cover image Love, Decoded

Love, Decoded

Jennifer Yen. Razorbill, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-11755-2

Yen offers a satisfying spin-off to A Taste for Love in this fast-paced Emma update, which follows James Wong’s younger sister, Gigi. Wealthy, perfectionistic Chinese American high school junior Gigi Wong, 17, “one of the most popular girls” at an elite Upper East Side prep school, has it all: good grades and a full portfolio of extracurriculars; 10 years of best friendship with loyal neighbor Kyle Miller, who is half-Chinese and white-passing; a sweet mentee and enthusiastic new friend in Etta Santos, who is Filipinx; and an expected post–Ivy League future inheriting her great-aunt Rose’s matchmaking business. But when a statewide coding contest consumes Gigi’s waking hours and awakens latent competitiveness with former friend Anna Tam, the resulting app, intended to help students make friends based on similar quiz answers, causes consequences both unintended and unforeseen. Allusions to contemporary media, fashion brands, and familiar New York City eateries ground the narrative firmly in the present, as themes of familial pressure, purpose vs. passion, and a friends-to-lovers romance prove timeless. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra. (Mar.)