From the publisher:
From the author of the “genuinely funny” and “delightful” Loathe at First Sight (NPR), a young Korean American woman’s journey to finding a new career and new love means learning to embrace the awkward and unexpected—exploring familial expectations, finding your voice, and unimaginably falling for your childhood rival.
When investment banker Jessie Kim is laid off in a virtual meeting and then overhears why (“she’s already being overpaid anyway for a woman” and “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals”) she delivers an “eff you guys” speech and storms out.
After moving back home to Tennessee to live with her loving but meddling mother and father, she runs into her childhood nemesis—golden child Daniel Choi—at the local Asian grocery store. The smart, charming lawyer appears to have it all…while Jessie has nothing.
Jess begrudgingly accepts Daniel’s help to relaunch her long abandoned Korean cooking YouTube channel: HANGUK HACKS, showcasing easy meal prep for busy professionals. But just as she discovers Daniel’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems and there’s more to him than meets the eye, he shows up for a life-changing business opportunity, and their rivalry is back on . . .
Another fun and funny romance featuring food, always a winner for me. Jessie loses her job in finance and moves back home with her parents. They are Korean and a bit old fashioned. Jessie is surprised to learn that her lifelong nemesis, the boy she was always compared to and always lost to, is also back home and living with his parents. Daniel was the preacher’s kid, and his father is back working in the church where he was raised. Everyone is told Daniel has taken a sabbatical from his high powered, high paying job in Silicon Valley, but no one really knows why or any more than that.
When Jessie runs into him at the grocery store, she cannot believe the scrawny boy with a bowl cut that she remembers is now this super hot guy who evidently works out. But she is embarrassed and her come down in the world and doesn’t want to deal with the competition that always rears up between them. But it’s a small community, and when Jessie joins a local entrepreneur group, she finds Daniel is the hero of the group. He even wants to help her.
Jessie decides to bring back to life her old YouTube channel. This time, she gets the idea of hacking the prepared meal kits that are so popular, but often boring. She is going to add some Korean flair to those, and she starts off cooking in the kitchen. But her mom shows up, throws in her two cents, and a meme is born. People love her mom, and her dad shows up too, also drawing good comments. The video goes viral, and her YouTube is up and on its way.
Business is great but it turns out Daniel is in cahoots with one of her business partners, and things get messy. Jessie has fallen for Daniel, but this is just the breaking point. Eventually, her business grows even more successful, and Daniel helps her take it to the next level, along with their relationship. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments here, and the romance is more sweet than sexy, which is understandable as they both live with their parents. But it really works, and I loved it.
Park tells a good story and I really respect her female lead characters; they are smart women working in male dominated industries. I loved her previous book, Loathe at First Sight, and while this is a very different book, it is also a terrific read. Park moves onto my “must read” list and I can’t wait for her next book!
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
SO WE MEET AGAIN by Suzanne Park. Avon (August 3, 2021). ISBN: 978-0062990716. 368 pages.