Permanent Record by Mary Choi
My rating: four stars
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Goodreads summary: 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…
I had honestly never heard of this book, but then I received an ARC at BookCon. Once I read the synopsis I was immediately hooked. I don’t know why, but I love stories where one of the love interests is famous. I began seeing reviews of it online and a lot of people were rating it lower because they said the story wasn’t really a love story. They said that the book was focused more on Pablo’s financial situation than their relationship. This made me hesitate to read it, but I finally decided to pick it up and I am pleasantly surprised!
Likes: I like how Mary was able to show the struggles of two socio-economically different people. Not only did it bring to life the struggles of a young adult living on his own, trying to pay off student debt, while also paying for a New York priced apartment; it also showed the struggles of fame, and always being in the spotlight. I think that so many people want to be famous and get rich, without realizing that it is not all it is cracked up to be. I don’t personally have these struggles, but it is obvious how hard it must be for them, and because of books like this we can step in their shoes to see that it is not as easy and glamorous as people think. I believe Mary did a great job of describing each of their lives and the struggles that go along with them. These characters were so realistic. Sometimes in books, how the characters act doesn’t seem like something a real person would do. However, in this story, their actions were believable, and their thoughts, emotions, insecurities were so real it was heartbreaking. Also, I know a lot of people were saying that this story focuses more on Pab’s financial situation than their actual relationship, but I disagree. Sure, him struggling to come up with money is talked about a lot. However, that is the cause of some of his insecurities and family drama. It is a main part of why he acts and does the things that he does. I believe their relationship was a huge part of the book, the money was just a factor that led to certain events happening.
Dislikes: The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the ending. Sure, it was kind of a cliff hanger so anything can happen, but I just don’t see why certain things ended up the way they did.
Overall, this story was a fun and enjoyable read! I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other, I loved how it showed perspectives that we don’t get to see often in stories, and I love the growth that the characters exhibited towards the end. The only reason that I didn’t give this a five-star rating was that I didn’t feel like it was one of my favorite books. The main difference between a four and a five-star rating for me is a feeling that I get. A five-star rating is only for books that have me wanting to gush about it to other people, that has me thinking about it for a long time afterwards, and that has me thinking of it as one of my favorite reads. This book was amazing, and I didn’t have many problems with it, but I just didn’t get that spark of love towards it that I reserve for five-star ratings.