Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

Single Sashimi (Sushi Series #3)
By: Camy Tang
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-27400-1

About the book:

Venus Chau is determined to start her own game development company and launch the next Super Mario-sized phenomenon. However, she needs an investor to back her idea. When Drake Yu, an old nemisis, approaches Venus with a contracting opportunity at his sister's startup, the offer tempts Venus to think the unthinkable.

Venus would rather throw away her PS3 than work for Drake again...but then Grandma bribes Venus to do this favor for Drake's wealthy family. With the encouragement of her three cousins, Lex, Trish, and Jennifer, Venus discovers that even a wounded heart can undergo a beautiful transformation...


Venus, the business-minded, career-driven "sushi" cousin, has a life most people would envy - she's drop-dead gorgeous, makes good money, and is brilliant to boot. As her close-as-sisters cousins begin to find love and settle down, her life on the career fast-track begins to feel as though it's lacking something. It doesn't help that her devotions time has become rote, just one more item to squeeze into a packed day. Venus has struggled for years to be taken seriously in the male-dominated gaming industry, since she's often overlooked for promotion or seen as only "eye" candy, particularly since her dramatic weight loss. When Drake, a charismatic former boss, offers her a high-profile, temporary job plus help starting her own gaming company, Venus is torn. If she can overcome her latent insecurities and give Drake a chance to prove himself, she might just discover that this God appointed chance at love is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she can't micro-manage or schedule...

Single Sashimi is chock-full of Camy Tang's trademark humor and spiritual insights that also made the first two novels in the Sushi Series such enjoyable reads. It's particularly fun watching the always proper Venus get taken entirely out of her comfort zone (like volunteering to work with a wild church youth group). As her life spirals out of control, Venus gradually rediscovers her identity in Christ and the joy of surrendering every aspect of her life to God. It's a hard call to make, but I think Drake is my favorite hero of the series - his reintroduction to Venus took my breath away. His transformation from driven, amoral exec to sensitive, growing believer is realistic and compelling. The tension between Venus and Drake practically crackles with electricity - she doesn't know what to make of him, and he's more than up to the task of overcoming her prickly armor.

Tang excels at creating very real characters. Over the course of three books, these four cousins are so real they've grown to feel like friends, and their journeys of faith and self-discovery are challenging and thought-provoking. The Sushi Series is smartly written and the characters are unforgettably real, the novels striking a delicate balance between thoroughly enjoyable escapism and life-changing, thought-provoking truths. I can't wait for Camy's next book!


My final review of Camy Tang's Sushi Series, originally published in September 2008.

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