Book 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’ fifthfavorite 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. —Synopsis sourced from Goodreads


Bao and Linh are not supposed to be friends. The are from rival families. Their families have businesses across that street from one another and have taught them from a young age that they are not to be friends or talk to one another. But one act of kindness can change everything….

High School is so hard. There are so many things to do and Linh is having a hard time coping with it all. She ends up outside in the alley where Bao can see her from his families restaurant and that is the moment it all changes.

Now I disliked how this love story was compared to Romeo and Juliet. I understand that they are not supposed to like one another and their parents are rivals but that doesn’t make it a Romeo and Juliet love.

That out of the way, I really did enjoy this young adult romance. It was sweet. I loved how kind Bao was.

However, this stories is about more than a young adult romance from rival children. This is about healing families and overcoming expections of others, including parents. I know that in this day it is say that anyone can follow their dreams but the truth is many parents are still pushing their dreams onto their children and the children feel like they are stuck and have to hide what they really want in order to please their parents. While I know this is about Vietnamese-American families, I know that many other Americans do the same thing to their children. I have seen children who hate sports but their parents think that their children play football will get them the fame and make them rich. Lots of times these children don’t even like playing the sports or they did until their parents make it more about them and putting their children to work for them instead of just about the children doing it because it is something they love.

I think this story talks more about how the families want what’s best for their children, to get a good eduction and have a worthy career so that you won’t have to struggle your whole like. Most parents want that for their children. Sometimes we as parents have to understand that our children have their own passion and drives and even if we push what they love we can sometimes push to hard.

And I digress…

This was definitely a book that many young adults could relate to. I think the romance is sweet. If you enjoy YA romance or if this sounds interesting, pick this one up.

If you’ve already read this one please let me know what you thought of it.

Click the link to purchase this book.
Kindle | Amazon

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