Linh and Bao like each other. A lot. The only problem? Their families own rival pho restaurants and hate each other’s guts, so they have to keep their relationship a secret.
But they can only steal kisses in dark alleys and the art room at school for so long. Can their love transcend an age-old feud and heal the rift between these two families? Or have these high school sweethearts bitten off more than they can chew?
Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Ahhh, I loved this book. Give me a romance with food and South East Asian culture, and I will read it. And I will probably love it. I listened to this on audiobook, which I really liked and also helped with the pronunciation of everything! I really adored the audiobook of this, which made me feel very involved in the story and I couldn’t help thinking about these characters when I wasn’t reading.
These two characters were so cute to read about and I loved that the romance was so slow burn. The way these two fall for each other just felt so authentic and real, which I think is why I loved them both so much. The side characters were also so lovely, and I like how individual they were but still played a part in Linh and Bao’s relationship.
But in anything you love, isn’t there always some bit of sadness, some essence of suffering? That, to me, is what makes art worth it.
Linh and Bao start to realise there might be more to their families rivalry as their relationship goes on, and although I won’t say more, I will say I really liked having the mystery element to this one that definitely drew me into the story! The pho restaurants also gave way to some very interesting and deep discussions, including some about racism. These felt so gut punching and were super hard to read about but so important to include.
The writing was so compelling and easy to get into. I didn’t want this book to end, it went by too quickly. This book focuses a lot on family, family drama and conflicts. This felt really authentic and I thought all of the relationships developed naturally throughout the book.
Suffer through it—mine the emotions you keep inside yourself, face whatever’s emotionally burdensome, take control of it—then emerge reborn in the end.
Overall, there was just so much I loved about this book. It was so cute but had some real depth and discussions. Highly recommend for contemporary lovers out there!
4.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽