High school junior Gigi Wong strives to be the best: the top student, the perfect friend, and the ideal daughter. But it’s tough when there’s always someone who is just a little bit better. With college applications looming, she can’t help but worry that she won’t make the cut. Thankfully, her best friend Kyle never fails to find the right words–and the perfect bowl of ramen–to cheer her up.
After her teacher, Ms. Harris, announces she’ll be nominating students for an app writing contest, Gigi is determined to be picked. After all, first prize is an exclusive tech internship, sure to make her application stand out. There’s only one problem: she doesn’t have a winning program. It isn’t until transfer student Etta admits she’s struggling to fit in at Superbia that Gigi stumbles on an idea. She’ll use her coding skills–and the matchmaking experience she’s gotten from weekends with Auntie Rose–to create a friend matching app! Etta will meet new people, and Gigi will guarantee her acceptance into college. It’s foolproof.
What Gigi doesn’t expect is for her app to go viral around school. Soon, she finds herself at the center of a scandal—and at odds with both Etta and Kyle. Can Gigi fix what went wrong, or will her desire to be perfect cost her the people she cares about most?
Title: Love, Decoded
Author: Jennifer Yen
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
A third of the way through, I was bored. Halfway through, I was just over it.
I really enjoyed Yen’s previous YA book, A TASTE FOR LOVE, so I had high hopes for this Emma-inspired book. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. The pacing was so slow that was bored for the whole first half. I decided not to finish the book because I was not enjoying it and didn’t want to waste anymore time on it.
That being said, there were a couple of things that I did like and hated to let go of. Our main character, Gigi, was nice to get to know. She had a side to her that could be just like Emma (i.e. entitled, a bit ignorant, etc), but then there was a side that was completely her own (observative, sympathetic, kind). I was really excited to see where her character development would take her. Also, I thought her best friend, Kyle, was so stinking nice and I definitely had a little book crush on him. I was sorry to have to say goodbye to these characters and their journey.
Overall, I really wish the pacing hadn’t been so horrible or I could have really enjoyed this book and its characters.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.