Man, I really needed this book. The world sucks and us sensitive, introverted readers have to find joy wherever we can. This book about an extroverted, fun-loving, secretly sensitive teen who finds friendships, love, and meaning over a summer is the perfect distraction.
The Way You Make Me Feel follows Clara Shin, the class clown, as she works in a food truck with her single dad and her arch nemesis, making amends for a school prank that went hilariously, horribly wrong. From the first chapter, I laughed out loud too many times to count, and fell in love with Clara’s vibrancy even though she’s a bit of a brat.
This is obviously a light, contemporary YA read, with only a few poignant moments as Clara deals with the reality of her relationship with her father and the fantasy she’s build surrounding her mother who abandoned her. Maurene Goo wonderfully portrays Clara’s relationship with her dad, showing the same strong bond, friendship, and trust that she did in I Believe in a Thing Called Love. If you’re a reader more bonded to dad, then you’ll love both these reads, especially TWYMMF, which I liked more.
I so enjoyed reading this book, because of the writer’s blunt, funny style, and the colorful characters. I mean that literally and figuratively. With a Korean Brazilian American lead, I hoped for varied representation, and Maurene Goo delivers. She also delivers on conveying real, chill, teenage friendships–featuring teens that have less dire, emotionally angsty issues to overcome. Clara, despite her occasional brattiness is pretty well-functioning, and so are her friends. She just has to find out who she is and what she wants. And, though, I didn’t love how she handled her evolving friendships, it was realistic, and interesting to watch. As was the somewhat absurd interactions with her mother.
Nevertheless, it was a mostly satisfying read. I loved the pace, story, and dialogue. Also, so many great food references. This book made me want to go to LA to explore the food scene, which isn’t the first thing I usually think about regarding that city.
TWYMMF is a joyful, modern YA read with an effervescent lead that I found hard to look away from. Clara’s life over the course of a summer is fun to watch, and I’m recommending this for YA lovers looking for a quick burst of joy, light trouble, pure romance, and sweet friendships. Enjoy!The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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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.