The Boy You Always Wanted

By Michelle Quach

Hardcover edition

Publisher HarperCollins Imprint Katherine Tegen ISBN


The Boy You Always Wanted

In stock


Discrimination: Sexism,Language: Strong Language,Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

From Not Here to Be Liked author Michelle Quach comes a smartly funny, heartfelt story told in dual POV about a young woman roping in her childhood crush to act as an honorary male heir to fulfill her grandfather’s dying wish. A story about first love, familial duties, and finding yourself.

Francine always has a plan.

When her beloved grandfather, A Gung, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she takes it upon herself to make sure he’s comforted in his final days. A Gung is old-fashioned, and the only thing he wants is a male heir to carry on the family traditions after his passing. Francine’s solution? Ask Ollie Tran, a family friend (and former crush, not that it matters), to pretend to be ceremonially adopted and act like the grandson A Gung never had.

Too bad Ollie hates to get involved. With anything.

For years, he’s made a point of avoiding the odd, too-blunt (and fine, sort of cute) Francine, whose intensity has always made him uncomfortable. So when she asks him to help deceive her dying grandpa, Ollie’s definitely not down. He doesn’t get why anyone would go to such lengths, even for family. Especially with a backwards (and sexist, Ollie keeps stressing) scheme like this.

Francine, however, is determined to make it work for her grandpa’s sake, and soon Ollie finds himself more invested in her plan—and her—than he ever thought possible. But as the tangled lies and complicated feelings pile up, Francine will have to discover what exactly she needs for herself—and from Ollie. Because sometimes the boy you always wanted isn’t what you expected.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-When Francine's grandfather is diagnosed with cancer, he tells her mother that he regrets not having a male heir and wishes they had been rich enough to enact a traditional custom of doing an honorary adoption. While upset at the inherent sexism, Francine wishes to make her grandfather's final months more peaceful and ropes her old crush and family friend, Oliver, into pretending to be his honorary male heir. Ollie has long avoided overly earnest Francine but agrees to her plan in exchange for help with his Multicultural Club project. As they spend time together, they grow closer, but their fledgling relationship may be threatened by family secrets that are also revealed. In this novel told in alternating perspectives, there is a lot of depth to Quach's characters and relationships with their families, exploring issues of traditions, duty to family, and how history reverberates through generations (their Chinese-Vietnamese families knew each other before immigrating to the United States). The balance of the heavier issues with Francine and Ollie's humorous antics and fun burgeoning romance works well, although the ending is a bit rushed and tidy. VERDICT A rom-com with a lot of heart and surprising depth, this is recommended for most collections.-Jennifer Rothschildα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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