Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Sixteen-year-old Clara Shin loves her untethered L.A. life, where she lives with her young Korean Brazilian dad. But when a prom prank turns into a brawl, her punishment is the worst she can imagine: working all summer on her dad's hot, cramped food truck, KoBra, instead of vacationing in Mexico with her mom. As if that weren't bad enough, overachiever and perennial enemy Rose Carver must also work on the truck as punishment for her part in the scuffle. Clever strategies by Dad lead Clara and Rose to see each other less as adversaries and more as friends. Meanwhile, a Chinese boy named Hamlet expresses interest in Clara and helps her realize that perhaps her old self isn't the one she wants to embrace going forward. Flip, hip narrator Clara may seem a tad unlikable at first, but readers can't help but get caught up in her bumpy coming-of-age journey, applauding her increasing attachment to KoBra and her drive to help facilitate her dad's dream of opening a restaurant. With massive amounts of humor, heart, and soul, this love letter to L.A. and its diversity is a celebration of friends, family, and food trucks.--Fredriksen, Jeanne Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-"You simply couldn't out-jerk a jerk like me." Clara Shin, the protagonist in Goo's latest, delivers this line with pride. Life is a joke for prank-loving, prickly Clara, who is Korean Brazilian American. She has a blast with her friends, wistfully follows her social media influencer mother's exploits on Instagram, and keeps "realness" at arms' length. When one of her pranks lands her in real trouble, her hip dad tightens the reins, assigning her to a summer working in his sweltering food truck alongside her overachiever archenemy, Rose Carver. As the girls find a way to work together and eventually form a friendship, and Clara meets Hamlet, a cute boy whose earnestness pains her and makes her heart flutter, she warms up to the idea of actually caring about things. Clara's struggle with what her shift in attitude means for the identity, defenses, and friendships she has constructed for herself is sensitively drawn; even as readers cringe at some of her behavior, they'll be rooting for her. Hamlet's sweet inexperience veers into unintentional controlling behavior from time to time, but his openness gives Clara plenty of space to figure out what she wants. VERDICT Sweet, sexy, hilarious, and featuring a spectacular father-daughter relationship, this book will fly off the shelves.-Beth McIntyre, Madison Public Library, WI © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
After a school prank goes too far, sixteen-year-old Clara Shin must spend the summer in LA working in her father's Korean-Brazilian food truck rather than visiting her Instagram-famous mom in Tulum, Mexico. The job, however, forces Clara to drop her defenses and open herself to new relationships--including with her dad, for whom she has renewed appreciation. Humor enlivens this enjoyable account of summer self-discovery. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A spirited teenager learns about the meaning of love, friendship, and family.When spunky Clara Shin, the daughter of two Brazilian immigrants of Korean descent, is forced to make up for a school prank by taking a summer job working in her father's food truck alongside her nemesis, Rose Carver, a perfectionistic, overachieving classmate who looks like a "long-lost Obama daughter," she thinks it's the end of her summer. Clara's insouciant and rebellious demeanor hides profound feelings of rejection over her glamorous mother's decision to leave the family when Clara was 4 to jaunt around the world as a social media influencer. Clara is most comfortable hanging out with a crowd of kids who are similarly rebellious and disengaged, but a budding romance with earnest Chinese heartthrob Hamlet Wong, who works in a neighboring food truck, and a developing friendship with Rose, who has never had a BFF, teach Clara that there's an upside to taking risks and letting people get close. When Clara feels hurt by her father's negative reaction to a well-intentioned surprise, she takes off on an adventure that ultimately opens her eyes to all the good things that await her back home. Clara's personal growth during this summer of change is realistic and convincing.Snappy dialogue and an endearing cast of characters bring to life this richly-drawn portrait of multicultural LA. (Fiction. 12-18)
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