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Mini-reviews: The Way You Make Me Feel + From Twinkle, with Love

pub 5/8/18 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from pub for review
I've read all of Maurene Goo's books and while I enjoyed them and recognized how fun her writing was, there was always something missing for me. But with The Way You Make Me Feel? 100% not the case. It was funny, endearing, moving (yes I cried) and combined all these elements in a way that made love this book so much. Basically Clara Shin is known for being a prankster. When her latest joke goes too far and clashes with her classmate Rose Carver (uptight and kind of her enemy), her normally chill dad decides it's time to her act together. And that means both she and Rose will spend the entire summer working at his food truck, the KoBra. But what at first seems like a nightmare turns out to be something unexpectedly great. And the greatness of this book can be summed up into these four words: food, family, friendship and love. There's an incredible level of detail about the diverse food scene in LA (and huge Asian community!). You just can't read this book without feeling hungry afterwards. Not to mention, it made me miss LA so much. Then family is another huge part of Clara's story and I loved the dynamic between her and her dad. They're likened to an Asian Gilmore Girls and I mean, how awesome does that sound?! Next, there's Clara and Rose. Watching their relationship evolve reminded me of important positive female friendships are and Goo approached it in her usual humorous style without taking away what a big deal it was for both girls. And lastly, there's an adorable guy named Hamlet and while he seems like Clara's anti-guy, there's something about him that she can't help but like (you and me both girl).

Do I recommend? Yes! This book took me completely by surprise and makes me even more excited for what this author will come up with next . You definitely need to put this on your TBR.

pub 5/22/18 by Simon Pulse
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Netgalley
Yet another winner from Sandhya Menon! And I’m doubly impressed because I’m usually not into the whole epistolary format thing but I really liked this (Dimple is still my fave though). The beginning was a bit touch and go, at least for me, as we're thrown headfirst in Twinkle Mehra's life through her first journal entry. Twinkle is an aspiring filmmaker and journals the ongoings of her day-to-day through letters to her favorite female filmmakers. We find out that she sees herself as an unpopular wallflower, is struggling to hold onto her best friend who is popular, and she's crushing on Neil Roy. But it’s his twin brother Sahil who approaches her to collaborate on a movie to submit to the Summer Festival. Of course Twinkle says yes and that’s when it really starts to pick up. The story starts to unfold rather predictably as Twinkle falls for Sahil (I mean, who wouldn’t? I loved him!) and she begins to truly look at herself and who and what she wants. But Menon also explores balancing new and old friends, growing up, family struggles, identity and first love in such an honest and earnest way. And it was the latter – not to mention the fun filmmaking stuff – that I enjoyed the most!

Do I recommend? I do! So far I’ve enjoyed both of Menon’s books and I can’t wait for her next one!

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