I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (317 pages)
Overview: Desi has every award under the sun, but there's still one thing missing from this near perfect SAT scoring, class president's high school experience. A boyfriend. Luckily, a new boy shows up senior year, just in time for Desi to make check the experience off the list. Unfortunately, Luca appears to be unattainable until Desi starts to make a plan. Using her father's Korean dramas as a template, Desi creates a series of careful steps that will (hopefully) guarantee her the guy of her dreams. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 I liked Desi. She's an overachiever and set on making herself and her father proud by following in her deceased mother's footsteps to attend premed at Stanford. She's driven and analytically oriented. Luca makes a great boyfriend for her in the way that he balances her out. He's engaged and focused in his own way, but, in his artistic pursuits, he doesn't hold the same rigidity as Desi. He helps her get out of her head more.
Desi also has great friends to support her and father, who she calls Appa, bringing in some of her Korean heritage. He's a great father who balances fun and support, adequately filling the gap Desi's mom left behind. I love seeing some great YA parents. It's something Goo has kept consistent in her work.
Plot: 4 It was a cute story. It makes for a good read to get out of the slump because of the cute, yet predictable plot. There's a lot of heart and thought woven into this fluffy romance.
Writing: 4 I love Maurene Goo as an author. I think I may have scored this book higher if I hadn't read her more recent work first. She's developed so much as an author between the two, coming out with a much stronger voice than Desi's almost passive sound. That's not to take anything away from the fun this book provides, and, if anything, it just speaks to Goo's incredible strength as an author and makes me excited to see what she comes out with next.
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