Rating: 😍😍😍😍 out of five heart-eye emojis
After the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie came out, I decided that I needed to either rewatch TATBILB, reread the entire series, or read a YA rom-com that had been gathering dust on my hilariously large TBR stack. After I watched the movie one more time, I decided to start I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE by Maurene Goo.
And boy howdy, I was NOT disappointed!
This book has everything: a perfectionist, Type-A Asian American girl (aka me in high school but with better grades), a boy to swoon over, a sweet family dynamic, and rational friends who know their friend is insane but are willing to let her live her K-drama fantasies.
Desi Lee may be a perfectionist, but she is not perfect. Her morals are somewhat questionable, but I related to her so hard. As someone else who’s a bit of a control freak, clueless about love, and lives on step-by-step guides, I understand why she sets up these insane situations to win Luca’s love.
Maurene’s writing is so good and SO spot on. Desi’s voice reminds me of my own; it’s almost hard to believe how well Maurene encapsulates what it feels to be a teenager. There’s this kind of teen mentality that’s often hard to properly capture on the page. Often, I read books about teenagers that were clearly written by an adult- not that that’s a bad thing. Let me put it simply: this is the kind of book I wish I had when I was a teen, when I was a senior in high school, even a senior in college. Maurene just gets it.
As always, this book gets a plus from me for representation of Asian American girl experience. Initially, I was put off by Desi’s over-achieving mentality. She’s pretty, popular, smart, athletic: everything I wished I was in high school. But from her comedic experiences with cute boys to her relationship with her father, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Desi Lee is the kind of person you want to root for. Even though you know she’s in the wrong, you want her to find and experience love.
Because, in the end, everyone deserves love.