A contemporary YA debut about a Vietnamese-American boy who tries to attain popularity by befriending the most beautiful girl in school, inspired by the Vietnamese-American author's teen experience.
Gary Võ is one of the few Vietnamese kids in his school and has been shy for as long as he can remember—being ignored and excluded by his classmates comes with the territory. So when the most popular guy in his grade offers Gary the opportunity to break into his inner circle, Gary jumps at the chance. All he needs to do is steal the prized possession of the most beautiful and untouchable girl they know—Gloria Buenrostro.
But as Gary gets to know Gloria, he’s taken in by her authenticity and genuine interest in who he really is. Soon, they’re best friends. Being part of the “in crowd” has always been Gary’s dream, but as he comes closer to achieving infamy, he risks losing the first person who recognizes his true self. Gary must consider if any amount of popularity is worth losing a true friend.
YALSA 2024 Best Fiction for Young Adults List
SCBWI Golden Kite Award Nominee
"An uplifting debut about true friendship and being comfortable with who you are instead of chasing who you want to be." —Loan Le, author of A Pho Love Story
"The friendship between Gary and Gloria is one for the ages. I'll be holding these two characters in my heart forever." —Margot Wood, author of Fresh
"Sweet, funny, and bighearted, GLORIA BUENROSTRO IS NOT MY GIRLFRIEND is a treat." —Elana K. Arnold, author of What Girls Are Made Of
"[Gloria and Gary's] easygoing relationship adds levity to thought-provoking themes of wealth privilege, stereotyping, and insecurity." —Publishers Weekly
"This is a sincere story of unexpected bonds and self-discovery. The lightness of the summer adventures is balanced by raw, honest conversations and depictions of Gary’s poverty and Gloria’s parents’ conflicts." —Kirkus