Book Review: Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

“Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy a decent fake.”

Published in 2022, Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen follows Ava Wong who has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home, she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this faΓ§ade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point.

Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme, and now she needs someone with a US passport to help manage her business – someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava.


Like Hustlers meets Crazy Rich Asians, Counterfeit is an exciting and original crime story that you’re sure to have a lot of fun with.

I always enjoy reading about the filthy rich and seeing the very different ways they live their lives and how that alters their mentality. They think they can get away with anything. And for the most part, they can!

I really enjoyed the escapism of this one and found it hugely entertaining. There are also some great themes around motherhood which made me engage with Ava and kept my interest in her story, as well as themes around culture and class which are what make it such an interestingly unique read.

I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a light read that will take you somewhere different.

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