The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo: Korean Brazilian Fusion Food Trucks, Summer Romances, and a Snarky Main Character!


4.5 stars

Clara Shin loves stirring up trouble with her pranks. But when one joke goes too far, her dad sentences her and her uptight classmate Rose Carver to working at his KOrean-BRAzilian foodtruck, the KoBra, as punishment during the summer.

Clara dreads this, but maybe it’s not so bad. Especially since Rose isn’t as terrible as she though, and that the boy named Hamlet who’s crushing on her is pretty cute. And the food truck might not be as terrible as she thought.

In The Way You Make Me Feel, Maureen Goo once again stirs up the feels with her signature warmth and humor.

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This was such a fun read and I totally needed this!

I’ve been reading so many fantasy novels lately that this breath of fresh air in the form of a cute, quirky, Asian contemporary is honestly fantastic.

The Way You Make Me Feel is basically Jenn Bennett–but more Asian, which I love so much! It’s funny, it’s romantic, at times it might be a little goofy, and just all around a big ball of fun.

I loved reading Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love because Desi was such an awkward cinnamonroll and it was both hilarious and heartwarming at the same time. I could relate a lot with Desi on that level just because of all the secondhand embarrassment.

Clara, on the other hand, is a lot more sarcastic, prickly, and snarky. She’s a prankster, she’s the opposite of uptight, and has a lot of inside UGH about the world. I love how dynamic this is from Goo’s other work and am so glad she can write a variety of characters.

But, I did end up not relating with Clara as much as I did with Desi just because I’m less similar to Clara. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like her, it’s just that sometimes I was less empathetic with her.

Still, her storyline was super interesting and still very heartwarming and hilarious.

She’s fun, she’s got a lot of sass and spunk and snark and it all makes this whole book very entertaining. Although it might seem a little extra at times, I loved the quirk and the feeling behind it because people besides white people can also be quirky. There, I said it.

It did end up being a little less romantic than I Believe in a Thing Called Love which was a little surprising for me. I geared up for a romance and got my swoon shoes on, and then there ended up being not a lot of it in the book! Hamlet is adorable and such a cute love interest, but I did think there wasn’t that much about their relationship, especially for a book called The Way You Make Me Feel.

But rest assured, it doesn’t end up in desperate lovers or something silly like that shoved onto teenagers.

Instead of a lot of romance, there was a really nice parental theme which I loved. Clara and her dad have such a great relationship, and even when things get strained, they managed to work their way back together. There was a lot of parental themes in here, not just with the great bond Clara had with her dad, but also with the bond she had with her Instagram fashion-blogger mother.

I liked how Clara realized things about her relationship with her mother, but I also felt like it was left a little unresolved as she never actually talked with her mother about it. This is my only real complaint–I wish there was more (although, this is always a complaint with books I love).

There were so many amazing aspects to this book–besides being diverse, Clara and Rose really worked out the friendship deal to the max, things were respectful, and Clara was a fun protagonist.

It was honestly such a refreshing and fun novel–not too intense and deep and hard-hitting, but enough to let me have a little getaway in Tulum or LA or wherever Clara went. I totally recommend this novel if you’re looking for a) a fun romance b) a way to get into romance without getting irritated c) something to take your mind off of ASFDKJKL STRESS or d) a great book.

Seriously, check this out.

The Way You Make Me Feel releases on May 8th, but you can preorder it now at any major bookseller! Plus, I’m pretty sure these really cute KoBra food truck enamel pins will be part of the preorder gift, so if you want to snag one, you better preorder!

Thank you so much to FSG/Macmillan and Netgalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review! 

much love, vicky

Which romances/romcoms are your favorite to read? Leave me some recs below!

5 thoughts on “The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo: Korean Brazilian Fusion Food Trucks, Summer Romances, and a Snarky Main Character!

  1. This is my most recent read, and although I didn’t love the book as much as you obviously did, I do agree with a lot of what you said! And you also have a few points that have me reconsidering my opinion on the book, which will totally help me as I write down my own review later on! I’ll probably even link back to you. 😂

    But anyway. Clara’s relationship with her father, Rose, and Hamlet are definitely the strongest, most solid aspects of the story — and I couldn’t get enough of all of them! ❤️ I do agree that it’s slightly disappointing that Clara’s issues with her mother weren’t really resolved and were instead brushed off into the sidelines. Still, this was generally a fun read for me! I am extremely, extremely happy to see more and more titles with Asian characters AND Asians on the book covers. 😍

    Thank Jesus the world has finally decided to catch up and acknowledge that hey, yeah, we’re here too.

    Amazing, amazing review, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, I can’t wait to read your review! And don’t let me influence you too much–this book probably isn’t for everyone. But yes! I really love her relationship with her father (and Hamlet too) because they were just so adorable and you could see the familial love radiating off of them. (squeee!) AND YES THIS IS SUCH A GORGEOUS COVER WITH AN ASIAN ON IT T.T finally!!! and thank you, you are the sweetest!!! <33


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