I don't know where I discovered this book but I am so happy I did. There was something about the cover, the Romeo & Juliet type of love affair that came across in the description, that drew me in completely.

"A Pho Love Story" by Loan Le is a beautiful story about love, life, family, and culture... it made me so happy in so many ways. I simply adored the story! 

This is the type of book that you can read to feel something both light and deep at the same time. It's the kind of book that puts a smile on your face for so many reasons. It's just such a great book and it was so well written.

Publisher's Summary

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 is 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 of 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?

My Thoughts

When I started reading this book I thought it was going to be a simple love story between rivals but it was so much more than that. It was so deep and touched on so many real, relevant issues from generational trauma, immigration, racism, and the innate need to please your parents despite your own thoughts and feelings. 

Yet, at the same time, this book was super cute, light-hearted, and made my heart feel so warm. You get to know the ins and outs of Bao and Linh, you are rooting for them the entire time and you just want to scream at their parents. Both of the characters were so likable and even when you get to the nitty-gritty of the Mais and Nguyen's feud, you can see the hurt and likability of the parents.

Aside from the romance side of the story, you see Linh and Bao really learn who they are together, they both bring the best out in each other and they learn from each other what their passions are. It was just perfect, I cannot say enough good things about the story.

Another part of the book that I really loved was all the Vietnamese language and references; it felt like a cultural lesson in a beautiful way. I felt like I learned so much and you can obviously tell that the author was Vietnamese, it was too intricate to be written by anyone else. 

If you are in a reading rut and just need something light but not corny or annoying, I cannot recommend "A Pho Love Story" enough!

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