Just like her sisters before her, Winnie isn’t allowed to date in high school. With strict Thai parents, she’s always been a rule follower. Then her mom changes her mind, deciding Winnie needs practice with boys before going out into the real world. Enter Mat, son of her parents best friend and Winnie’s sworn enemy/ex-friend. They hate each other.
But the only thing stronger than hate is love.
What I loved: pretty much every cultural aspect. Asian representation in romance is sorely lacking and Winnie being Thai adds an element of depth to the story. It’s a huge part of her identity, making her an entirely lovable character. She’s clumsy and awkward but kind and endearing. The arguments with Mat are funny and full of chemistry. These two are so good together that from the very first fake date, you want them to end up together.
Despite being first person, the writing style manages not to be overly young or annoying. It flows super well and doesn’t rely on inner monologue to let the reader know what Winnie is thinking.
What left me wanting more:
There’s not a ton or originality. The story felt like it’s been done many times over - yet this one is better than similar books in the genre.
There were some drama moments that made Winnie seem younger than she was, but they were always fixed quickly and don’t leave the reader guessing for too long.
An engaging story with a rich cultural element and the kind of chemistry great romances are made of.