When You Wish Upon a Lantern (Hardcover)
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Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.
Then Liya discovers her family's wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can't do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.
While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?
A Popsugar Best Book of 2023!
A Common Sense Media Book of the Month!
★ "Laugh-out-loud dialogue, the pair’s simultaneously innocent and snarky alternating POVs, and a vividly captured Chicago Chinatown setting imbue this memorable narrative with warmth and joy." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Chao writes some of YA's best romances, and this is her greatest yet."
“A culturally rich, luminous love story.”
"As delectable as a mooncake."
"A heartfelt story about the beauty of Chinese culture, first loves, and finding magical moments in everyday life. This book is pure joy—don’t miss it!"
—Emiko Jean, New York Times bestselling author of Tokyo Ever After and Tokyo Dreaming
"A love letter to community, culture, family, and first love, featuring the cutest will-they-or-won’t-they couple, When You Wish Upon a Lantern feels like the warmest of hugs. I wish I could read it for the first time again!"
—Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and XOXO
"A delightful and enchanting page-turner from start to finish. When You Wish Upon a Lantern is officially one of my favorite romances."
—Kerri Maniscalco, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Kingdom of the Wicked
"When You Wish Upon a Lantern tackles the sting of grief and the fear of change in a poignant coming of age journey. With rich cultural traditions, mouthwatering food, and whimsical hijinks, Gloria Chao shows us the kind of love that feels like magic."
—Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
"When You Wish Upon a Lantern is a luminous love story about the complexities of falling for someone you’ve known for years, and the advantages—and sometimes disadvantages—of friendship as a foundation for love. Hilarious and heartfelt, Chao has written a romp of a romance that unfolds with pitch-perfect pacing."
—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Electric Kingdom and Mosquitoland
“Everything ordinary is made extraordinary in this magical miracle of a book—the blush of first love, the bonds of community, and the poignant power of everyday kindness. Gloria Chao is a star.”
—Sarah Kuhn, author of From Little Tokyo, With Love
"One of my favorite voices in YA—fresh, fun, and utterly distinctive. This book truly shines, filled with lovable characters, hilarious hijinks, and the most luminous kind of hope."
—Rachel Lynn Solomon, New York Times bestselling author of See You Yesterday and Today Tonight Tomorrow
"A delightful, feel-good read that will charm you with heartwarming traditions, Chinese culture, and wish granting. Liya and Kai will capture your heart and leave you swooning.”
—Suzanne Park, author of Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous and The Perfect Escape
“A luminous love letter to the power of community and the magic in everyday moments, featuring a childhood friends-to-lovers romance that is impossible to not root for. With writing that shines with humor and warmth on every page, Gloria Chao’s words are a pure joy to escape into.” —Marisa Kanter, author of As If on Cue
"Chao is a master of interweaving delightful romance with a deep and abiding love for tradition, culture, and community. When You Wish Upon a Lantern fittingly glows with warmth and light while giving you all the sweetness, humor, and charm you could ask for." —Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer
"[A] vibrant romance."
"Gloria Chao's charming tale about culture, community, and first love is a must-read for teens."
—Common Sense Media
"A delicious story of best friends falling in love."
—School Library Journal