Summary: Clara Shin’s summer plans include spending days by the community pool and getting into her usual antics with her prankster friends. But when one of Clara’s jokes goes too far, her dad forces her to work on his food truck, the KoBra, for the summer. Which means no jetting off to Tulum for two weeks in August to meet with her social media-influencer mom. Making matters worse, Clara will be joined by Rose Carver, her arch nemesis and fellow KoBra employee. But as summer goes on, what if working with Rose isn’t as bad as Clara imagined? And maybe the coffee boy named Hamlet is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually enjoys helping her dad with his business. Maybe Clara’s summer will be pretty great after all.
Cover Lust?: Yes! I love how the ombre effect is present on both the cover and intro pages of the book. It also matches one of Clara’s descriptions of the LA night sky.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
After enjoying Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love last summer, I highly anticipated her latest book, The Way You Make Me Feel. Why was I so excited for The Way You Make Me Feel?
IT’S A SUMMER CONTEMPORARY! Summer contemporaries are the BEST kind of contemporaries. Summer is my favorite season, and I always love following characters around during this season. The season calls often calls for adventure, romance, and plenty of time by the beach and pool.
In this case, we follow Clara’s summer working for her dad’s food truck, the KoBra, alongside her nemesis, Rose. We also see Clara and co. scoping out some of the best food LA has to offer, burning up at the community pool, shopping, spending the day at a waterpark, and more. The Way You Make Me Feel has a fantastically diverse cast, and I also loved how Maurene Goo showed off LA’s diverse culture. While I don’t have my dad’s credit card number memorized like Clara, I’m ready to book a ticket to California ASAP!
AND DID I MENTION ENOUGH YET THAT THERE’S A FOOD TRUCK(S)?? If you loved Ashley Poston’s Geekerella for its food truck, you’re going to love The Way You Make Me Feel because we spend quite some time seeing Clara and Rose train and ultimately run the truck on their own. Clara also spends a lot of time explaining her and her dad’s relationship with food, and it was fun to learn more about the LA food scene. Let me please grab my wig and disguise and go explore LA’s food trucks with Clara and Rose, please. But I can also appreciate how Clara enjoys a good Domino’s once in a while (GIRL HAS THE VIP APP ON HER PHONE).
Outside of its food and summer vibes, I think what makes The Way You Make Me Feel so enjoyable is its diverse, multigenerational and humorous cast. Like I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Clara and her dad have an A+ father-daughter relationship. Plus Clara’s dad made her some amazing breakfast and how can you not love him for calling Clara “Shorty”? While Clara finds that her mother does have a few more faults than she imagined, I liked how Clara doesn’t get into some massive fight with her, instead recognizing the strength of her relationship with her dad and the value of her relationship with her mom.
I loved Rose and Hamlet as Clara’s friends–does Maurene Goo have a Hamlet that I can have??? They were immensely supportive of Clara, and they each brought a lot of personality to the book. Where can I find grandparents that play video games like Hamlet’s?? And I loved the following conversation between Clara and Rose’s brother when her family comes to the truck for dinner:
“ ‘Hey Jessie, what do you guys wanna order? This is usually Rose’s job but she seems to have turned into a robot momentarily.’
Jessie’s eyes widened. “Wait…no, not really, right?’
I shrugged. ‘I dunno, we’ll have to see if she reboots.’
‘Like when Grandma uses Windows.’ ” (107)
CAN I HAVE ROSE’S GRANDMA AND JESSIE TOO??
Overall, I LOVED The Way You Make Me Feel, easily becoming one of my favorite summer contemporaries and a favorite book of 2018. It’s such a feel good read that will have you craving summer and some food truck treats.
Have you read The Way You Make Me Feel or I Believe in a Thing Called Love? Share in the comments!