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Author Bio

Loan Le is the author of A Phở Love Story, a YA rom-com that earned praise from NPR, POPSUGAR, Bustle, Bon AppetitUSA TODAY, and Buzzfeed. Solving for the Unknown, her next YA contemporary novel and a companion to A Phở Love Story, is slated for Summer 2023. Her speculative short story will appear in Firsts & Lasts, a YA anthology that Penguin Workshop is publishing in Fall 2023. She holds an MFA degree in fiction from Fairfield University, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree. A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, Loan has had her short stories appear in CRAFT LiteraryMud Season Review, and more. She is an editor at Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster adult imprint, where she acquires dark fiction. She sits on the Board of Directors of BookTalk, a nonprofit organization created for book lovers, by book lovers. When Loan isn’t writing young adult novels, she’s writing ghostly, dark adult fiction, watching slow-burn K-Dramas, and listening to BTS. Visit her website at and find her on Twitter @loanloan and Instagram @loanloanle.

Author Name Pronunciation

Pronunciation (English): Lone Lê (as in ‘let’)

Pronunciation (Vietnamese): Lu-awn Lê – quickly, no emphasis on any syllable (Southern dialect, which is what my family uses) versus the standard dialect (bonus!).

Both English and Vietnamese pronunciations are acceptable!

How to Pronounce Phở

Many people think phở is “foe,” but it’s actually closer to “fuh” since the ơ is “uh.” Example here.

The hook above that you see (dấu hỏi in Vietnamese) indicates how the pitch goes up and sort of loops around. The sound is similar to a questioning intonation. Just pretend like you’re asking a question.

Reviews for A Phở Love Story

“In this sweet YA romance, young love leads to happy ever after for everyone.” —NPR

“I strongly believe everyone should read more young adult novels, and this Romeo-and-Juliet-style YA romance is made for the beach. Light and sweet, the book features two teens whose parents own rival Vietnamese restaurants.” —Bon Appetit

“Perfect.” HelloGiggles

“Will leave readers swooning.” PopSugar

“Utterly delicious.” BuzzFeed

“A love letter to [Loan Le’s] heritage. . . . Readers will experience a gambit of emotions while reading this stirring novel, including hunger, loss, and finally, unadulterated joy.” —Booklist, starred review

“Told in alternating first-person chapters, Le’s debut is an introspective examination of struggles that children of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants can face, as well as experiences of racism and unspoken sacrifices made to survive in a cutthroat industry and country. The classic star-crossed lovers recipe is updated with traditional Vietnamese dishes and smooth integration of the author’s southern Vietnamese dialect, star ingredients of this warm, delightful read.” —Publishers Weekly

“Debut author Le creates a warm, full-bodied take on the star-crossed-lovers rom-com genre. Universal growing pains and questioning of identity are explored alongside the experiences of being children of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. Strong family dynamics and community ties, and the supportive relationships they bring, are layered and affirming. Hearty and heartwarming.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Set in the Bolsa neighborhood of Westminster, CA, this romantic comedy, told in alternating first-person chapters, is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet that serves up family secrets and self-discovery with a side of hoisin sauce. . . . In and out of school, Linh and Bao’s burgeoning friendship believably turns into something more. Side characters are sparely rendered, allowing the spotlight to shine on Bao, a refreshingly sensitive masculine love interest, and Linh, whose love of painting is in conflict with her fear of not meeting her family’s expectations. The book’s explorations of immigration, racism, and family history move the plot forward. . . . Linh’s and Bao’s character growth is as satisfying as a bowl of pho. Readers will appreciate the food references and the Vietnamese language interspersed throughout the book. VERDICT Purchase where light romance or #OwnVoices books are in demand. Hand to fans of Sandhya Menon or Emma Lord.” —School Library Journal

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