A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

Book Review #539

Title: A Pho Love Story

Author: Loan Le

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genres: YA, Contemporary

Format: e-ARC

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: February 9, 2021

Pages: 416

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifthfavorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants. 

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le is such a delicious and adorable story that centers around star crossed lovers who own restaurants opposite each other. This book will make you hungry, swoon and most importantly its the kind of story that brings people together.

I genuinely had so much fun reading about Linh and Bao’s story as they discover and fight for their dreams as well as the love they have for the other. It’s seriously so sweet and I basically just breezed through the entire story. It is not new that I love to read about the journey of one’s path to live their dreams and it hits hard because Bao too hopes to be a writer. I was totally rooting for them the whole way.

I haven’t read a book whose main characters are Vietnamese or Vietnamese American and its honestly such a shame for me because their culture and cuisine are so rich. It makes me want to learn more and order their mouthwatering food. The story too is well written with certain background story that remained vague which left me with no choice but to read until the very end.

I highly recommend you to pick up this book as it is such a lovely book. As its about the experiences of being Asian immigrants that explore the usual element of living with strict parents with high expectations. But it was also about second chances and being in a community that helps one another through the good and bad times.

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