This is my brain in love

I. W. Gregorio, 1976-

Book - 2020

Rising high school juniors Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici fall in love while trying to save the Wu family restaurant, A-Plus Chinese Garden.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
378 pages ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 12+.
ISBN
9780316423823
0316423823
Main Author
I. W. Gregorio, 1976- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015) takes readers into the world of restaurants in her latest novel, where they'll join rising junior and first-generation Chinese American Jocelyn Wu and new employee Will, a teen struggling to manage his anxiety. As A-Plus Chinese Garden contends with a lack of customers, Jocelyn hatches a plan to bring the family restaurant into the present with a larger social media presence. Meanwhile, her romance with Will threatens the restaurant and her family relationships. In part a love letter to family, this strikes on themes of depression and stigmatized perceptions of mental illness and its treatment, topics informed by Gregorio's #OwnVoices perspective and expanded upon in a moving author's note. A standout read in terms of packing timely issues into a contemporary and charming plot, this colorful novel will find love with fans of Maurene Goo's The Way You Make Me Feel (2018) and Eric Smith's Don't Read the Comments (2020), while giving others plenty to chew on. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015) takes readers into the world of restaurants in her latest novel, where they'll join rising junior and first-generation Chinese American Jocelyn Wu and new employee Will, a teen struggling to manage his anxiety. As A-Plus Chinese Garden contends with a lack of customers, Jocelyn hatches a plan to bring the family restaurant into the present with a larger social media presence. Meanwhile, her romance with Will threatens the restaurant and her family relationships. In part a love letter to family, this strikes on themes of depression and stigmatized perceptions of mental illness and its treatment, topics informed by Gregorio's #OwnVoices perspective and expanded upon in a moving author's note. A standout read in terms of packing timely issues into a contemporary and charming plot, this colorful novel will find love with fans of Maurene Goo's The Way You Make Me Feel (2018) and Eric Smith's Don't Read the Comments (2020), while giving others plenty to chew on. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gregorio (None of the Above) introduces Taiwanese-American Jocelyn Wu, 16, who is determined to save her family's failing Chinese restaurant in central New York, and biracial (half black, half white) William Domenici, also 16, in need of both a paying summer gig and the "investigative skills" required to earn a more significant role at his school newspaper. A charmingly awkward meet-cute ends with Jos hiring Will to help the business. As feelings develop between the two, familial expectations and difficult truths—including the failing restaurant, Jos's depression, and Will's anxiety—threaten to quash their relationship. Gregorio introduces the protagonists through alternating perspectives, unspooling each character's quirks and the ways their strengths, insecurities, and experiences affect them and those closest to them. Readers will come to this story for dynamic romantic and familial relationships, but they'll stay for its smart exploration of depression, anxiety, and self-care. Gregorio doesn't preach or prescribe, instead offering readers a safe space in which to consider and develop their understanding of mental health and, like Jos and Will, find the courage to ask for help if needed. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gregorio (None of the Above) introduces Taiwanese-American Jocelyn Wu, 16, who is determined to save her family's failing Chinese restaurant in central New York, and biracial (half black, half white) William Domenici, also 16, in need of both a paying summer gig and the "investigative skills" required to earn a more significant role at his school newspaper. A charmingly awkward meet-cute ends with Jos hiring Will to help the business. As feelings develop between the two, familial expectations and difficult truths—including the failing restaurant, Jos's depression, and Will's anxiety—threaten to quash their relationship. Gregorio introduces the protagonists through alternating perspectives, unspooling each character's quirks and the ways their strengths, insecurities, and experiences affect them and those closest to them. Readers will come to this story for dynamic romantic and familial relationships, but they'll stay for its smart exploration of depression, anxiety, and self-care. Gregorio doesn't preach or prescribe, instead offering readers a safe space in which to consider and develop their understanding of mental health and, like Jos and Will, find the courage to ask for help if needed. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—Jocelyn Wu has a plan to save her family's struggling Chinese restaurant in Utica, NY. With her father's reluctant approval she decides to hire a summer intern to help out at the restaurant and increase its online presence. Enter William Domenici, new intern and aspiring journalist looking for a story. Will and Jos hit it off; although they are very different, they have a lot in common. Jos, an American-born Chinese girl, and Will, the son of a Nigerian doctor and an Italian lawyer, are both entering junior year of high school and don't exactly blend into the background of their predominantly white, upstate New York town. Told in alternating first-person chapters, the story quickly immerses readers in the drama that unfolds over the course of the summer: Can the restaurant be saved? Will Jos and Will get together despite Mr. Wu's strict rules? Issues of mental health also come into play. Will, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when he was younger, has spent years learning how to manage his anxiety with the help of his therapist. It is his sensitivity to mental health issues that enables him to encourage Jos to seek help for her depression. VERDICT Deftly navigating issues of race and mental health, as well as giving voice to the reality of American teens born to immigrant families, many of whom grapple with different cultural and familial expectations, Gregorio, a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, has written a heartwarming foodie rom-com. Recommended for fans of realistic fiction.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Rising high school juniors Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici fall in love while trying to save the Wu family restaurant, A-Plus Chinese Garden.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A dual-narrative romance that explores themes of mental health and self-acceptance follows the experiences of a teen filmmaker and an aspiring school paper editor who work together to upgrade and promote a struggling Chinese restaurant. By the author of None of the Above. 35,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Schneider Family Book Award winner! Told in dual narrative, This Is My Brain in Love is a stunning YA contemporary romance, exploring mental health, race, and, ultimately self-acceptance, for fans of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact.Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade.  Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper.Then Jocelyn's father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it's up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook). What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance. 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A Schneider Family Book Award winner! A Bank Street Best BOok of the Year!Told in dual narrative, This Is My Brain in Love is a stunning YA contemporary romance, exploring mental health, race, and, ultimately self-acceptance, for fans of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact.Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade.  Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper.Then Jocelyn's father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it's up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook). What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance.