In The Way You Make Me Feel, 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? (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of The Way You Make Me Feel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I would think about The Way You Make Me Feel before I started it. Once I did start it, I knew I would love it. And I was right! The Way You Make Me Feel is a sweet, joyful romantic comedy focused around food. What’s not to like?
You could feel Goo’s love of Los Angeles, the city she grew up in, woven into every passage that dealt with the city and its history. The Way You Make Me Feel is effortlessly diverse in its characters, their class differences, and their family types making it feel incredibly real.
One of the greatest things about The Way You Make Me Feel is the character growth in the entire main cast. At the beginning of this novel, Clara is a little shit, and Rose is a snobby overachiever. They call each other out for it, and then Goo (by way of Clara’s Pai, Adrian) makes them grow up.
Throughout the summer, they both grow into truer versions of themselves, and I loved every step of that journey. This story made so much sense in first person through Clara’s eyes, because we got to see that growth firsthand in her reactions to things. I really loved Hamlet, who was the most static of the characters. He’s described as a labrador, and honestly that’s accurate.
Clara’s growth, despite the romance that the story is built around, didn’t come from Hamlet. It came from her choosing to care about things, which is honestly my favorite.
One thing did bother me about The Way You Make Me Feel, but it was a small thing. Pai has trypophobia, and when Clara gets mad at him for throwing her and Rose onto the KoBra together by themselves, she texts him a bunch of pictures of barnacles specifically to trigger his trypophobia. That was super shitty, and she owned that, but it bothered me.
The food in this novel also sounded absolutely delicious. All of it. I read The Way You Make Me Feel while dealing with a pollen-induced stomach bug and it still made me hungry. That’s pretty impressive. Also disappointing, since the most diverse food we have around here is mediocre Chinese and Mexican food. I had to scavenge things from my own pantry, and it is in need of a shopping trip, TBH.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Way You Make Me Feel. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, food-filled YA romantic comedy that focuses more on the families of the main characters. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or Indiebound!