Don’t Pretend to be Poor with Me


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The first day Song Yan transferred to his new school, he met his new roommate being blocked by gangsters in an alley asking to pay up a debt.

The stick in the new roommate’s hands fell, and the little gangster fled in defeat, but didn’t forget to yell in anger while running:

“Look at your little white face, if you find a wealthy woman and get rich, how can you still be afraid to pay up!”

The new roommate looked on in approval, and seemed to have realized the light: “Makes sense.”

Song Yan: “……” What kind of nonsense.

So to block his new roommate from going astray, Song Yan began the road to ruin of targeted poverty alleviation for pure and beautiful male high school students.

No money to buy dinner, so he treated him. No money for book expenses, so he sponsored it. No money for a scarf, so he took advantage of the buy one get one promotion from the store in front of the school to send him a scarf.

The eldest young master Song who already had his expenses cut off by his family had no choice but to learn to be thrifty and hardworking.

Later, his dad brought him to attend a dinner banquet: “Come, Xiao Yan, let me introduce you to grandpa Xia’s grandson, Xia Zhiye.”

Song Yan looked at the boy in front of him wearing a custom-made suit, with the worn out scarf that he dredged out from the buy one get one promotion in front of the school wrapped around his neck, and expressionlessly raised up a knife.

That night, in some male high school’s dorm room came the yell of domestic violence: “f*ck off, don’t pretend to be poor with me!”

However the target of the domestic violence patiently coaxed him: “I didn’t pretend to be poor, I’m really poor. But later on I’ll be very rich, and I’ll even give it to my boyfriend to manage, so how about you consider it again?”

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Related Series
A Certain Someone (2)
Fake Slackers (2)
I’ll Have My Seatmate Beat You (2)
My Underachieving Seatmate Doesn’t Need Any Comforting (1)
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15 Reviews sorted by

New kattlans rated it
February 23, 2024
Status: Completed
This is the charming tale of how two boys with disparate personalities ended up deeply in love with each other. While one struggles to express his feelings, the other has no hesitation in communicating his desires. However, their lives intersected at the perfect moment, complementing each other like pieces of a puzzle.

Both MC and ML faced individual challenges before meeting, navigating their days without a defined purpose. It was distressing to witness the shift from happy moments to forced separations. Yet, this was foreseeable given MC's strained relationship with his... more>> father.

The story brought originality by introducing an unconventional stepmother. She never complicated things for MC and always found time to send tokens of affection, demonstrating that he was not alone. Despite not sharing blood ties, she cared for him with the same love.

The cast and humorous scenes added a special touch, especially the small group of protagonists, embodying the typical fun and carefree spirit of adolescence.

Despite moments of sadness, reading this novel proved highly entertaining and enjoyable. <<less
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mycroft_holmes rated it
March 2, 2022
Status: Completed
Just finished mtl'ing the story, and I can't believe that it's already over uwu.

The tags are too few so it's pretty unreliable, but overall I think it's worth your two nights and one morning. There are a lot of things that I like in the story, or is it a lot I don't really know but:

1) first we have the characters. Song Yan (MC) is a well developed character for me, and it was quite a fun ride watching him become more aware of his inner thoughts. He's a lot... more>> of things. A cold rude guy, partly tsundere, partly depressed with lots of mental anxieties and breakdowns, and the story weaved these things together to make a main character that normally I wouldn't actually like, but I guess it grows on you. That's because he's really a good person, although it does get tiring watching him jump from one misunderstanding to another, and the way he helps others while refusing to admit doesn't show humility or anything, but more of his trauma and insecurities of attaching himself with others.

I also like how he became more open to his thoughts. There are dialogues later in the novel that he would never bother saying in the earlier part, and it feels so fulfilling watching this development grow. SY grew up with no emotional support in his life. His mother went crazy after getting abandoned by her husband and treated SY very harmfully, his father is hopeless case and it doesn't help that he views SY as an asset not his own child, his stepmother is pretty decent and does helped him in the later story but overall this experience led SY to develop a hopeless longing for family, and harmful aversion towards it.


Xia Zhiye (ML) is a great character too. You already know that there's this spectrum of ML archetypes that goes from cold to teasing, and clingy to more withdrawn. XZ is an extreme case of teasing and clingy. And it's a pretty good thing. But as of typing this right now Im the probably dead from the excessive secondhand embarrassment from SY's side. The author is pretty cruel at SY as you might have noticed, but I'm a seasoned reader, so it's pretty bearable. I guess that's what made XZ's character good for me. You know the tags 'love interest falls in love first' or 'clingy lover' or 'devoted love interest'? Yeah, if you are obsessed with those tags then this novel is pretty much for you, because personally I loved it.

When I said characters, that actually means the main couple, but overall the side characters are written well too. I loved how xiaopang teaches SY to be more considerate and understand XZ's feelings better, or how the stepmother helped SY, or how their friends supported and helped them contact each other during their separation. Yeah, it's pretty nice.

2) we're still doing numbers, but I also like the relationship dynamic. SY is a ruthless person and can't handle emotions well so most of the time he's just too thin-skinnned, and channel his embarrassment against XZ. XZ accepted it with grace. Ah, the novel also reminded me of Fake Slackers so that's why I'm pretty sucker for cold MC clingy ML type of story lol.

3) but the best thing in the story is the comedy and angst. What, the genre tag doesn't include the comedy part? Well, humor in itself is subjective, but bye my parents are sending me to the mental hospital for laughing all night for no reason. I guess it's the exposition and dialogues or the character interactions, it's not really SY's embarrassment event for nth time (sometimes those are just too hard to read), but the overall flow of the story with light and sincere atmosphere. As for angst...

I don't know guys, it's just a story, why should I bother writing this much. But I guess it's the surge of the moment, just like how it's written in the story. The morals is to treasure the present since it's where you can live at the moment. <<less
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Pretty good so far.

It's a nice story of redemption.

Song Yan, a cold and unlikable person transferred to a not so good school and finally made friends and discovered his not so inlikable after all.

In this story he has a scum of a biological father and a pretty decent stepmother. Which came as a surprise as I was used to evil stepmothers.
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ILoveCarrots rated it
February 27, 2022
Status: c55
I'm at chapter 55 raw and I'm really struggling to finish this novel. It became a hassle to read through it. The first few chapters were good and had the potential to be a sweet, romantic, teenage novel it seemed to be but as the chapters go by, the author just bombard you with unlimited misunderstandings and repetitive plot lines.

... more>>

I think the reason why it became such a drag is bec of the progression of the characterization of the MC. The MC had so much to offer at the beginning with how he's kind but a tsundere character. He's really likeable at the start and you can see through his actions that he has a soft heart. He was this repressed, passive fellow who is hated by his dad but he's still kind to others and is struggling to be loved. But as the novel continues, the author constantly shoves in your throat the idea that the MC is a kind, cute, and likeable sort of individual. It's not shown anymore but is imposed on you through the ML's perception of the MC. Well, the MC is definitely kind but he is starting to become unlikeable. He changed into this hissy, violent, aggressive, stubborn, jealous, small-minded piece of work. He still shows kindness at times but the story just becomes dragging with how he constantly misundenderstands every friggin situation. That's the whole plotline, they misunderstand each other, the MC throws a hissy fit, punches or beats the ML, the ML thinks he's cute and says it in his mind, the ML coaxes the MC, they make up or some sort, then the next misunderstanding ensues again. That why the story becomes dragging because I know there will be a misunderstanding again and the same make up thing will happen again and again. Then we have the ML. He's, well, he's just ok. He's not really great or anything. He's just generally ok. He's a do-gooder, handsome, smart, the kind who exudes laziness but he's not really lazy, and the dependable sort of kid who for some reason is in a situation where he's living like a poor person when he's really not. He always thinks the MC is cute or something even when he's being beaten and mistreated. I guess that's his thing. Nothing much to say about it.



I don't think I can go through the next 40 plus chapters when the plot is so predictable. I definitely know that the MC is going to be pissed at the ML when he finds out the ML is rich. Then the ML is going to coax him, the MC will reluctantly forgives him and their weird relationship full of the MC hitting the ML will continue.

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erista rated it
February 28, 2022
Status: Completed
really enjoyable story!! loved the MC and ML's relationship, and the side characters were also really cute!

ML likes teasing the MC into exploding, but he also really dotes on the MC a lot. MC is... extremely tsundere! But imo he's cute! There's a bunch of silly misunderstandings that constantly keep happening, but it's not really an... angst factor? I guess?

... more>>

It may seem like the MC doesn't put as much effort into the relationship, but that is acknowledged and he does try his best to be considerate, it's just hard for him to show affection outwardly but he really is gentle in his own way.

MC has depression (?), PTSD (?), and an extremely low self esteem due to his family issues. His stepmom tried to help, but it's also hard for her since she also has to protect her own biological son, but she cares for the MC and really steps up near the end of the novel.


the angst also made me cry... a lot... even parts not meant to be angst made me cry

(spoilers for angst + extras?)


It's that whole "parents find out, couple gets separated" typa thing. But I really felt like this plot-line was pulled off well in this novel because often in other novels that I have read, the main couple gets separated and never contacts each other until well into adulthood. But in this novel, they have people on their side helping them stay in contact with each other, as well as both putting in just... so much effort to be there for one another despite the obstacles that the MC's dickbag father and the ML's dickbag grandpa put in the way (they are also reunited fairly quickly compared to other novels). The author really describes how the separation affected them in a really tear jerking way. I won't say more... orz.

the extras also made me both laugh and cry... some of the extras included ML's diary after the events of the novel, an alternate universe where ML and MC were neighbors and childhood sweethearts, the POV of the dog they adopted as the couple and friends grew into adulthood, and more!!


so this novel was overall really good imo!! 5 stars!! would want to read for the first time again!! <<less
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hybridiris rated it
June 18, 2022
Status: Completed
I MTLed this novel but also read it in raw. I rate this novel 3.5 stars.

About the plot

MC gets transferred to a school and encounters ML. Through their interactions, he's slowly able to open himself to being friendly with ML and his thick outer defense surrounding his heart. He has tsundere tendencies which come with a psychological back story to it. This novel is about ML helping MC open up to the world but also of MC and ML supporting each other in their dark times. The novel starts out... more>> very comedic, then becomes angst and finally turns to hope and captures beautifully that moment of youthful passion in a coming of age story for both MC and ML.

About the MC (Minor spoilers)

MC is very insecure, socially awkward and acts defensive against everyone because of his past trauma. He is also very thoughtful and kind to the ML though his kindness happens in a roundabout way at times. He's got a large chip on his shoulder and cares very much about how he is perceived by others, always wanting to give people the illusion that he's cool headed and calm. He self isolates himself from others to protect himself and believes that he has nothing others would find likable. He cares for the ML and others in his own awkward way but always is willing to give to others even though he tries to convince himself that he isn't doing it to be friendly. He's also got no survival skills and that becomes comedic at certain points in the story regarding his lack of ability to take care of himself and live on his own.

Why I did not like MC's later characterization and extras


MC always kicks the ML and treats him in his own hedgehog way for the longest time, but you would think after so many years together, there would be some character development where he realizes he doesn't have to push everyone away from him anymore and act in this defensive way and that ML definitely loves him so he should feel secure and not need to be so defensive. At one point in the novel, one of the side characters tells him that he shouldn't always expect the ML to tolerate him constantly be this way. The author writes this as a realization on his part about his actions and then backs off from it making it seem like here's a lesson learned, nope it wasn't learned after all. This makes the ML enable his actions and enable him to always rely on ML, not learning how to be independent because the ML believes that only by doing things this way does the MC know that no matter how bad he acts, he has someone who loves him unconditionally. This in real life would be a recipe for disaster unless the ML was really a masochist. The extras wipe out the character growth from the end of the novel and most of the chapters were just cute fluff comedy. Not really worth reading and also makes me sad to read that MC did not get better and continues to act the way he has without changing.


About the ML

The ML is very outgoing and willing to be friends with people. He's got great EQ and values friendship greatly. He's an amazing friend that helps MC break out of his shell. He's not only thinking of how to be better friends with MC but also thinking of how it would be great for MC to have more friends, so he always includes him in group events to make him feel welcomed.

Why I did not like ML's later characterization and extras


As mentioned earlier, ML has a mistaken belief that the only way to let MC feel secure is by letting him act spoiled and defensive while knowing ML's affection will never wane. However this in reality would not work. How could ML not have a bad day sometime and just think to himself I can't even deal with this today. That's probably how the relationship would start breaking apart. A relationship that relies on one party to unilaterally tolerate everything is not going to last. Also the author buys into the same fallacy that many women have in China, that you will notice in CNovels in that the "woman's" role is the person who controls the finance and the guy has to listen to all the demands and they're always right. Aka wife s*ave. As a Chinese woman, I've known people around me to buy into this and have very unhealthy expectations for their partners to achieve. In one of the extras, ML is hospitalized for a medical procedure and MC has no idea what to do with himself or even where to find the keys. He's completely 100% dependent on ML and while this is chalked up as romantic, it's extremely enabling. MC needs to learn to take care of himself. No one can be 100% there for someone else and in emergencies, he should be able to handle things and not just fall apart if not for himself than for ML. The extras really damaged my impression of this novel. The novel ended on a high note for character development and for the sake of comedy and fluff, the author rolled all that back for funsies. I was very severely disappointed with that but I understand there will be a lot of people who will find the extras cute.


About the side characters

Author did not fall under usual tropes of evil stepmother. All the side characters had decent characterization and the stepmother was really a wonderful character to read.

TL:DR Read this novel if you want comedy, fluff, teenage angst, coming of age novel, and a credible back story for a tsundere MC. The extra chapters are comedy and fluff. Just warning it's not the most healthy of relationships in real life so if you aren't fan of an MC who will permanently be tsundere no matter what, maybe consider not reading this novel. <<less
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April 17, 2022
Status: Completed
Finished the raws. There are some flaws, but honestly, I enjoyed it a lot.

The characters are fine, and their personalities don't have any major problems, they aren't s*upid (for the most part), and there aren't big problems. I enjoyed reading them hang out and do school stuff, their character dynamic was cute for most of the time and BOI am I glad the author didn't keep it one way, and made sure the MC would also do his part in the relationship (though I really do wish there were more... more>> scenes like this). Their back and forth does get a bit repetitive after some time, but it's not too much (for me). The way they handle their relationship is naive, but not immature. They take their responsibilities as a couple seriously, and without spoilers, they believe in their bond and relationship. (Dude they've only known each other for a year... but it's a novel. Things work out for some reason.)

There's not much to say about the plot. It goes like this:
f*ck you - gay bros - wait I like him - Fluff - Angst - Fluff and everything nice
For a romance, there's not much plot, and focuses more on the development of their relationship. It's fine, nothing spectacular but nothing bad. I can think of some minor plot holes but wont affect the plot. The angst was short-lived but dang it was good. It was short, but it got straight to the point that makes you get The Feels. Also, just one thing to get out about them reuniting:

depression doesn't disappear magically after meeting up with your loved ones you got separated from. I don't think the author intended that, but I just felt a bit weird after reading that scene which I may have interpreted wrong. Marked this as spoiler since I'm not sure if MC's depression get mentioned early on and also since don't really know how to express what I want to say and it's confusing. Might just be me reading in too much.


The writing style was pretty nice for the most part, but I do really think there was some dialogue where the potential was missed, just because it was too chuuni. It might seem a bit weird to say this considering it's a novel I'm reading, but there are lines that were either too straightforward, or something straight out those old dramas. If the author had left some things untold, it would be perfect (Like when the sun hits that ridge just right). There were some lines that felt too fake dramatic that I felt embarrassed reading it. Sorry. A little bit of more natural dialogue would help me cringe a bit less.

Honestly, all in all I enjoyed it a lot. It's a nice read. Despite my criticism, I enjoyed reading them and their little interactions with the side characters. Goodbye and have a nice day. Drink some water? <<less
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ntww12 rated it
August 21, 2023
Status: Completed
Absolutely enjoyed this lovely coming-of-age story that deals with so many different matters. I cried reading it towards the end.

I just want to give Song Yan such a big hug.

A must read for those who enjoy a romance filled with some angst and character growth.

As for the extras:

1st extra:

... more>>

Didn't quite liked it cause it was like their character growyh regressed and Song Yan became major super tsundere again with peak jealousy. Xia Zhiye was also super M, and a bit blackbellied tbh. Still readable. They both went to Peking University together. So it isn't quite an open ending like one of the reviewers mentioned. I think they just haven't found the extras.


2nd extra:


This one is really cute!!!! Song Minghai dies early!!! HOORAY. Five year old XZY and SY are neighbours! Baby love! So cute.


3rd extra:


The story of Zhou Ziqiu x Shen Jiayan hahaha. That's all I will say.


4th extra:


From the POV of Xia Daye, their dog! The wedding!!!!! So lovely.


Also the translation is SO GOOD. Translator THANK YOU. Hoping you'll continue to the end so that I can reread properly. <<less
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Fisukisuki rated it
September 16, 2022
Status: c50
A Story of an Absolute Shameless ML who will Love and Dotes Tsundere MC Forever and Ever! Or at least that's how he wishes...

Anyway this novel is has Soooo Many Fluff, Heartwarming, Cute and Tender moments!

MC is the Tsundere type of "Don't touch me. Don't touch me!" But didn't realise he keep falling for ML's affectionate doting actions and literally being doted (and ML doting him) already part of Habits. All their friends can see that as Clear as Sky!

Also even with how Super Tsundere MC is, he NEVER been... more>> Ungrateful to ML's kindness. And like the Summary tried to implied, even with his Tsundereness, he still tried to help ML as much as he can because he think ML is Poor and yet always help people. MC is such a Sharp-tounge with Soft-Heart. That's why it's not hard for ML to fall for him.

So far from what I read, MC's family situation already Clear to us Readers and ML. While ML's family condition still unclear to MC (still misunderstanding) and also to Us Readers except the Obvious 'He's not Poor person'.

I really can't how things would clear and MC would be affectionate back to ML. I can't wait for the day MC finally feel Relax and Happy as Whole.

Pray the rest of the story is Satisfying and the Translation would continue till complete. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 <<less
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jellyfishies rated it
July 17, 2022
Status: Completed

(I finished reading this via Chinese raws)

Please I have the softest spot for school life novels where the super friendly ML spoils the heck out of a withdrawn cold MC but both of them are also OP as f*ck in both fighting and smarts. (This might sound really familiar to those who read fake slackers lmfao. It's a super similar premise here.)

I think perhaps this novel takes on some slightly more serious tones than Fake Slacker? There's one or two angsty moments that made me cry tbh.... more>> But no worries, the general premise is very sweet and comedic. I also really liked both the MC and ML's characterization and perhaps their relationship dynamic might not seem the healthiest to an outsider or if you tried to contexualize it in a real world context. But it works for them, and they are both happy about it, and I can understand where it's coming from.

But yeah I loved this novel, couldn't put it down, I think very high rereadability. <<less
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Summer cicada
Summer cicada rated it
April 20, 2022
Status: --
5 star... the novel worth it ❤️. Believe me, , just start reading, u will not lose.

It really don't deserve to be to so underrated. the MC and ML characters are beautifully portrayed. (Not a fragile MC & not a overbearing ml)

The story is really interesting and funny🤭 and full of sweet misunderstanding 😝.

And don't plz rate the novel by reading mtl. Wait until official translation 🙃🙃.
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Nom de Plume
Nom de Plume rated it
June 25, 2023
Status: c82
This started out light hearted but had a rather poetic open ending that addressed the difficulty of maintaining a long term relationship yet still provided an optimistic happy ending. The Father had some obvious flaws in his nature that were consistent from beginning to end. We never find why he developed such a controlling personality, but it doesn’t matter. He single handedly drove himself into a dead end with some inexcusable and inexplicable actions that may never be forgiven. The Stepmother was a nice change of pace from the evil... more>> cliché. She has her own selfishness, but does nothing to hurt her stepson and even protects him in her own way. The Grandfather (ML’s) took a very off hand approach to raising children, but you can tell from the character of the children he raised that he is likely of good character as well and he does love his descendants.

A nice touch is that the business competition happened behind the scenes. Like one of the elders said ‘Let the adults worry about this.’ The students here focused on their job as students and treated the gaokao as their dream and salvation; their first step into adulthood. This BL story contains a strong morale about working hard despite seemingly unsurmountable obstacles as well as to enjoy your youth because it will be a period of unfounded confidence and passionate nostalgia regardless of where life takes you.

All in all, it’s a really good work with a climax written well enough that at times it had me prepared to face a tragic ending. I thought at times that Song Yan may really die. The abuse he suffered was at a level that has sent many people in real life to a bad end. His dependency on his lover strengthened tenfold after his father thrust him back into the dark place he had barely walked out of in the first place. This makes it hard for me to conclude that Song Yan is truly recovered (yet), but he should not be subjected to that kind of helplessness again. Song Yan escapes his heavy shackles and walks toward the ending of his own making. I think he will not regret even if his relationship does not last, because a failure of your own choices is much easier to accept than one brought by force majeure. <<less
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Yumeru rated it
December 19, 2022
Status: Completed
the translation was good and can't stop myself to mtl it. Our Song Yan suffered a lot and finally he met ML that that will make his world colorful. As you read the story you will see how SY slowly open sup and the previous grievances experienced of the couple will be paid back. The friendshp here is also strong, slice of life of being highschool teenagers then slowly becoming mature and independent. Touching and youthful story^^
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Lokilaki rated it
July 10, 2022
Status: c47
It's pretty decent story with good characters. Song Yan tsundere behaviour is understandable, he actually although rude more on quite side and he wholeheartedly helping people he likes. Xia Xhiye is that active, friendly and doting on his lover type of person that I like.

If I were to nitpick on something wrong, that it would be sudden disappearance of little mahjong in amus**ent park, like everyone just forgot about her. I wasn't able even enjoy confession. And to tell the truth after that I became uninterested. I guess I give... more>> a try again when there would be more chapters. <<less
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Monicas rated it
May 19, 2022
Status: Completed
Love the couple they are really compatible with each other. The Trembling M husband X Domestic Violence wife.
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