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๐๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐ซ: ๐๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐“๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ
๐๐š๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค: ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ
๐๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐: ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ญ๐ก ๐Œ๐š๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ
๐†๐ž๐ง๐ซ๐ž: ๐๐จ๐ฒ ๐‹๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ/ ๐‹๐†๐๐“๐/ ๐‹๐†๐๐“๐+
๐…๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ข๐ ๐ง ๐–๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ 
๐‘๐ž๐š๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐˜๐ž๐š๐ซ: ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

The book revolves around two characters, Theo and Gabi.
Theo's parents run an Asian cafรฉ, offering items like bao, milk tea, and boba. His mom is Chinese, and his dad is Japanese. Theo is openly gay, a fact known by everyone from his parents to his classmates. He is 16 years old. Theo has an older brother in college, and he feels his parents favour this brother. Despite being very good at soccer, his parents show no interest in his talent. The cafรฉ belongs to Uncle Greg, his mom's brother, who treats her poorly for marrying a non-Chinese man and having a gay son. Uncle Greg pays them by letting them live above the store.
Gabi's father is a staunch homophobe. Gabi himself is gay but cannot come out. He loves dance, especially ballet, but his father forbids him from taking lessons. Secretly, he attends ballet classes at school. He is terrified of being outed. Despite hating soccer and being bad at it, he joins the team to maintain his straight faรงade. Gabi is shocked to learn his parents are considering selling their cafรฉ. He loves the cafรฉ and dreams of inheriting and running it. To keep the business, he must find a way to generate extra income to prove to his parents that they should keep the business. They team up when he discovers Theo is illegally selling food on campus.
Gabi's parents own a Puerto Rican cafรฉ. And they despise the Moris, the owners of the Asian cafรฉ. The Moris reciprocate the hatred. Both sets of parents say terrible things about each other.

The story revolves around Theo and Gabi's business of delivering food to their fellow students during school to save their parents' businesses. They exploit Gabi's position on the Homecoming committee, using the Homecoming badges to leave class whenever they want to make deliveries. However, this part of the story felt wildly unrealistic. The idea that committee members could leave class multiple times throughout the day without being questioned seemed implausible.

For me, Theo came across as whiny, mean, and angry without sufficient justification, treating everyone around him with a lack of respect or sympathy. Gabi's friendship with Meli was also puzzling. Meli is depicted as unlikeable throughout the book, obsessed with making Homecoming successful to the point of alienating others. We are supposed to believe she is not this bad generally, but we never see her differently. This one-dimensionality extended to most of the side characters.
The four parents in the story were particularly unlikable, being unsupportive of their sons and so passive and incompetent in saving their businesses.
The only character I rooted for was Gabi. I enjoyed seeing his character growth and the ballet scenes. However, his crush on Theo seemed more about Theo being the only openly gay guy in school than a genuine attraction, and their romance lacked the right chemistry for me.

The language is easy and the narration is smooth, though the pacing is mixed. As a whole, I enjoyed the book and even loved portions of it, but I wish certain aspects had been handled better for the sake of the characters. 

My Rating:


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