Talon Marks

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo Review

Karina Quiran-Juarez

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“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Maurene Goo is a delightful young adult novel that takes place over the course of a summer in L.A.

The novel balances humor and fun, while also weaving in important themes of family and friendship!

With a first person point of view narration, readers follow comedic, feisty, 16-year old trouble-maker Clara Shin, who’s school prank-gone-wrong causes her and her nemesis, Rose Carver, to work together on her father’s KoBra truck, which serves Korean-Brazilian fusion food, all summer.

So, it seems Clara’s plans to travel and visit her mother are now put on hold.

Clara is a character who is very much one to brush things off and never become too attached. However, throughout her summer working on her father’s food truck, she’s able to see what she’s been missing throughout her life in L.A.

As Clara and Rose are forced to work together on the food truck to pay for the damages, the two develop a complex friendship as they learn more about one another and rely on each other throughout the course of the story.

As Goo’s story progresses, a major relationship is developed and explored throughout is the father-daughter dynamic between Clara and her father, Adrian.

As Clara learns more about his dreams and goals, aside from opening up a restaurant, it’s interesting to see how much it contrasts to how Clara views her mother throughout the story as well.

The exploration of family and parent dynamics is another aspect that makes Goo’s novel not only unique, but also adds such depth and relatability to this contemporary novel.

Goo’s use of first person narration allows the reader to relate to Clara as she works through the problems that have risen just as she’s got her entire summer planned.

The setting of L.A. also comes to life through the little details of cities, weather, traffic, and so on. As an L.A. local, it shows through Goo’s writing and throughout the entire novel, the diverse and vibrant setting that the city has to offer.

Additionally, through her realistic voice and fierce personality, Clara becomes a character anyone can relate to!

While wanting to keep her independence, Clara also begins to see her life from new and different angles as she finds herself making new friends, finding romance, and overall connecting more with her life at home in L.A.

The author easily blends a fun summer contemporary story with important themes and messages of family and friendship throughout the novel. The balance between the two makes this novel not only fun and a page-turner, but also a deeply moving story through the friendships that Clara makes and the dynamic between her and her father.

The fast-paced and wonderfully developed plot, engaging and relatable characters, and vibrant writing-style, all together delivers The “Way You Make Me Fee”l as a must read Young Adult Contemporary novel, perfect for the summer!

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo Review