Permanent Record

S. & S. Sept. 2019. 432p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534445970.
Gr 10 Up–Pablo Rind’s actual first name is Pablo Neruda, but he’s not Latinx (he is South Korean/Pakistani), and that’s just one of the things that confuses him about his life. He has dropped out of NYU, has more debt than he can contemplate, and is working at a bodega. He isn’t proud of any of these things but feels helpless to change them, or to even tell his parents the magnitude of his issues. Things look up, however, when pop star Leanna Smart drops into the bodega one very early morning. Pablo is quickly pulled into the whirlwind that is Leanna’s life and learns that the brand she has created is a lot more complicated than he could see on her social media. Choi pulls from themes in her previous book, Emergency Contact, and has created a compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City. There are discussions of mental illness, racial and cultural identity, and social media woven in with romance and the story of Pablo trying to figure out what he wants and how to get there. This has mature content and is written for an older audience than many current YA titles.
VERDICT Recommended for purchase by libraries serving older teens and new adults, or where Emergency Contact circulates highly.

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