The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

This was so wholesome. It’s a bit cheesy and silly since there are some contrived plot devices like in a teen romcom. Still, I enjoyed reading it.

When I was a teenager, I was skipping contemporary young adult fiction in favour of adult fiction or the classics. YA as a genre has come a long way in 20 years. There is a lot more choice and diversity. When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of young adult books written about the Asian experience in North America or the West. I felt most YA novels did not represent my experiences so after awhile, I stopped reading them. In recent years, there has been much more choice in this arena even with the controversies in the publishing industry.

Case in point, while I’m not Asian or Korean American, I understood and related to these characters a lot more than YA books I read growing up. I got the jokes and the cultural references. While the protagonist Clara was annoying at times and too much of a smartass, she grew through the book. There are some genuine moments of character development and relationships grow believably in a teen book kind of way. I find it so light and almost effortless to see myself in Clara’s LA. It helps that I’ve gone and spent a holiday in Koreatown, LA. I liked all the characters with the exception of some of Clara’s old crew who read as being very two dimensional.

I am looking forward to reading more from the author. It’s been awhile since I’ve found an author who delivers light, breezy, and enjoyable fluffy novels.

Read Aug 27-28, 2020.

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