This book is reviewed by Vidula. To see more of Vidula's reviews please visit her Instagram page.
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le is about Bao and Linh, two teenagers whose parents own competing phở restaurants. They’ve avoided each other for years, but when a chance encounter brings them together, sparks fly, and they wonder if they can be together despite the feud between their families. As soon as I started reading, I loved the rich cultural details in the book, from the food to the language. I don’t know much about Vietnamese cuisine, so it was really interesting to learn. I also thought it was nice to see such in depth representation of the culture. However, I still ended up disappointed with this book overall. The characters were underdeveloped, so they felt almost interchangeable; there were places where I couldn’t tell whose point of view I was reading. Because of that, I didn’t feel as invested in their relationship as I should have. The plot of this book wasn’t anything unique; I’ve read many books with very similar stories. Most YA contemporary romances actually do have similar story arcs, but the characters set them apart from each other, and this book didn’t do that. However, there were some themes in this book that I did enjoy, such as staying true to yourself and finding your own path in the world. Overall, this book reminded me of This is my Brain in Love by IW Gregorio and Yes, No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed, so if you enjoyed those, you should give this one a try! I would give this book a 7.8/10.