Christmas Clash was an engaging YA romance. Less Christmas and less clash, more teens figuring out how to grow up and be their own people. The tagline ‘Tis the Season to be Enemies is cute, but not actually reflective of the book, for which I am grateful.
Chlow Kwon and Peter Li have always known each other, sort of. Their parents have competing restaurants across the mall food court from each other. The Kwons and the Lis have hated each other for years, and Chloe does her best to uphold that animosity. Peter is pretty half hearted about the rivalry, he just want to be able to get some of the Kwon’s spicy pork sometimes, and he isn’t above bribing Chloe with some of the Li’s shrimp lo mein. As Chloe and Peter start to get to know each other better, some big things happen – they discover the mall is likely to be sold to a developer who will tear it down, and Chloe becomes a finalist in a National arts competition.
Chloe and Peter have a lot in common, including the way their parents’ restaurants and their cold war have dominated their lives. They are also the younger siblings trying to get out from under the shadows of their older siblings. The secret dinner exchanges and brainstorming to save the mall, and thereby their parents’ livelihoods, evolves into a secret romance. For all the external drama, it’s a really nice story about two kids gaining confidence in themselves and finding ways to be the good people their parents want them to be and also themselves.
Suzanne Park populates her mall with a cast of interesting characters and has a lot to say about the decline of the suburban shopping mall. It was a fun read, if a little outside my usual.
I received this an advance reader copy from Sourcebooks and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.