Love, Decoded

­Razorbill. Mar. 2022. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593117552.
Gr 9 Up–Gigi strives for the best, whether it’s perfecting a database for Auntie Rose’s matchmaking business or being impeccable in her school activities. This year, Gigi finally has the chance to prove her worth as a coder when her teacher announces an app writing competition. However, when the new transfer student, Etta, confesses to having trouble making friends, Gigi creates a friendship matchmaking app that goes a little too viral, imploding all of her important relationships, including the one with her best friend, Kyle. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma, Yen creates a romance of errors (set in the same world as A Taste for Love) as Gigi navigates love and friendship. Gigi is a people pleaser who can’t say “no,” a quality that many teens will find relatable. As her relationships fall apart, Gigi sees her lack of honest communication as the driving force for the mishaps with her friends and family. The characters’ connections are well written, though readers may want additional time to immerse themselves in backstory and development. While readers will be screaming for more Kyle and Gigi moments on page, the ending is ultimately satisfying. Gigi is Chinese, Kyle is biracial (Chinese and white), and Etta is Filipina.
VERDICT For admirers of Lyla Lee or shows like Indian Matchmaking, this lighthearted romp is guaranteed to lift spirits.

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