A Pho Love Story

Loan Le

fiction contemporary romance young adult
funny hopeful lighthearted medium-paced

416 pages | first published 2021

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

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 spark 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 phở 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 together 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.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

What the community thinks

summary of 158 ratings (see reviews)

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lighthearted 81%
hopeful 60%
emotional 50%
funny 50%
inspiring 33%
reflective 27%
relaxing 9%
sad 6%
tense 6%
informative 5%
adventurous 2%
challenging 2%
mysterious 2%


medium 74%
fast 14%
slow 11%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 56% | A mix: 36% | Plot: 8%

Strong character development?

Yes: 81% | It's complicated: 12% | No: 6%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 93% | It's complicated: 3% | No: 2%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 96% | No: 2% | It's complicated: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 65% | It's complicated: 24% | No: 9%

Average rating