on February 9, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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’ fifth favorite 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 is a young adult contemporary romance by Loan Le. A Pho Love Story is kind of a modern day Romeo and Juliet with feuding families, but luckily this story has much less death than Romeo and Juliet. I enjoyed this cute and delicious romance. Seriously, though this book should come with a warning…do not read while hungry! All of the mention of yummy foods literally had my stomach grumbling while I was reading. If you are a fan of star crossed lovers, A Pho Love Story is a cute read that will have you rooting for our main couple to end the family feuding!
In A Pho Love Story, we meet our main characters, Linh and Bao. Their families have competing pho restaurants across the street from one another, and they have been at odds for as long as Linh and Bao can remember. So much so that these two classmates basically ignored each other at school their whole lives. But when Bao unwittingly comes to Linh’s rescue one night, their paths start to entangle. I loved Linh and Bao together. They honestly had a lot in common that I was surprised their paths didn’t really cross more often. They are both such good young adults, that it is super easy to root for them- individually and of course, together. They are such sweeties.
I loved their food reviews that really just turned into a series of dates. It was beyond adorable. Honestly, my only critique of the book is pretty slight. I loved how authentic this book felt to me, with lots of Vietnamese language interwoven and influences in the food, families and conversations. I loved all of that, but it was hard for me to follow at times. I do wish the author included a glossary at the beginning of the book, and incorporated some more explanations or context clues for the words when they were used in the story. Especially with the food terms, I wanted to know more about these delicious dishes, but I didn’t always know what they were. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I loved the balance of romance as well as familial issues and struggles. The book felt like a well balanced meal, with sweet, savory and bitter all woven in. Fans of young adult contemporary romances looking for a lighter, happier version of Romeo and Juliet, should check out A Pho Love Story. This book was adorable.