The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –“You simply couldn’t out-jerk a jerk like me.” Clara Shin, the protagonist in Goo’s latest, delivers this line with pride.

redstarGOO, Maurene. The Way You Make Me Feel. 336p. Farrar. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374304089. POP

Gr 9 Up –“You simply couldn’t out-jerk a jerk like me.” Clara Shin, the protagonist in Goo’s latest, delivers this line with pride. Life is a joke for prank-loving, prickly Clara, who is Korean Brazilian American. She has a blast with her friends, wistfully follows her social media influencer mother’s exploits on Instagram, and keeps “realness” at arms’ length. When one of her pranks lands her in real trouble, her hip dad tightens the reins, assigning her to a summer working in his sweltering food truck alongside her overachiever archenemy, Rose Carver. As the girls find a way to work together and eventually form a friendship, and Clara meets Hamlet, a cute boy whose earnestness pains her and makes her heart flutter, she warms up to the idea of actually caring about things. Clara’s struggle with what her shift in attitude means for the identity, defenses, and friendships she has constructed for herself is sensitively drawn; even as readers cringe at some of her behavior, they’ll be rooting for her. Hamlet’s sweet inexperience veers into unintentional controlling behavior from time to time, but his openness gives Clara plenty of space to figure out what she wants. VERDICT Sweet, sexy, hilarious, and featuring a spectacular father-daughter relationship, this book will fly off the shelves.–Beth McIntyre, Madison Public Library, WI This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2018 issue.

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