Serene dreams of making couture dresses even more stunning than her mom’s, but for now she’s an intern at her mom’s fashion label. When her mom receives a sudden diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, all that changes. Serene has to take over her mother’s business overnight, dealing with ruthless investors who do not think a seventeen-year-old can run a fashion empire, while trying to figure out what happened with her dad in Beijing. He left before she was born, and Serene wants to find him, even if it means going against her mom’s one request—never look back.
Lian Chen moved from China to Serene’s mostly white Southern California beach town a year ago. He doesn’t fit in at school, where kids mispronounce his name. His parents don’t care about what he wants to do—comedy—and push him toward going to MIT engineering early. Lian thinks there’s nothing to stick around for, until one day, he starts Chinese Club after school . . . and Serene walks in.
Worlds apart in the high school hierarchy, Serene and Lian soon find refuge in each other, falling in love as they navigate life-changing storms.
So sweet. So real. And oh so great of a story. Private Label is a wonderful book of growing into yourself and not being afraid of it. It is told between alternate viewpoints of Serene and Lian who both know what they want out of life but have plenty of bumps to ride over along the way.
I absolutely adored the relationship between Serene and her mother. They’re so close and you can feel their love breathing between each page. On the other side, It was interesting to see Lian’s family, specifically his mother and how different his relationship is with his parents versus Serene’s.
One other thing I truly enjoyed was the fashion aspect and how Serene and Lily refused to give up on what they worked so hard to build. This story has a lot of never giving up on your dreams, especially when things in life get tough. Super inspiring.