If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho 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 in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect.
A life-long speech competitor, Leela loves nothing more than crushing the competition, all while wearing a smile. But when she meets the incorrigible Firoze Darcy, a debater from an elitist private school, Leela can’t stand him. Unfortunately, he’ll be competing in the state league, so their paths are set to collide. But why attempt to tolerate Firoze when Leela can one-up him?
Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl — which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means, who is funny and nerdy...and white.
First, math genius and gamer-nerd Samaya gets dumped by her boyfriend. Then he sabotages her job and hooks up with her frenemy. What could be worse? Clearly, her golden-boy ex is winning the breakup. The only way Samaya can get some rebound cred is to find someone new. Even if she has to fake it. At a volunteer bake sale, Samaya meets a sweet opportunity. Daniel is a handsome hockey jock and a whiz when it comes to lemon squares and brownies. And he agrees to play along. Quid pro quo. He’ll pretend to be the boyfriend of her dreams if Samaya helps him pass calculus.
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root — that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible. But America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily.
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn't pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra's plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a "good match," Jane Austen style. Enter Harun Emon, who's wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it's a bad match.
Eila Das, the heroine of this novel based loosely on Sense and Sensibility, is used to following her head, rather than her heart. When she meets Rahul at Rosewood, a summer camp where campers are being scouted for the hit Bridgerton-like TV show, she experiences…feelings. Between the drama of the show and the drama of the camp, Eila will have to keep her wits about her to make it through the summer. But when she has to choose between her head and her heart, what will she do?
Mini's big sister, Vinnie, is getting married. Their mom passed away seven years ago and between Dad's new start-up and Vinnie's medical residency, there's no one but Mini to plan the wedding. Dad raised her to know more about computers, calculus, and cars than desi weddings but from the moment Mini held the jewelry Mom left them, she wanted her sister to have the wedding Mom would've planned. Now Mini has only two months to get it done and she's not going to let anything distract her. Flower garlands, decorations, music, even a white wedding horse — everything is in place.
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul's mark is what caused her parents' murder at the hand of King Lohar's ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he's just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army.
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate — as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone) Jamie's a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya. Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating.
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