Saturday, July 7, 2018

Book review: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Book Summary
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.

Flo's Review
Why did I wait so long to read this?!?! I've had it sitting on my TBR pile for months now and felt like reading a light, fun, romantic YA this week. I asked hubby and Twitter which one I should go for and they both said The Way You Make Me Feel, so in I went.

So how did it make me feel? Warm. Fuzzy. Happy. Let's start with the cover love. Look at the pretty! It's such a great color combination -- fun, but not in-your-face intense. Happy and calming at the same time.

I adored I Believe in a Thing Called Love, and Goo's sophomore effort did not disappoint. It's been awhile since I've been able to add a new book boyfriend to my list, and Hamlet definitely makes it. Hamlet is everything! I love that he is all energy and optimism and random. More importantly, he is open where Clara is guarded. Their relationship works so well because he is just what she needs to bring her out. Any other type of personality would just bring up her sarcasm and dismissal, but Hamlet made her want to take a hard look at herself. But without forcing her. I cannot say enough about how great the two of them are.

Just like I Believe in a Thing Called Love, I was so delightful to read the relationship between Clara and her dad, Pai. It's the exact opposite of the whole "parents absent from the kid's lives" in YA thing, and it's realistic and refreshing. I also liked the friendship between Rose and Clara. They went from being enemies to BFFs super fast -- it might be a tad unrealistic, but I like them so much better as friends that I did not care. The awkwardness was so cute. 

Two things prevented me from giving this 5 out of 5 stars. First, Clara was kind of a jerk at the beginning. She was hard to swallow. I read several reviews where people DNF because they didn't like her and how she treated people, and I understand. Usually when I don't like the protagonist, I struggle with the book. I don't know what kept me engaged here. Maybe I subconsciously knew that she would get better? Maybe because everything else about the book -- the writing, especially -- was so good? Luckily, Clara got better really quickly.

Secondly, toward the end there is suddenly this whole, "I love LA! I have pride in my diverse city!" thing going on. Like, it's hit pretty hard. I guess there were subtle references to this idea throughout the book, but definitely not enough to make me think that this was an important part of the story. So when the last chapter kept going on and on about it, I felt it read a little random. Like an add-on. "Here's the story, and P.S. Gooooo Los Angeles!"

But everything else I adored. ADORED. I flew through this book in two evenings. When I finished it, I set it down and immediately exclaimed, "Adorable!" I had a big smile on my face, too. It made me so happy. So if you're up for a book that will be fun and easy to read and will make you happy, look no further than The Way You Make Me Feel.

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