A Pho Love Story by Loan Le (416 pages)
A Mix Young Lovers With A Family Feud…
Bao Nguyen is steady and strong, but, in his own words, not particularly interesting. His grades are average and his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he’s not his parents’ favourite employee. Linh Mai loves art and dreams of pursuing a career in it. Unfortunately, her parents are afraid that being an artist will lead to an unstable life. They also rely on her to work at her family’s pho restaurant almost full-time. For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing pho restaurants that are across the street from one another. When a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao into the same vicinity, sparks fly. But will their families’ feud keep them apart?
…And Throw In Some Asian Cuisine
In A Pho Love Story, the Mais and Nguyens are feuding families whose children meet and fall for one another—sound familiar? Actually, the author herself pokes fun at the similarities between her story about the children of Vietnamese immigrants, and the Shakespearean classic, Romeo & Juliet on the page. (Thankfully, this one isn’t a tragedy!) Bao and Linh are so cute together, from the first moment that Bao offers help to an overwhelmed, upset Linh (when her parents’ sale at the restaurant draws a crowd), to their soft and artsy dates, all the way to the end. With Linh’s passion for art, her point-of-view adds vibrancy to the story, especially when she and Bao share their first kiss! Also, the title itself doesn’t disappoint. Bao and Linh are tasked with reviewing restaurants (Bao reviewing and Linh painting the scene), so this story is full of food. My sincere advice: read this one with your favourite snack on standby!
The Bottom Line: 4.5/5 Brookie Stars
One of my favorite things about A Pho Love Story is how much the characters grew over the course of the story! Their journey was wholesome and complete, and I loved being along for the ride. Pick this one up if you love Asian cuisine, deep family histories, and sweet, young love.
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse
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