn’s tea stall at a Parisian antique market, Vanessa performs some matchmaking of her own, attempting to help reconnect her aunt with a lost love. As she learns more about herself and the root of her gifts, she realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
As someone who has always been intrigued by the idea of fortune telling, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop landed in my lap at the perfect moment. Combining a robust and lively family, decadent food descriptions, and explorations of power and responsibility, Lim’s sophomore book is a delightful read. If I had to summarize what I loved about Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, it comes down to food, family, and fortune.
You will need a snack while reading this book because it’s a book for foodies. Not only did I love the Paris setting – having just recently gone after years of wishing – but I also loved how Lim used food to make the setting come alive. There’s nothing I love more than gorgeous writing paired with food descriptions. The ways we use food to connect to people. To taste the secrets of our heart.
Another reason I loved Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop was Vanessa’s family. They were perfect in the way that you love family so dearly, but they know exactly how to best frustrate you. There’s a balancing game etched with love. With well meaning intentions and carefully placed meddling. I also adored how much Vanessa loves her family! Finally, I loved how Lim tackles Vanessa’s fortune telling.
Characters tackling destiny. Daring to shape the river of our life against the current. I loved Vanessa’s complex relationship to her fortune telling – the real life consequences – as well as the way it changes how others perceive her (and how she perceives herself).
Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop is just such a delightful book. Not only will it transport you to the gorgeous streets of Paris, but it will wrench your heart in the best way. Find Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.