“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?
-Synopsis from Goodreads.
First of all, how great is that cover? I’m noticing that not only are Maurene Goo books amazing, but they all have amazing covers, too.
A couple months ago I read Somewhere Only We Know and I loved how cute and quirky it is. The Way You Make Me Feel came highly recommended to me, along with all of Maurene Goo’s other books, and I decided this was the perfect weekend to read it.
This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Clara Shin is a total tomboy, trouble-making teenager and it was so refreshing to read about such a relatable female lead character. Maurene Goo is in her element writing first-person narratives, and Clara’s voice rings true on every single page. She is quirky and funny, sarcastic and smart. But she has a lot to learn when it comes to getting along with others, not to mention growing up and taking herself seriously for once.
I loved reading about Clara’s dad’s food truck, the KoBra. Clara and Rose’s adventures in cooking and driving the truck to various stops around L.A. sounded so fun, even though it took them a while to get into a groove. Rose and Hamlet (by the end of the book, I wasn’t questioning his name at all, it just seemed normal) are the friends anyone would be lucky to have. They push Clara to grow and mature in ways that no one else in her life has before, and they stand by her when she makes mistakes (even really big ones like impulsively flying to Mexico to see her mom without telling anyone!)
Also, I just have to say how much I love Clara’s relationship with her dad. Their banter is hilarious. I love how he calls her Shorty all the time! Even though he isn’t the perfect parent, Clara is able to see in the end just how much he cares about her over the years and that was quite a tear-jerker!
This book wins for originality, having a compelling plot, likable characters, realistic writing, and honestly I could go on. If you haven’t read any of Maurene Goo’s books yet, this is a perfect place to start.