A review by ambaright
Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Counterfeit is a lighthearted fast paced novel that explores the elusive world of luxury handbag counterfeiting. Ava Wong has spent her life building the perfect life with a young son, successful surgeon as a husband, and a background as a lawyer. But beneath this facade her world is crumbling: her marriage falling apart, her expensive law degree not in use, and her toddlers tantrums pushing her to the breaking point. Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s college freshman roommate from Mainland China who abruptly dropped out and disappeared. Now, twenty years later Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend and gain a business partner for her ingenious counterfeit scheme. Exploring upscale designer storefronts and the Chinese factories the luxury goods are produced, Counterfeit masterfully places the reader in the middle of the schemes. 

I don’t want to spoil the book so I won’t say much, but the point of view used throughout the book is different than what I have read before and really does put you in the middle of the schemes. While most novels show positive character progression, Kristin Chen strays from this trend by revealing the dark side of counterfeiting and the impact it has on peoples lives, and the powerful hold money and control has on individuals. Ava and Winnie are both mischievous in their own way, but equally badass woman who demand more for their life.  

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