Expected publication: May 8th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Format read: ARC via publisher
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.
Curse you for making me cry. Do you know how hard it is to peddle on a workout bike, cry AND read your words at the same time? Well, I'll tell you - it's hard. Very hard. Imagine me shaking my petulant fist at you, Homer Simpson-style.
With that being said, thank you for also writing a book that is a wonderful study on growing up and learning the value of friends and family, on so many rich and relatable levels. Clara is me, just like I'm sure she is you - someone who is trying to find her place in the world, while continuously letting life and experience shape her.
Naturally, Clara is flawed, just like any good character should be. She's quick to snark, and prone to not taking life seriously. She exemplifies what it means to be a young person who struggles with her identity, and letting others define her, because it's how she understands to fit in. But that makes Clara's realization she doesn't necessarily want to be defined by others any longer, and the deeper value she finds in her newfound relationships with Rose, her father and Hamlet, all the more valuable.
Outside of Clara's core growth, THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL is also a gorgeous love letter to Los Angeles, K-Town and the city's food culture. As someone who feels about returning to Los Angeles, the same way swallows feel about returning to Capistrano, I loved the obvious care and affection you put into sharing the various parts of the city. The fact you even included San Gabriel Valley, got an inner squee and a tug on the heartstrings as I was reading.
And your third act. Maurene, you've written a third act that is worth of an epic movie montage. Clara's realizations on why she keeps people at arm's length, and her willingness, her sheer bravery at deciding to try and turn that around, is spectacular. This is a gorgeous book, and I can't wait for the world to read it.
Thank you for your work, and thank you for being a friend.