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The Way You Make Me Feel

Review

The Way You Make Me Feel

Maurene Goo proves that sometimes things aren’t like you expect and that’s totally okay in THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL.

Clara Shin is ready for a non-committal summer --- like every summer --- with her friends, spent chilling by the pool and partying. But after Clara pulls a stunt at junior prom, gets in a fight with her nemesis Rose Carver and nearly burns down the school, her dad sentences her to work on his food truck, the KoBra, for the summer to pay back the damages. WITH Rose. She’s also banned from going on vacation to Tulum with her mother, a social-media influencer who Clara hardly ever sees.

"Goo is able to tackle so many issues without readers feeling like they’re being preached at, and leaves readers feeling fuzzy and happy on the inside."

Though the beginning was rough, as the summer progresses, Clara gets more involved in her dad’s dream, and meets Hamlet Wong, an energetic boy working the coffee kiosk near one of their stops. From working on the truck, Clara and Rose stop hating each other and start to become…friends? Clara begins to spend less time with her old buddies, and more time with Rose and Hamlet, who Clara realizes are actually kind of amazing. What does this summer mean for Clara? Is she going to start actually taking things seriously for once?

To begin this review, I want to say that I think the message that this book gives is very important, and it really resonated with me. There’s a lot written about how the unexpected can be good, and how changes are natural. These are things that I personally struggle with accepting and I know a lot of other people are the same way. To me, these ideas reminded me that Clara’s character development can also happen to real people. Goo also really hit home for us high school students by encouraging us to care about things, and reminding us that it’s worth the risk of getting hurt to do the things that you love. I wasn’t sure if I would like the book in the beginning since I thought I was really different from Clara, but by the end, I realized how similar Clara and I actually are and I grew to love the book. I, like Clara, don’t try things because I’m afraid of getting hurt but this book encouraged me to change that.

Another very important reason why people should read this book, is that Hamlet is my new book boyfriend. Now, this is a very hard position to fill, but he managed to become my favorite. He’s really warm and caring, and was beautifully written and three-dimensional. He was really close to being too perfect, but he felt like a real person that I could fall in love with irl and that was really awesome to read about.

I would totally recommend THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL to any teenager. I think the messages it gives are really important for us to hear, especially over the summer when we just like to mess around and relax without school. Goo is able to tackle so many issues without readers feeling like they’re being preached at, and leaves readers feeling fuzzy and happy on the inside. She does this with a cast of wonderfully diverse characters who I think anyone would love to read about.

Reviewed by Becky N., Teen Board Member on June 14, 2018

The Way You Make Me Feel
by Maurene Goo