Cait’s Review of “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Maurene Goo

By: Cait Marie

Blurb

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.

Review

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time now, since I read Somewhere Only We Know back in early 2020 because I adored that book. While I didn’t love this one quite as much, I still really enjoyed it.

Clara is a very outgoing, slightly obnoxious, but I kind of loved that. It’s very much the opposite of me, so it’s a little difficult to completely relate and jump into that mindset, yet that’s the fun thing about reading–getting to experience other lives. Seeing her have to work with Rose, her sworn enemy, was entertaining, and I loved watching them grow closer.

The one thing that holds me back from giving this a full five stars is that it felt a bit… shallow. It kind of glossed over some important points of the story. I feel like it could have been developed a little bit more. For example, it jumped a lot of time when working in the food truck, where Clara really got to know Rose and Hamlet. So, it seemed like it went from her being irritated by them to being friends with them. I just kind of wish it had shown those parts instead of summarizing it. Because of this, it almost seemed like the romance aspect was added as an afterthought.

I also feel like there wasn’t a lot of closure with the whole situation with her parents. Without giving too much away, Clara’s mom is very absent from her life. Clara eventually realizes how grateful she is for her dad, but I was hoping she confronted her mom at least a little or told her dad the things she found out.

Oh, and this was the first time a YA book officially made me feel old (haha)! As soon as she said her dad was 34, I was like, “Oh no… I’m closer to the parent’s age than the main character.” How did this happen? 😂

That’s not going to stop me from reading YA though!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and am happy to have read it. The style of writing, from what I could tell by listening to the audiobook, was well done and captured my attention. I also loved seeing the various cultures represented. The book could have expanded on all the things a little more, and it’s not one I’d likely re-read, which is why I rated it with four stars instead of five. But like I said, I really liked it. It was a fun, easy read. If you like YA romance, I would recommend it.

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