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The Way You Make Me Feel
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Way You Make Me Feel is a sweet coming-of-age tale that explores family, friendship, food, and celebrates the diverse culture of Los Angeles. A prank gone wrong at junior prom results in a fight that starts a fire at the school, and protagonist Clara has to work at her dad's Korean-Brazillian food truck for the summer, where she meets a cute guy named Hamlet. Also, two teens get injured at a water park. There are a couple instances of underage drinking, including one that's broadcast on various social media platforms, and there's a brief mention of Clara's first time smoking. Strong language includes "bitch," "ass," "dick," "butt-kisser," and "WTF."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL, 16-year-old Clara Shin thought she'd be spending her summer vacation visiting her social-media-famous mom in Tulum and relaxing by the pool with her friends. But after the prank she pulled at junior prom goes wrong, she's forced to work on her dad's food truck, the KoBra, alongside her nemesis, Rose Carver, for the entire summer. Making things more interesting is Hamlet, the cute and charming barista at one of the KoBra's stops, who happens to have a huge crush on Clara. As summer progresses, Clara starts to learn that there's more to Rose and Hamlet than meets the eye. Who knew working on a food truck could lead to friendship and romance?
Is it any good?
The emotional father-daughter bond, heartwarming friendship, charming interracial romance, and mouthwatering descriptions of Korean Brazilian dishes make this a delectable treat for teens. Author Maurene Goo beautifully captures and celebrates the diverse cultures, characters, and sights of Los Angeles in this sweet coming-of-age tale. Clara can sometimes come across as obnoxious with her sarcastic attitude, but as The Way You Make Me Feel progresses, readers will love her transformation after an eye-opening trip into a passionate and driven young woman who's ready to develop deep, meaningful connections with others.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the various kinds of diversity in the novel. Why are diverse representations important in children's and young adult literature?
Does the romance portrayed seem realistic and relatable? Do young adult romance novels help readers sort out their feelings and learn how to communicate, or do they create false expectations about teen relationships?
Talk about the popularity of books about life-changing summers. Why is summer such a magical time for teens? What are some of your favorite books set in summer?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.