• Author: Mary H.K. Choi
  • 2nd Book, Stand alone
  • YA Contemporary
  • Heritage/Background: Korean-American
  • IG@choitotheworld; www.choitotheworld.com
  • Release date: 9/3/19 (It’s out now so cop it!)
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Favorite Character: I’m going with the main character, Pablo cause dude was f*cking hilarious. His brother Rain comes in a close second.
  • Favorite Quote: There were mad funny things said throughout the book but I’m going with “But he’s Puerto Rican and Dominican, which is why he’s a hothead. The inner conflict he says is like being Trini and Jamaican.” Pab about his roommate Miggs. As a Trini and Haitian, I FULLY get this! Close second is Tice saying he’s the most Killmonger because he’s Haitian…I feel you on that Tice, I definitely feel you.

Where do I start? Permanent Record was f*cking hilarious from jump! I was reading in a cafe and someone asked me what I was reading & said I was glowing (it could’ve been that they were trying to hit on me or that I was really glowing from laughing so hard *shrugs*, the world may never know). My eyes leaked (I’m a G so books don’t make me cry #TheLiesWeTellOurselves) and my belly moved (I’m not pregnant, just FYI) I laughed so hard while reading this book!

This book was so New York…the usage of deadass to talking about the bodega cat (#RespectTheBodegaCat) just made me feel right at home because it IS my home (most of my life has been spent living in New York, I was born & bred here *screams in Ja Rule’s voice* NY BAYBAYYYYYYY). I could see myself in this story, feel the slosh of the dirty snow, the biting cold in a too thin jacket because you underestimated how cold it would be…and also how valued the bodega is (not every store on the corner is a bodega..remember that sh*t). I live where Papi’s who tell you to smile run the bodega world…bodegas are an NY cornerstone my dude!

Pablo is funny as ffffffffffffffff*ck y’all! His wit, his sense of humor & sarcasm led me to believe that he and I could’ve been the best of friends had he been a real person. I think though that he would make fun of the fact that I’m vegan all the time but I’m sure we could still work and he would find awesome snacks for me via his bodega hookups! Also, his feelings of being lost, lonely, drowning [in financial sh*t] and unsure of his purpose felt way too close to home (#ItMe, this has been me a lot in my adult life). I have to note that, like me, Pab is a #MixedKid and he wrestled with a lot of the same issues I do such as not speaking the language of your respective heritages (thanks Dad…*deep sigh*), where you belong, if you belong more to one than the other and people playing that bullsh*t guessing game of what your background is/asking “what are you?” (I’m human muthaf*cka, the f*ck you think…this is what I think in my mind but I usually sideeye the person, clarify their question then answer).

Pab had a dope ass support system, even though he didn’t always acknowledge that…from his family to his homies, he had a lot more than he realized. His parents seemed like the type of people that you would say “man, I love your parents, I wish my parents were like yours” (I have several friends with parents like that) and somewhat resembled my own. While his mom was strict, it was clear she would do anything for her children (like my dad) & his father was sweet and super supportive (like my mother). Reading this book, they seem like the unlikeliest of matches but also worked in an interesting way! Pab’s brother Rain was also hysterical, serious when necessary but snarky at all the right times…especially with a school situation…you have to read read it to get it…Pink machinery is all I will say (ROTFLMAO).

Pablo’s crew is hella cool, the way they look out for each other & chin check one another. Being that Tice is one of my people (#ShoutOutToTheZoes), he was my favorite of Pab’s friends (I’m biased *shrugs*). He met Pab blow for blow in verbal interactions but also showed he cared about him & what he thought. I sincerely appreciated his Come-To-Jesus Meetings with Pab (I’ve had a few of those with friends, initiated & brought into), I think it’s something that Haitians are just really good at (another biased statement *shrug*). I also have to say that I LOVED that all of Pab’s friends were different mixtures and backgrounds and the fact that he mentioned their backgrounds gave some insight to their character traits. As someone who has friends from a cornucopia of backgrounds, I sincerely appreciated that and it made me feel even closer to the story.

The meet-cute between Lee & Pablo was like the beginning of the ultimate NY love story…like what could be more New York than “we met in a bodega” (#DeadassDeadass) ?! I loved their chemistry, interactions, mutual love for food/snacking (I felt them on that) as well as their care for one another. For sure, I was cheering for them and you may as well! They both made dumb moves in this story but it is also apart of our reality…unfortunately, the dependency on social media and text messages is a real thing (the psychology behind that is mind-blowing) and plays a role in their relationship. Low-Key High-Key depression plays a pretty big part in this too and those dealing with it (*coughs* Pablo *coughs*) take a while to see it.

I loved this book so much, I stayed up until ridiculous hours reading because I wanted to know what would happen next, what wild thing would he say & when Pab would turn things around. Permanent Record was a page turna like a muthaf*cka! Even though I finished this book, I’m still laughing about sh*t that happened (Rain is such an ass, a loveable one but still an ass). This was my first exposure to Mary H.K. Choi but I’ve already picked up Emergency Contact & can’t wait to read it, I’m also sold on whatever else she writes in the future! GO *clap* COP *clap* THIS *clap* BOOK *clap*! Deadass, my stomach hurt from laughing so hard…be prepared for the ab work you’ll do from all the laughter but it’s worth it B.

I attended I attended the Book Launch at Strand Bookstore and got a picture with Mary (she’s gorgeous and hilarious, btw)!


Published by bookishgirlmagic

I’m reader who has a fierce love for books written by authors of color & belief in the importance of supporting them! My mission is to amplify their voices and work so this generation and all the others after them will have literature that will reflect them.

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