Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Date of publication: May 8th, 2018
Genre: YA, romance
Trigger Warning: Underage drinking
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
Reading Young Adult books are my guilty pleasure. I don’t usually tell people (outside the blogosphere) that I read them. Mainly because I get funny looks. But those looks do not stop me from reading (and reviewing them). I am happy to have seen The Way You Make Me Feel on one of NetGalley’s Read Now emails. I would have missed a fantastic book if I didn’t make the choice to download it.
I love Clara’s character growth during the book. In the beginning, she was a headstrong prankster who only looked out for herself and the small group of “friends“. She cared nothing about other people’s feelings. The prom was the catalyst for everything that happened. I am not going to lie, I did giggle at it. I was also horrified. I didn’t blame Rose for doing what she did. By the end of the book, she had done a 180. I loved it!!
I thought having Rose and Clara work together on the food truck was a great punishment. As well as giving up their wages to pay the school for the damage. I did think that they were never going to get along (the first day was a disaster). But, there was a gradual (almost snail-paced) friendship forming between Clara and Rose. It was hard to see at first but it was there.
I didn’t like Clara’s old group of friends. They egged her on and tried to get her to ditch work more than a few times. The water park fiasco cemented my dislike for them. They didn’t care that the slide was closed, they were going on it. So I wasn’t surprised when people got hurt. I was surprised when Clara decided to back off her friendship with them. But, at that point in the book, she was realizing that life wasn’t all pranks. She was starting to realize that there was more to life than that.
Clara and Hamlet were a cute couple. I did think that they weren’t going to actually get together when he was introduced in the book. Clara was too uncertain of her feelings towards him for me to even make a guess at what they were. It was after the disastrous water park trip that I finally got a sense of if they were a couple or not.
I didn’t like Clara’s mother. Clara was only convenient to her if her schedule allowed it. Her decisions as a mother were awful. I mean, she partied with her teenager, allowing her to get drunk. Seriously?? That is only the tip of the iceberg with her. I am thankful that Clara had one parent in her life who was always there for her.
The end of The Way You Make Me Feel was your typical HEA. I did feel that there were a couple of storylines left up in the air (the one with Adrian and his new girlfriend comes to mind) but other than that, I loved it. The author did a great job of tying everything together.
What I liked about The Way You Make Me Feel:
A) Clara’s growth during the book
B) Rose and Clara’s friendship
C) Clara and Hamlet as a couple
What I disliked about The Way You Make Me Feel:
A) Clara’s old group of friends
B) Clara’s mother
C) A couple of storylines left up in the air
I would give The Way You Make Me Feel an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. But there are several kissing/light petting scenes. There is language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
There is a trigger warning for The Way You Make Me Feel. It is underage drinking. If you are triggered by this, I would recommend not to read the book.
I would reread The Way You Make Me Feel. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR) and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Way You Make Me Feel.
All opinions stated in this review of The Way You Make Me Feel are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**