“I’m only on the brink of liking someone right now, and it already feels overwhelming. It feels like it takes so much to reach the point of loving someone. And if you get there — if you find a person worthy of the magnitude of the word love — how are you supposed to give that up?”
In this book we meet a girl named Chloe who is having her last summer before she is heading from Manila to the US. She wants to become an animator and I just ADORED that so much. I loved reading about that job and how eager she wanted that! But before that happens a last summer. With fun dates (though also awkward as heck), figuring out about love (does she want to go for that boy or that boy), about her family and if she wants to stay or go (it is after all a big step and I could fully understand that she was scared, even though she had family in the US as well). I loved seeing her with her friends (shout out to the best friend Cia who was just the sweetest and deserves all the happiness). Oh, and she can predict rain, which was adorable and maybe a bit silly. I was really rooting for Chloe and just wanted to give her a hug at times. She could really use one!
OH BOY OH BOY. The romance between Jappy and Chloe? That was just perfection. It was cute, adorable, sweet, and I just loved every bit.
There is a lot of growth, not just in Chloe, but also in many of the other characters we meet. From her best friend to Jappy to aunt Queenie. That always makes me so happy!
I loved the culture in this book, I loved seeing the various foods, learn more about the place in the world that Chloe and her family and friends live in. I love that the author also used the words, though I am glad there was a glossary because at times I was like wait what. So I learned a lot of new things!
While we don’t get a lot of Kaishao (I had expected SO MUCH more given the title), I did like them. They were so awkward. Yet, also so fun!
I loved the cover, I am a big fan of illustrated covers and I just really enjoyed this one! See her think about the boys (and after reading also probably think about her future).
While there was a lot I loved, there were also things that at times had me wondering if I should just give up on reading the book. The biggest issue I had was Aunt Queenie. For 90% of the book I found her controlling, annoying, frustrating, and I just wanted her to shove off. I wanted to yeet the book so badly due to her. I didn’t like how she just didn’t seem to care about her family, for real at least. She was trying too much to have everything her way that she forgets that her family are real life people. They have dreams, wishes, and maybe don’t want all of this.
Then there is the dad. He just had such weird views on things and while I could see that he was trying… I also just wanted to shake him badly. Like for instance, he was able to accept that someone is gay in his family and found that totally fine. But dear heavens if his daughter dared to date or expressed her own views or had dreams. Again, I know he cares, but he should have shown it way better.
And I just wanted to see Chloe get a bit more confident sooner. She was so worried and almost threw away her dreams because she let her worries take over.
But in overall, this was certainly a ride and I am so happy I read this book. I am glad I persevered and got through those bumps in the road.