3.5 star, YA

ARC Review: Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson.

Two girls. One night. Zero phones.

Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?

Well. Kind of a lot?

They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.

Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future. 

That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.


**Take Me Home Tonight comes out May 4, 2021!**

Thank you Netgalley and Simon Schuster Canada for this copy in exchange for an honest review

Let me first start off by saying, “phew, what a wild ride!” this book truly was. It took a little warming up to at first but by the end of the night, it was like we went down a very long journey with each girl. Take Me Home Tonight lives up to the Ferris Bueller theme as besties Stevie and Kat journey into the heart of the city on their own with hardly a soul knowing where they were up to. This is a story about friendship (the best of kinds), facing what is holding you back, and being able to grow from these things instead of letting it tear you back down. While it may focus on two teenage girls, I do think the themes here teach a great lesson for any age.

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4 star, YA

Review: A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

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 true ode to Vietnamese culture and cuisine, A Pho Love Story delivers an insightful look into foods shared and eaten and the dynamics of family who have survived the horrors of a civil war. While you may instantly think this is a Romeo and Juliet kind of retelling, I am here to tell you that it is so much more.

Linh and Bao work at their respective family restaurants which are unfortunately situated across the street from each other. Told from childhood that they should never, ever interact with the enemy, they were like two passing ships in the night only seeing one another from afar but never interacting even at school. Looking at this synopsis, of course you would think this is just a simple own-voices kind of romance story. It is, I agree, but there is just so much more about Linh and Bao than a sit-in Juliet and Romeo with feuding restaurant families.

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4.5 star, YA

Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Series: Love & Gelato #1

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.



You ever feel transported to the place your books take you, whether that be some fantastical land that exists entirely in a collective imagination or a place that you can literally touch and feel? Well, Love & Gelato has swept me off my feet to land safely on the grounds of an American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. I never wanted to travel more than right now (not a great thing to feel in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions).

There are so many things in my head and heart with this novel. It can be summarized in 3 parts.

Setting and Travel

Italy is a gorgeous place, and I wish I had the chance to visit its Tuscany charm or walk the big cities at my own pace. While this book is solidly a cute romantic story (more on this later), it also does an amazing job taking you to a place you may not have ever gone to in your life. I most certainly googled a bunch of locations and famous sights mentioned throughout, almost feeling that tangible sense like I can close my eyes and pretend I’m tasting gelato on my tongue and hear the sights of a crowded piazza. It shines through that the author has spent time in this beautiful country and know it by more than mere research. There is a deep sense of love and respect for this place that shines through every word describing the next sight Lina takes in.

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