The Donut Trap


Julie Tieu sparkles in this debut romantic comedy, which is charmingly reminiscent of the TV show Kim’s Convenience and Frankly in Love by David Yoon, about a young woman who feels caught in the life her parents have made for her until she falls in love and finds a way out of the donut trap.

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.

The Donut Trap Large Cover
  • Praise for The Donut Trap:

    "Donut miss this tasty treat! Julie Tieu is going on my auto-buy list. Her writing is as fresh and warm as a newly baked glazed. You need this book now."
    -- Meg Cabot, author of the Little Bridge Island and Princess Diaries series

  • "A sweet, heartfelt romance about following your own path and following your heart. This relatable story is perfect for anyone who's ever felt uncertainty of who they are and where they belong." -- Suzanne Park, Author of Loathe at First Sight and So We Meet Again

  • “This book gave me extreme heart eyes. The Donut Trap explores the post-college doldrums in a real and refreshing way, with a cast of charming characters, a sharp sense of humor, and a romance sweeter than frosting. A delectable debut!” -- Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk

My Review:

3 Stars
You had me at donut. I am the biggest lover of romcom that involve food. Like, I don't think there is a better gene of novels out there. Give me some love with a side of yummy food, and I will give you all my money. I also really want some donuts now...

I'm really enjoying how many more books are being published with relatable stories for my age. I feel over the last three years, the books of mid-twenty years olds have exploded, and I am so happy for it. (The book I read before this was about a 40-year-old) so it's always so exciting to get something more my age. The story follows a daughter of immigrant parents who owns a donut shop, and her struggle to grow as a person after schooling is over. The love interest hit home for me. She reconnects with someone from college that she wanted to get to know but couldn't find the courage to. Such a cute story and a fun read. Just make sure to have some donuts nearby as the number of times I started craving them was insane.


Thank you to Netgalley and Avon for an advance copy of The donut Trap in exchange for my honest review. I can't wait to add the physical copy to my shelf this holiday season.

Character Build






Julie Tieu is a Chinese-American writer, born and raised in Southern California. She has a B.A. in Psychology, Minor in Education from UCLA and a M.S. in Counseling, College Counseling/Student Services from CSUN. She writes contemporary romance novels and spends too much time thinking about what her characters are eating. When she is not writing, she is reading, on the hunt for delicious eats, or dreaming about her next travel adventure. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her high school crush husband and two energetic daughters

Julie Tieu Author Photo
Avon Haper



Avon is one of America's most acclaimed romance imprints. Known for having pioneered the historical romance category, Avon continues to publish a wide variety of genres, including contemporary, rom-com, paranormal, and regency romance.

Harper Voyager is a thriving global imprint dedicated to science fiction and fantasy.

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