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A Pho Love Story | Review

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“I find refuge in art, escaping thoughts like this, to regain control when life throws another obstacle my way. When I work, magic happens; for a few hours at a time, the world just slips away.”

Loan Le, A Pho Love Story

In this loose Vietnamese take on the classic tale of “Romeo and Juliet”, the Mai and the Nguyen family have been rivals since forever.

Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai have been forbidden to speak to each other their whole lives, but when Bao comes across Linh in an alley one day, his curiosity gets the best of him.
They both soon realize that they have so many things in common and they wonder why they’ve never connected before, but despite them knowing they can’t ever be together they fall head over heels for each other.

Can they find love in the midst of a family who have been at odds for so many years?


4 Stars

I honestly thought this was so stinkin’ cute!! I absolutely loved the relationship between Bao and Linh and seeing the duel perspective!

The family aspect has to be one of my favorite parts of this! Learning about the past of the Mai’s and the Nguyen’s definitely kept it super interesting, because I just had to keep reading to know what was happening there!
I originally picked this up thinking it was going to be a cute fluffy contemporary, but it was so much more than that!

“When I paint, there’s always a moment where I just know that I’m finally finished. The colors and textures come together to depict a feeling of rightness.”

Loan Le, A Pho Love Story

I loved seeing the creativity between the two main protagonists with Bao’s exploring new places to write his school newspaper articles as well as Linh’s drawings and paintings with the descriptions we got while she was painting!

I will say at some points it did seem like it dragged a bit, but I think in the end the story redeemed itself.

P.S. don’t read this book on a empty stomach HAHA!
There were so many descriptions of AMAZING sounding foods and recipes that just made me hungry!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yours truly,



Title: A Pho Love Story
Author: Loan Le
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★☆


If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.


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