Love, Decoded

Love, Decoded
Age Range
Release Date
March 08, 2022
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A hilarious, heartfelt rom-com about the unexpected consequences of one teen's quest to help her friends find love, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Jane Austen.

High school junior Gigi Wong strives to be the best. After all, that’s what everyone expects of her—her parents, friends, and even potential colleges. Thankfully, her best friend, Kyle, is always there to listen with a smile and a delicious bowl of ramen. Still, with her future—and her dreams—on the line, how is she to stand out when her classmates seem so perfect too?
Her answer comes in the form of an app writing contest. If Gigi can secure the nomination to represent her school, she has a chance at a prestigious tech internship. That’s sure to get her applications noticed . . . All she needs is a winning entry.
When transfer student and new friend Etta confides that she’s struggling to fit in, it gives Gigi an idea. What if she takes what she’s learned from shadowing her aunt Rose, a professional matchmaker, to create a fun friend-making app? Perfect!
When Gigi's app goes viral at school, she's the center of attention--and a major scandal. She never meant to hurt anyone, let alone Etta and Kyle. Can she save all she worked so hard for and the relationships that mean so much to her?

Editor review

1 review
Cute Retelling of EMMA
Overall rating
Writing Style
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Gigi hates when the word perfect is used to describe her, but also likes to be the best at everything. When not helping her grandmother at her matchmaking shop, she's writing code for her Quiz app. After her teacher announces a contest to work with a famous developer, Gigi wants to win and finds the perfect way to do it. She decides to expand her quiz app into a matchmaking one that helps you meet friends you "match" with, using everything she's learned from her grandmother's shop.

While working on her app, she has the support of her best friend Kyle and her new mentee Etta. Gigi has been friends with Kyle for years, but it's obvious Kyle likes her more than just a friend (but not to Gigi). As for Etta, Gigi tries to transform her into someone who will fit in and becomes so focused on it that she forgets how amazing it is to be yourself. They go to a very exclusive school and Etta is there on a scholarship, so Gigi becomes aware of how people come from different backgrounds, even though it's something she never considered. As the deadline for her app draws closer, Gigi becomes more and mores stressed, until a scandal breaks out and forces Gigi to reevaluate everything. Including what she wants for her future.

LOVE, DECODED is a cute retelling of Jane Austin's EMMA that gives a good representation of a STEM girl who loves coding. The romance is a bit lacking, but I love seeing how Gigi loses herself and then finds her way back to who she is. The pressure of winning weighed on her shoulders until it became her sole focus. She started to forget about her friends, including Kyle. I adore Kyle and how sweet he is. I wish we could have seen more of him, but Gigi's growth is the focus of this story. Watching her learn right from wrong and what's important and what's not puts things into perspective and gets your mind thinking about your own life.

Final Verdict: Overall, LOVE, DECODED is perfect for fans of STEM girl representation, coding, and coming of age stories with a side of contemporary romance. This is an easy read that brought a smile to my face and tugged at my heartstrings as I followed Gigi's journey to self-discovery.
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