Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 416 pages
Author: Loan Le
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Release Date: February 9th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.
If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.
For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.
But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.
Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?
Another gem in the young adult genre y’all. And the audio book was really great!! If you’re interested in that format, would highly recommend.
There was such a sweet love story between Bao and Lin. I love how perfectly cute it was for YA, but also had deeper levels that connected back to so much more. There’s not really angst involved, it’s just two people who have a bit of a Romeo & Juliet situation happening. It was romantic watching them on dates and reconnecting.
I really like the conversations that were interspersed throughout. One was the pressure of parent expectations vs. what Bao and Lin both wanted to do with their lives post high school. There were many relatable discussions and things I connected to myself from that time in my life. I also liked the exchanges about racism. I felt my understanding became another step better because this book was yes, light-hearted, but also covered important and relevant topics.
The amount of food discussed will have you salivating. I loooove a good foody book and all of the Vietnamese dishes sounded absolutely amazing and I hope to try some one day. I love the way culture was expressed and the story-telling surrounding it all.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary romance
- Language: a little
- Romance: kisses
- Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one, racism and microaggressions