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Book review: New Waves makes a splash

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“New Waves” by debut author Kevin Nguyen is a quiet, funny novel about grief and friendship that takes you through the “work hustle” culture in the tech industry.

In the beginning, we are introduced to Lucas, an Asain-American man, and Margo, a black woman. They work at a majority white start-up tech company in New York City and form a bond over their shared experiences at the company.

After Margo is fired for calling out her boss’ racism, she and Lucas hash out a plan to steal private information from the company as “insurance.” However, when Margo is hit and killed by a car, Lucas goes on a mission to find out who Margo was and uncovers secrets that she’d kept from her family and friends. We follow Lucas as he uncovers Margo’s secrets, but we also see his own experiences as an Asian-American millennial and the austere loneliness he experiences in the industry.

Nguyen himself has worked in tech and media companies for years, ingrained in the “hustle” culture that’s so pervasive in today’s culture. Riding the train to and from work, he wrote the first draft of the idea for this book until it grew into something he thought he could work into a book. Jotting down the raw truth of being a millenial, the ways work can make people feel unfulfilled in today’s culture and random bits about technology, Nguyen was able to craft a story that perfectly highlights society’s digital isolation.

“New Waves” certainly made a splash in the book world, but this quiet book is sure to surprise you. Nguyen’s funny quips and unexpected truths show readers a clear mirror of our own world – especially how it affects those millennials focused on entrepreneurship and “making it big.”

The book was published on March 10 and is available everywhere books are sold.

You can follow Nguyen’s twitter @knguyen where he posts funny and insightful tweets.