Novel Review: You’ve Got Mail: A Cautionary Tale

You've Got Mail: A Cautionary Tale Book Cover

Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Lizonka

Title in Chinese飞鸽交友须谨慎
AuthorHēi Dànbái (黑蛋白)
GenreComedy, Historical, Romance, Boys Love
Chapters read at the time of this review97 / 106
My Rating4 / 5

Summary

(taken from NovelUpdates)

The Peng Society for Gentlemen–a secret friend-making club for the homosexual men of the Great Xia Dynasty. Its services were designed to help its members along in their quest for their lifelong partners. Upon paying a monthly fee of fifty coins, members could get themselves listed in The Pengornisseur after providing a self-portrait, a mailing address, their age and hobbies, as well as a self-introduction. All members would receive a copy of the monthly publication, and they could communicate with one another in private using the information in The Pengornisseur.


Wu Xingzi, a bachelor about to turn forty, worked as the adviser to the magistrate in Qingcheng County.

Qingcheng County was a place with barely any resources. In other words, it was poor. In the list of counties of the Great Xia Dynasty, it had been ranked at the bottom for the past two hundred years.

Wu Xingzi felt that his life was hopeless: not only was he a homosexual, he was also a virgin. Even his retirement fund was lacking. Worse still, his looks were… forgettable.

He might as well die.

Hence, Wu Xingzi decided to commit suicide on his fortieth birthday. However, he was unwilling to remain a virgin to death! And so, gritting his teeth, he joined the Peng Society for Gentlemen and received The Pengornisseur. It was very painful; after all, fifty coins were the sum of his daily expenditure for ten days! He would only pay it once, and he was determined to succeed on his first try.

Review

I have never laughed so hard before until I came across this gem. I know most people found this novel hot, but to me, it was just hilarious. Bless the author for the gratuitous papapa which is rarely found in danmei, but did they really need to have Wu Xingzi (MC) describe Guan Shanji’s (ML) pengornis with such flowery words? Boy, I bet MC could even write a whole poem about it.

YGMCT is basically the ancient Chinese rendition of the classic one-night stand turned true love trope. The MC is a shameless middle-aged man who finally finds a chance to explore his inner desires, yet somehow still manages to keep himself grounded and somewhat detached. MC isn’t stupid and his existence doesn’t revolve around ML. I like how he understands his limits and bears no unrealistic expectations from ML.

ML, on the other hand, is a j*rk, but he does get better later on. Then again, both of them had no regard for each other’s feelings in the beginning.

What I like most about this novel is that, despite it being light-hearted, it doesn’t lack on plot, depth, and angst. There’s papapa, yes, and lots of it too, but it’s not all about it. We get to see the main couple slowly seeing each other in a different light, struggling with their feelings, before finally allowing themselves to love and be loved.

The only con I could find is the slight drag on the plot after the end, or somewhat the end, of the Mr. Liu arc. Although I appreciate the supporting characters interfering so that Guan Shanji realizes his feelings for Wu Xingzhi,  I find their methods excessive. Like, seriously, stop playing mind games already and just let them be together!

Other than that, I have no scruples against it. YGMCT is a very fun ride. It’s perfect for those idle afternoons where you can barely keep yourself awake… and when you’re alone too (  ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )


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