Hi All! It’s Becky, again. I just finished listening to The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo. Sarah reviewed this book way back in June and you can read her take on it here.
Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Note: I listened to audio book.
What’s It About: Clara Shin has never tried to fit in. She likes her friends and the way they can disrupt almost any event. When Clara and her friends turn junior prom into a scene out of “Carrie”, Clara and her enemy, Rose, are sentenced to a summer working on her father’s food truck. During the summer on the scorching hot truck Clara learns about family, begins to see her enemy in a new light and makes a connection with a cute boy named Hamlet. Can Clara grow into a new person and stay true to herself?
The Good: This is a super cute book about growing up and really seeing the world for the first time. Over one summer Clara grows to understand herself, her friends, and her parents in a way that feels like her first step on the journey to adulthood. Goo writes Clara’s growth perfectly with humor and truth. Also, perfect is Clara’s love interest, Hamlet. He is cute and sweet and just a nice guy. I love the fact that Goo wrote a nice guy who stayed true to his good guy nature throughout the book. It was refreshing and something that I would like to see more in YA books. Also, something I would like to see more of is the positive depiction of single father’s as seen in the relationship between Clara and her father. They were the perfect family unit and Goo gets major points in my book for her depiction of a caring single father. Clara’s dad was the parent who stayed and take care of his young daughter as she grew into adulthood. It’s rare that you find that image of single parenthood in any book let alone a YA book. Yet, the best part of this book, for me, was how Goo was able to write a wonderful diverse character without make this a Diversity book. Clara is Korean and Brazilian and her ancestry is just part of who she is with her background is beautifully integrated into her traits.
The Bad: Clara’s experiences with her absentee mother just didn’t work for me. The parts of the book when Clara are with her mother didn’t feel like they fit with the rest of the novel. Plus, Clara’s mother’s behavior felt extreme and almost cartoony compared with how realistic and honest the rest of the book felt.
Bottom line: The Way You Make Me Feel is a fun and fluffy YA realistic fiction about growing up with realistic characters and a sweet romance that will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5