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Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

“Wait, who are you, man?” -Ross

This is a question that everyone has been asked at some point in their life. Not necessarily by someone specific, but at least by themselves. And at different points in life, that answer changes.

Is Pablo a college dropout? Is he the boyfriend of a teen celebrity? Is he a social media sensation? Or is he a normal young man, trying to find his place in the world?

Pablo has a situation that many young people find themselves in, massive student loans, credit card debt, and no strong sense of what they want to do with their lives. He dropped out of school, is working a minimum wage job, and has no strong ambitions on what to do as of yet. In walks Lee, who is very successful, and suddenly Pablo knows what he wants to do….he wants to be with her. As with every relationship, the curtains open, the magic wears off, and you discover the truth about each other….and whether or not you can handle that. And you find yourself in the meantime.

I enjoyed reading Pablo’s journey as he starts taking his life seriously and learns to ask for help. And that ignoring his problems will not make them go away. Unfortunately, I did find the book to not be engaging and found it very easy to put down. It was well-written, just somewhat dull for me. I would have liked to see more backstory on why Pablo chose the college he did, why Lee became the person she is, and so on. I am curious as to if their relationship progressed as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Permanent Record was a great Book of the Month Young Adult selection.

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