Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other)
Quill Tree Books
Published July 18, 2023
About Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other)
You’ve Got Mail gets a YA twist in this rom-com that spotlights the power of activism and community organizing in the face of gentrification.
Clementine Chan believes in the power of the written word. Under the pseudonym Hibiscus, she runs a popular blog reviewing tea shops and discussing larger issues within her Chinatown community. She has a loyal, kind following, save for this one sour grape named BobaBoy888.
Danny Mok is allergic to change, and the gentrification seeping into Chinatown breaks his heart. He channels his frustration into his internet alter ego, BobaBoy888, bickering with local blogger Hibiscus over all things Chinatown and tea.
When a major corporation reveals plans that threaten to shut down the Mok’s beloved tea shop, Clementine and Danny find themselves working together in real life to save this community they both love. But as they fall hard for this cause—and each other—they have no clue that their online personas have been fighting for years.
When the truth comes to light, can Danny and Clementine still find their happily-ever-after?
This is such a cute story, and yet, I’m hesitating to call it cute because I feel like that undersells the deeper, more thought-provoking parts of the story. The internet-enemies-to-lovers part of the story is super cute. The exploration of what it means to celebrate Chinatown, Chinese heritage, and how to do that in an authentic yet modern way was very cool. I loved that we got to see both Clementine’s heart as a blogger writing about tea shops in Chinatown and also how some of the thoughts in those posts made Danny, the son of tea shop owners, feel.
Having both Clementine’s and Danny’s perspectives added complexity and nuance. It allowed us to see both the good in their intentions and the harm in their flaws. I’m sure that was not easy to write in such a natural, genuine way, but Livia Blackburne really succeeded at that.
The descriptions of tea and all that Danny and his dad would do in order to find the right suppliers, to store, prepare and serve tea in a traditional way… I loved learning about that. And the descriptions of the tea also made me really want to try things. (Okay, maybe not the Mocha Iced Oolong Cinnamon Latte, but some of the other things!)
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Clementine and Danny are Chinese American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used very infrequently.
Kissing between boy and girl.
Some references to internet trolls saying cruel, racist, and hurtful things.
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