Friday, May 13, 2022

Book Review: We Were Dreamers

Simu Lui's parents left him in the care of his grandparents in China, then brought him to Canada when he was four. Life as a Canuck, however, is not all that it was cracked up to be; Simu's new guardians lack the gentle touch of his grandparents, resulting in harsh words and hurt feelings. His parents, on the other hand, find their new son emotionally distant and difficult to relate to - although they are related by blood, they are separated by culture, language, and values.

As Simu grows up, he plays the part of the pious child flawlessly - he gets straight A's, crushes national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But as time passes, he grows increasingly disillusioned with the path that has been laid out for him. Less than a year out of college, at the tender age of 22, his life hits rock bottom when he is laid off from his first job as an accountant. Left to his own devices, and with nothing left to lose, Simu embarks on a journey that will take him far outside of his comfort zone into the world of show business.

Through a swath of rejection and comical mishaps, Simu's determination to carve out a path for himself leads him to not only succeed as an actor, but also to open the door to reconciling with his parents. We Were Dreamers is more than a celebrity memoir - it's a story about growing up between cultures, finding your family, and becoming the master of your own extraordinary circumstance.

Simu Liu's autobiography will be available everywhere on May 17, 2022. The publisher William Morrow has made the galley available in exchange for this honest review.

My first exposure to Simu Liu was when he appeared in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; I felt he did an amazing job as the lead in that Marvel movie. He then hosted Saturday Night Live, further showcasing his wit and charm. When I saw that his autobiography was coming out, I knew I needed to put it on my reading list.

I really enjoyed his story and that of his parents as well. Their immigration experience is very enlightening and, thanks to Simu Liu's honest and humorous delivery, very entertaining. There were times I found myself laughing out loud and smiling.

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