Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Publishing Date: May 8th 2018
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: Comtemporary, YA
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.
This books is a love Letter to L.A. from the very beginning. We get commentary about different neighborhoods, who primarily lives there, what type of activities are done there and what types of food are sold in them. All of that, without being info-dumpy and managing to keep it interesting. Also, there’s a lot of talk about food, not only because the main character’s dad has a food truck, but also because Clara, the main character likes to try different things. So, be prepared for amazing food descriptions that will make you hungry.
Now, in terms of Clara, the main character, let’s start with the fact that she likes to pull pranks on people and sometimes she goes bit too far. I do have to mention the fact that there’s a scene that bothers me because Clara intentionally triggers her dad’s trypophobia and the fact that that wrong is never addressed. Clara is a bit apathetic and mean at the beginning, but then she spends the summer working and being responsable and we get to see her grow so much as a character. Also, she spends the summer surrounded with people her age that have goals and ambitions and that definitely helps her as well. Really there’s a lot of character development and it’s wonderful to see.
From the beginning of the book, the father/daughter relationship has a very important place in the story. Clara’s relationship with her dad is not perfect, he can be too lenient and she can be really mean, but there’s comunication, love and support. Also, the way that relationship develops throughout the book is beautiful. Seeing Clara realise how lucky she is and what an amazing dad she has and learn to appreciate that was really heartwarming.
The female friendship in this story was the most wonderful thing ever. At the start of the book, Clara and Rose hate each other, but when they are forced to work together they become friends. I love Rose and I really related to the way she talked about her anxiety. Also, I really like the ways Rose helps Clara see things in a different way and aspire to be less apatethic towars life. Seeing them be there for each other was so beautiful.
In regard to the romance, I will say that it’s not the focus of the story. At the beginning, I felt like there was no chemestry between Clara, the main character, and Hamlet, the love interesting. But Hamlet is such a soft hero, he’s nice, thoughtful and respectful and he won me over the same way he did with Clara. They are so cute together and I couldn’t stop smiling when I read about them together.
Overall, this is a fun and cute story with amazing characters and tempting food descriptions.
Rating: 4 stars
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