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Mini-Reviews,  Reviews

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi Mini-Review

I recently picked up this gorgeous book with optimism when Amazon had a great deal for the paperback edition. I had previously read Emergency Contact last year and thought it was pretty enjoyable so I was desperately hoping this would be another good book and perhaps even better.

I’m incredibly proud that this review will also be featured on the October edition of Books Etc Magazine, a bookish magazine created by my bookstagrammer friend Jayse. It’s an Australian magazine all about books, with book reviews, author interviews and bookstragram tips. You can find their latest September edition here!

Goodreads Blurb

After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is.

Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen, *tenth* #1 single; and now, at Age nineteen…life is a queasy blur of private planes, weird hotel rooms, and strangers asking for selfies on the street.

When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever. So, they keep things on the down-low and off Instagram for as long as they can. But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out…

Rating: ★★★☆ (4.75/5)

In Permanent Record, we meet Pablo, a 20-year-old working at a health food store that doesn’t really have his life figured out just yet and is struggling to figure out his finances. He’s drowning a little from his credit card and student loan debts after he dropped out of college and lacks direction and motivation. Then on a fateful night shift at the store, he meets Leanna Smart. One of the world’s top celebrities and their banter and chemistry is undeniable. Thrown into a whirlwind after meeting Leanna, Pablo has to navigate a new possible relationship, trying to understand the intricacies of Leanna’s life, while trying to understand his career ambitions and figuring out what exactly he wants to do in his life.

This novel was incredibly relatable for young adults. The pressure that many teenagers feel in high school and beyond to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life and what major they need to have at college; not to mention how to pay for college. Pablo was a great character and I loved that this story concentrated on his development rather than the relationship because, at the end of the day, this novel is about how he needs to get himself together and learn to do what’s right for himself and others. It was written so well with incredibly witty and funny dialogue, and especially as the romance wasn’t shoved front and centre but was obviously part of the bigger picture as Pablo gained more experience in the world.

Mental health is another important topic that is experienced, explained and supported perfectly in this novel. With both main characters in this romance being biracial, this book was filled with diversity and important family relationships, and I could directly relate to many of their experiences. Bordlining between young adult and new adult, this heartfelt and emotional story dug deeper into the tough, realistic decisions young people are faced with. A great and prominent improvement from Choi’s debut ‘Emergency Contact’, Permanent Record is definitely not one to miss.

Have you read Permanent Record? What did you think?

Until next time,

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