The Way You Make Me Feel

The Way You Make Me Feel

Title: The Way You Make Me Feel

Author: Maureen Goo

Series: N/A

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: May 8th 2018


Three Stars

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 humour, 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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“This one isn’t going to learn anything from another suspension,” he said calmly.
Pardon? This one?! I opened my mouth to respond, but he held up a hand.
“Quiet. Not another word. You’re going to pay back the damages for the cafeteria. And you’re going to do it by working the KoBra. All summer.”

Clara lives for the next prank she can pull, but when she takes things a step too far at prom, getting in a fist fight with Rose Carver and nearly burning down the school, her father finally puts his foot down. Instead of spending time with her friends lounging around by the pool, Clara has to spend her whole summer working the KoBra with Rose to pay back the damage they caused, and the trip to Tulum Clara had planned with her mother is unofficially off the table.

This the first book by Maurene Goo I’ve picked up, and overall I thought it was a good story, I just wish some aspects had been better developed. At the heart of it this book focuses on Clara’s development, the changes she makes to her life over the summer working on her father’s food truck. At the beginning of this book Clara wants to be like her mother, travelling the world with no responsibilities, but that soon chances as she starts working on the KoBra.

“Man, we’re so good at this friendship thing.”
I almost choke on my mango, laughing. “Yeah, we should do tutorials on it.”
“Put it on YouTube.”
“Bring on guests to show them how to awkwardly complement each other.”

As Clara and Rose learn how to work in the small food truck without killing each other, a tough challenge given their history, Clara realises that even though this summer isn’t what she imagined it would be, it’s not all bad. There’s a cute boy who has a crush on her, and while Hamlet isn’t her usual type that could be a good thing, she’s becoming invested in her dads food truck, and decides to enter them in a contest which could kick start his restaurant dreams, and if she can prove she’s learnt her lesson she may be able to make to Tulum after all.

This was a quick read, and a standard YA contemporary book in my mind. It has a cute romance between Clara and Hamlet, which really does prove that opposites attract, a solid friendship developing between Clara and Rose as they realise the other isn’t all bad, and an interesting family dynamic between Clara and both her parents. I think despite some of the issues that I had with this book I’d still recommend The Way You Make Me Feel, overall it’s a decent summer read.

…The Characters

“I hated when my dad gendered the stupid truck. To retaliate, I called my boobs Brock and Chad, which my dad hated with equal fervour.”

Clara has never taken anything seriously, and she’s never really had to face the consequences of her actions, but that all changes. Even when her father puts his foot down Clara still thinks she can change his mind, that his punishment won’t last the whole summer. Clara knows a lot about how the KoBra works, about her father’s dream of owning a restaurant, but it’s only when she starts working with him that she becomes invested herself.

The relationship Clara has with her father is a close one. He was only eighteen when he had Clara so the age difference isn’t a massive one and maybe as a result of this he’s never really properly disciplined Clara when she’s made a mistake. Clara’s father is an incredibly hard worker, he’s worked his way up from the bottom and is still working his way towards his dream of owning a restaurant.

Rose glanced at me. “Looks like someone has a crush.”
I almost drop the pitcher of water I was holding. “I don’t have a crush.”
She shook her head. “Who says I’m taking about you?”

One of the things I felt needed more development was the development of Clara’s and Hamlet’s relationship. At first Clara refers to him as a Labrador puppy, and keeps saying he’s not her type and that she’s not interested in dating him. She’s attracted to him when they first meet but I didn’t get how their relationship developed past that attraction into something more when Clara kept going on about how he wasn’t her usual type.

“You’re right, we were being jerks.” He looked down at his lap.”But, I mean, it kind of sucks. Being ditched, you know.”
“I didn’t ditch you guys.”
He glanced behind me at Rose and Hamlet, who were talking to the EMTs. “Maybe not. But you’re going to.”

The friendship between Clara and Rose was well written. I loved seeing how these two girls who had always been enemies, and who had never had a girl friend before each other, became closer the more time they spent working together. What I do wish had been developed more though was Clara’s friendship with Patrick and Felix. The more Clara changed, the closer she became to Rose and Hamlet, the more she moved away from the two friends she performed her epic pranks with and that never seemed to be resolved in this book.

Both Rose and Hamlet played a large part in Clara’s growth as a character. At the beginning of this book Clara doesn’t care about anything at all. She coasts through life’s playing pranks because not caring about anything is easier than working towards something and having those expectations placed on her shoulders. Rose and Hamlet however have goals, they’re passionate about different things and between them and the KoBra Clara seems to realise there are things she’s passionate about too.

The Way You Make Me Feel is a cute YA contemporary story with good individual character development, a great family dynamic and positive female friendship. I did enjoy this book I just wish that some of the relationships, particularly between Clara and Hamlet and Clara and her male friends, had been developed more.

What did you think of The Way You Make Me Feel? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

16 thoughts on “The Way You Make Me Feel

  1. It was also my first book by this author. I enjoyed the lighthearted style of writing but do agree with so e of the points you made about Clara and Hamlet. I couldn’t really understand why he liked her? She was kind of selfish, but ai did like her growth through the novel. She was so much more likable at the end of the book that I forgave all of my misgivings. Great review! It was very thoughtful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as YA contemporaries I’ve read go this one was kind of middle ground. Yeah it seemed like we got to see why Clara liked Hamlet, but there never seemed much of an explanation why he was interested in her when she seemed to keep him at arms length. Her development as an individual character was well written, I just wish all the development in this book had been. 😀


  2. I’ve the intention to read this book since it got out, but I’m still missing the chance to buy it.
    I’m curious to see about the friendship, also because it talks about friendship between rival girls and I think is an important issue. And makes me think a bit about past situations in my life XD

    Also, I cannot deny that I want to read about a lot of food. At “food truck” this books was already in my to- read list

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you’ll be able to buy it and read it soon then. 😀
      Yeah the friendship between Rose and Clara was one of my favourite parts of this story. It was really well developed and felt natural how they went from rivals to friends.
      Ha, yeah books with yummy food are always weaknesses of mine too! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, Beth! ❤ I'm glad to hear you overall enjoyed that one, even if it lacked some development in some areas. I especially loved the unlikely friendship developping between Clara and Rose, too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤ Yeah that friendship was one of the highlights of this book (you know how much I love well written female friendships) I just wish overall everything had had more development. You can't have everything though. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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