Bound To Stay Bound

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 This is my brain in love
 Author: Gregorio, I. W.

 Publisher:  Little, Brown (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 378 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 400963 ISBN: 9780316423823
 Ages: 13-18 Grades: 8-12

 Restaurants -- Fiction
 Chinese cooking -- Fiction
 Anxiety disorders -- Fiction
 Chinese Americans -- Fiction
 African Americans -- Fiction
 Love -- Fiction

Price: $9.01

Rising high school juniors Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici fall in love while trying to save the Wu family restaurant, A-Plus Chinese Garden.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 6.30
   Points: 15.0   Quiz: 511594

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 02/15/2020 Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015) takes readers into the world of restaurants in her latest novel, where they’ll join rising junior and first-generation Chinese American Jocelyn Wu and new employee Will, a teen struggling to manage his anxiety. As A-Plus Chinese Garden contends with a lack of customers, Jocelyn hatches a plan to bring the family restaurant into the present with a larger social media presence. Meanwhile, her romance with Will threatens the restaurant and her family relationships. In part a love letter to family, this strikes on themes of depression and stigmatized perceptions of mental illness and its treatment, topics informed by Gregorio’s #OwnVoices perspective and expanded upon in a moving author’s note. A standout read in terms of packing timely issues into a contemporary and charming plot, this colorful novel will find love with fans of Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel (2018) and Eric Smith’s Don’t Read the Comments (2020), while giving others plenty to chew on. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 8 Up—Jocelyn Wu has a plan to save her family's struggling Chinese restaurant in Utica, NY. With her father's reluctant approval she decides to hire a summer intern to help out at the restaurant and increase its online presence. Enter William Domenici, new intern and aspiring journalist looking for a story. Will and Jos hit it off; although they are very different, they have a lot in common. Jos, an American-born Chinese girl, and Will, the son of a Nigerian doctor and an Italian lawyer, are both entering junior year of high school and don't exactly blend into the background of their predominantly white, upstate New York town. Told in alternating first-person chapters, the story quickly immerses readers in the drama that unfolds over the course of the summer: Can the restaurant be saved? Will Jos and Will get together despite Mr. Wu's strict rules? Issues of mental health also come into play. Will, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when he was younger, has spent years learning how to manage his anxiety with the help of his therapist. It is his sensitivity to mental health issues that enables him to encourage Jos to seek help for her depression. VERDICT Deftly navigating issues of race and mental health, as well as giving voice to the reality of American teens born to immigrant families, many of whom grapple with different cultural and familial expectations, Gregorio, a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, has written a heartwarming foodie rom-com. Recommended for fans of realistic fiction.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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