I received this book for free from Macmillan, Publisher 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 and Giroux (BYR), Macmillan on May 8, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Friendship, Dating & Sex, People & Places, United States, Asian American
Source: Macmillan, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
The Way You Make Me Feel is one of my favorite books of 2018, and possibly ever. i was super excited to read it because 1) cute summer contemporary!! 2) set in LA, my hometown, and 3) asian-american representation!!!!! it did not disappoint.
one of the main reasons i enjoyed this is due to its setting. most media set in Los Angeles is all in Hollywood, Orange County, etc etc etc and ignore the highly diverse suburbia. the San Gabriel Valley (where i grew up) and Koreatown are areas with an extremely high asian population and now we get to shine!! Clara’s father owns a food truck and often explores the “lesser known” areas of LA and it made me so happy. i couldn’t get over it. this novel honestly felt like a love letter to LA and for the first time, i actually feel like i’m from there and i’m proud to call it my home.
these characters and relationships are SO GREAT. clara is an extremely fun and outgoing character; following her adventures (struggles?) was so entertaining. her love-hate friendship with rose was beautiful to witness. LOVE THEM. also!!! the main male lead is SUCH A PUPPY. (clara actually describes him as that.) he’s precious, perpetually positive, and perfect. hamlet is an awkward, bumbling boop and i LOVE HIM. and clara’s dad is SO WONDERFUL. he’s hilarious and super chill; their relationship makes me feel *crying emoji*. pretty much, i love all these characters and all the romantic/platonic relationships are fantastic.
the only thing i was iffy about is the conflict between clara and her relationship with her mother. her mom is a famous instagrammer who travels the world and gets paid for it. she’s never around to raise clara, and that’s that. but clara love her (duh, she’s her mom) and a main point of the plot is when she gets in an argument with her dad regarding her mom. i had a bad feeling about the whole thing and didn’t enjoy that part of the story. i felt it made me confused as to what the ~main~ thing of the plot is. her mom is almost a thing on the side until the end when it becomes a Big Thing. but then again, most contemporary novels don’t have a linear plot which is fine because real life isn’t linear.
but anyway, I LOVE THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL. it made feel nostalgic and hopeful; it made me feel proud of my hometown and proud of my parent’s hometown. i’m so glad a book like this exists for me and others like me.