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A Pho Love Story



by
Loan Le

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Imprint
Simon & Schuster BFYR
ISBN
9781534441934
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
$20.16   $16.80
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QTY

JLG Category

Young Adults

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?Author’s note.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

416

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Vietnamese Americans. Restaurants. Vendettas. Artists. Dating (social customs). Family feuds. Asian Americans. Immigrants. Families. Romance.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–Set in the Bolsa neighborhood of Westminster, CA, this romantic comedy, told in alternating first-person chapters, is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet that serves up family secrets and self-discovery with a side of hoisin sauce. The Mais and the Nguyens have been rivals ever since Linh’s family opened a restaurant across the street from Bao’s. But during senior year, they suddenly find themselves working together for the school newspaper on a series of local restaurant reviews. The story opens somewhat formulaically but evens out as tensions between the two restaurants rise and Linh and Bao begin to uncover truths about their families’ shared past. In and out of school, Linh and Bao’s burgeoning friendship believably turns into something more. Side characters are sparely rendered, allowing the spotlight to shine on Bao, a refreshingly sensitive masculine love interest, and Linh, whose love of painting is in conflict with her fear of not meeting her family’s expectations. The book’s explorations of immigration, racism, and family history move the plot forward and the feel-good ending is a tad too tidy. Even so, Linh’s and Bao’s character growth is as satisfying as a bowl of pho. Readers will appreciate the food references and the Vietnamese language interspersed throughout the book. Most characters are Vietnamese American; secondary characters include a white classmate, a Japanese art teacher, and a Black French woman. VERDICT Purchase where light romance or #OwnVoices books are in demand. Hand to fans of Sandhya Menon or Emma Lord.–Erica Ruscio, Ventress Memorial Lib., Marshfield, MA

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–Set in the Bolsa neighborhood of Westminster, CA, this romantic comedy, told in alternating first-person chapters, is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet that serves up family secrets and self-discovery with a side of hoisin sauce. The Mais and the Nguyens have been rivals ever since Linh’s family opened a restaurant across the street from Bao’s. But during senior year, they suddenly find themselves working together for the school newspaper on a series of local restaurant reviews. The story opens somewhat formulaically but evens out as tensions between the two restaurants rise and Linh and Bao begin to uncover truths about their families’ shared past. In and out of school, Linh and Bao’s burgeoning friendship believably turns into something more. Side characters are sparely rendered, allowing the spotlight to shine on Bao, a refreshingly sensitive masculine love interest, and Linh, whose love of painting is in conflict with her fear of not meeting her family’s expectations. The book’s explorations of immigration, racism, and family history move the plot forward and the feel-good ending is a tad too tidy. Even so, Linh’s and Bao’s character growth is as satisfying as a bowl of pho. Readers will appreciate the food references and the Vietnamese language interspersed throughout the book. Most characters are Vietnamese American; secondary characters include a white classmate, a Japanese art teacher, and a Black French woman. VERDICT Purchase where light romance or #OwnVoices books are in demand. Hand to fans of Sandhya Menon or Emma Lord.–Erica Ruscio, Ventress Memorial Lib., Marshfield, MA

Grades 9 & Up
Young Adults
For Grades 9 & Up

Your older teen readers will appreciate the 12 selections in this category, a diverse mix of fiction and nonfiction covering complex issues and more mature content, from crushes and body changes to friendships and sibling rivalry.

12 books per Year
$201.60 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,LGBTQ+,Novels,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 9 & Up
Young Adults
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