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A New York Times bestseller! "Smart and funny...warm and rewarding." —Booklist (starred review) "A compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City."...
A New York Times bestseller! "Smart and funny...warm and rewarding." —Booklist (starred review) "A compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City."...
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  • A New York Times bestseller!
    "Smart and funny...warm and rewarding." —Booklist (starred review)
    "A compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City." —School Library Journal

    From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called "smart and funny," comes a "captivating" (The New York Times) romance about how social media influences relationships every day.
    On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn't have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he's up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans.

    Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon, and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them.

    When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it's absurd to think they'd be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

About the Author-

  • Mary H.K. Choi is the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, Permanent Record, and Yolk. She is the host of, Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs and Hey, Cool Life!, a micro-pod about mental health and creativity. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times,and GQ. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her on Twitter @ChoitotheWorld.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 17, 2019
    New Yorker Pablo, 19, is down and out of luck. He’s dropped out of NYU, works the graveyard shift at a Brooklyn bodega/health-food store, and is over his head in debt. But on the night that charismatic pop star Leanna Smart walks into his shop, wearing a “Morticia-Adams-type dress” with white boots, he forgets his worries. The two are deeply attracted to one another, and he’s soon involved in an intense, secret romance that has him jet-setting around the globe and putting his responsibilities, as well as his relationship with friends and family, on hold. Although the outcome of the whirlwind love affair is fairly predictable, Choi (Emergency Contact) provides a lively cast of characters, especially the members of Pablo’s eclectic family: his highly driven Korean-American mother; his less-directed Pakistani-American father, whose latest endeavor is to become a playwright; and his scheming, enterprising middle schooler brother. If the conclusion of the novel seems rushed, the rising action—filled with conflict, captivating events, and authentic-sounding, often humorous dialogue—will win readers, and teens like Pablo, who are unsure who they want to be, will relate to his dilemmas. Ages 14–up. Agent: Edward Orloff, McCormick Literary.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2019
    A chance encounter between a college dropout and a pop star in a New York City deli leads to unexpected romance--and expected complications. Korean Pakistani American Pablo Rind, a former NYU student struggling to figure out what he wants to do with his life, is weighed down by a mountain of student loans and credit card debt. Feeling paralyzed by his Korean anesthesiologist mother's high expectations, he works the graveyard shift at a deli. Into his monotonous existence comes Carolina Suarez, aka mega-star Leanna Smart, who enters the store early one morning on a snack run. Mutual attraction (and a shared love of snacks) leads to a whirlwind, jet-setting romance, but when the disparity between their worlds puts pressure on their relationship, Pablo is given the opportunity to come to some hard realizations about himself and the responsibilities he's been avoiding for too long. That, along with some prodding from friends and family compels him to finally face what he needs to do in order to change his life, stop taking his loved ones for granted, and pursue his dreams. While the language has a contemporary feel and the range of diverse, appealing characters accurately reflects modern-day New York, the plot frequently drags, and character development is weak. Hip characters and jargon adorn a predictable storyline and unconvincing romance. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2019

    Gr 10 Up-Pablo Rind's actual first name is Pablo Neruda, but he's not Latinx (he is South Korean/Pakistani), and that's just one of the things that confuses him about his life. He has dropped out of NYU, has more debt than he can contemplate, and is working at a bodega. He isn't proud of any of these things but feels helpless to change them, or to even tell his parents the magnitude of his issues. Things look up, however, when pop star Leanna Smart drops into the bodega one very early morning. Pablo is quickly pulled into the whirlwind that is Leanna's life and learns that the brand she has created is a lot more complicated than he could see on her social media. Choi pulls from themes in her previous book, Emergency Contact, and has created a compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City. There are discussions of mental illness, racial and cultural identity, and social media woven in with romance and the story of Pablo trying to figure out what he wants and how to get there. This has mature content and is written for an older audience than many current YA titles. VERDICT Recommended for purchase by libraries serving older teens and new adults, or where Emergency Contact circulates highly.-Kate Olson, Bangor School District, WI

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from August 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Pablo has dropped out of college, is massively in debt, and feels aimless. One night when he is working the overnight shift at the 24-hour health food bodega, he meets Lee, who breaks him out of his rut. They have witty banter and great chemistry, but at the end of their encounter he figures out that she is Leanna Smart?the pop mega-star whose image is plastered everywhere and whose songs are inescapable on the radio. Navigating these barriers while falling in love pushes them into uncharted territory, and while it's swoony and dramatic, it's also messy and fraught. Choi (Emergency Contact, 2018) has penned a smart and funny read that is as much about finding your path as it is about falling in love. Pablo is a winning narrator with a natural voice, and readers will root for him in his romance with Lee, as well as on his rocky journey to self-actualization. Choi's specificity, realistic dialogue, and humor ensure that the personal and romantic journeys feel warm and rewarding but never saccharine. Pablo's friends and family, a diverse cast with rich inner lives of their own, are loving but firm with him, and readers will relate to the ultimate message of the book, delivered by his father: Doing nothing is the only stupid. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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