Friday, March 5, 2021

This Is My Brain in Love by I.W. Gregorio - OPTIONAL

This Is My Brain in Love
by I.W. Gregorio
, 384 pages. Little, Brown and Company, 2020. $18 

Language: PG13 (43 swears, 3 'f') Mature Content: PG13 (Teen dating circumstances) Violence: G. 



16yo Jocelyn Wu has a lot of plans this summer, including making a short film with her best friend - but when her father lets her know that their family business - a struggling Chinese Restaurant - is in trouble, her summer plans suddenly change. Determined to try to save the business through marketing, Jocelyn hires a summer intern, 16yo Will. When their professional relationship turns romantic, the two find themselves in a bit more trouble than they bargained for. Now Jocelyn's dad has them under contract for the summer - save the restaurant, or no boyfriend - and no "hanky panky" in the meantime. 

On the surface, this is a cute teen romance, but the layers are raw and complicated. The kid's relationship brings up some family prejudice, and there's discussions of mental heath, medications and therapy. Told in two voices - Will's and Jocelyn's - the reader learns the whole story, one that is revealed more slowly to the characters. I loved the restaurant descriptions - so craving dumplings while reading. The author's note at the end is an important tie in about the stigma of mental health help, and the appendix includes resources to help yourself or others who may need it.

Lisa Librarian

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