Book Review – FERRY TALE by Shannon Young

Ferry Tale by Shannon YoungFerry Tale Synopsis :

She wants to be someone else…

Katrina Keller flees to Hong Kong after the most humiliating moment of her life goes viral on YouTube. She starts over as a lounge singer in a fancy hotel, wishing only to be anonymous. But that’s tricky when you’re the wrong end of an Internet joke.

He doesn’t want to risk another heartbreak…

Sam So transfers to Hong Kong after his long-term girlfriend cheats on him. He doesn’t want to risk another heartbreak by dating again, and he’s not even sure how people date in the world of Tinder and texting anyway.

When the two meet on the Star Ferry, Katrina will tell him she’s someone else, someone who’s as cool and sophisticated as she’s always wanted to be. Sam will be too caught up in her spell to remember he’s supposed to be avoiding relationships. But it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. Will they get their enchanted romance, or will Katrina’s lie destroy it all?

From the author of Year of Fire Dragons and The Art of Escalator Jumping comes a modern day fairytale about finding romance in an age when we tend to Google the mystery right out of love.


I first came across writer Shannon Young when I had the pleasure of reviewing How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit?, an anthology of creative non-fiction by expat women in Asia she edited.

Ferry Tale is unashamedly chick lit, but it is a well-written modern slant on the genre. It explores issues of stress and anxiety in our modern lives, the impact of social media and value of authenticity over appearances.

I appreciated Shannon Young’s confident and clean prose, and admire her decision to let her characters and their stories dictate the length of her novel (136 pages) rather than industry norms. At the heart of most chick lit there lies a quality premise, but the apparent need to stretch that idea out over 300+ pages is often their downfall.

Young evokes the vibrancy and sense of possibility in her adopted home Hong Kong. Her characters are each cast with their own unique mix of endearing qualities and weaknesses. Through alternating viewpoints, you’ll barrack for Katrina and Sam as they tackle their demons and learn more about themselves and each other in the process.

Ferry Tale is an enjoyably sweet and classy romance – set in the digital age, but not lost in it.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

Ferry Tale by Shannon Young
Available from:

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit

Author Information: Shannon Young is an American author living in Hong Kong. Her books include a love story, Ferry Tale; a coming of age travel memoir, Year of Fire Dragons; and a Kindle Single on student debt. She also edited an anthology of creative non-fiction by expat women in Asia and has written ebooks including a mini travel memoir, The Olympics Beat, and a novella, The Art of Escalator Jumping.

Shannon grew up in Arizona in a homeschooling family of nine children. She attended Colgate University in New York before moving to Hong Kong in 2010. Shannon’s writing has appeared in the Hong Kong Women in Publishing Society’s anthology, on numerous websites, and in MARY: a journal of new writing. She writes a blog called A Kindle in Hong Kong and a regular column about being an expat writer on The Displaced Nation.

Check out Shannon’s website, blog and connect on twitter.