I received this book for free from Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers on May 8th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
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From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love was one of my very few five star reads of last year so I was eagerly anticipating the release of The Way You Make Me Feel. While The Way You Make Me Feel was not a five star read for me, it was still absolutely delightful.
Clara Shin is the class clown. Her life revolves arounds making snarky remarks and pranking her enemies. When her prom prank results in the school almost being burned down, both her and her arch nemesis are suspended. Clara’s dad is able to negotiate a deal that may just be worse. She has to spend the entire summer working on her dad’s food truck with her arch nemesis Rose and use her earnings to pay the school back for damages.
Now, I am not necessarily a fan of makeover stories but I don’t know if The Way You Make Me Feel would really count as a ‘personality makeover’ story but honestly, Clara’s character arc is delightful and I loved seeing her bloom into someone who was more driven and aware of her worth while retaining her wit and charm.
The Way You Make Me Feel is a story about family, friendship and first love, but at its heart it is really a love letter to LA and LA food culture. The food truck aspect of the book was definitely something I was intrigued by and was glad that it wasn’t just vaguely in the background but actually a significant part of the book. I really felt like I could imagine not just being in the food truck with Clara and Rose but in LA itself. I know world building isn’t really considered a characteristic(???) of contemporary novels but there is something to be said about how an author brings a real/fictional setting to life in realistic/contemporary novels. If I can imagine breathing the same air as the characters, that’s a good sign right?
Anyway. It’s summer which means there are a truck load of summer reads coming out, and many that might try to grab your attention as you start figuring out all your poolside summer reads. The Way You Make Me Feel is worthy of being on your summer reading list. It is filled with lots of good vibes, good parent(s), new friendships, cute boys and FOOD THAT WILL MAKE YOU HUNGRY.
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