Parents' Guide to

Lunar New Year Love Story

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Charming, pleasant love triangle with hopeful messages.

Lunar New Year Love Story book cover: Color pencil drawing of Vietnamese teen girl and Asian American teen boy leaning against railing below a red night sky with white swirls and stars

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In this light-hearted, charming romance graphic novel for young adult readers love wins over pessimism and bitterness. In Lunar New Year Love Story, Valentina's both likable and believable, bringing a realistic, universal representation of teenage longing for a kind of love that's genuine and real. Valentina's family backstory is unique and interesting: Her parents and grandparents have not succeeded in their love stories and Valentina has had visions of St. Valentine's spirit consistently throughout her life.

The boys who make up the love triangle with Val are believable in their differences, with Leslie's charm contrasted to Jae's softness a set up for understandable drama. Some readers may be disappointed that the happy ending is never all that in doubt, but when the drama clears, the conclusion manages to satisfy and Val is able to figure out exactly what she wants out of love. Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) sets this hopeful love story in Oakland, California's diverse Asian American community, which LeUyen Pham (Princess in Black series) brings to life in colorful spreads that capture Lunar New Year lion dances, supernatural beings, and characters' interactions in expressive, engaging art. This isn't an explosive read, but what's here is light, sweet, and full of comfortable charm.

Book Details

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