Author: Lyla Lee // Published: June 16, 2020
The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.
She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.
When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.
But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.
Thank you Katherine Tegen Books for the gifted review copy!
How can I write a coherent review for this glorious book? I mean I knew I would really enjoy it but I fell in love with it so much more than I even expected. The book was so inspiring and played with my heart strings. I honestly felt hooked from the first chapter. I really enjoyed how easy it was to read. The writing was something I got lost in easily and before I knew it I had already read several chapters.
Skye is possibly one of my most favorite main characters, period. She’s this complete ray of sunshine and I just love her confidence. She loves herself and despite everything that she has been through she still remains the most positive and loving person there is. I’m not fat so I can’t pretend to know what fatphobia must feel like and I’m not an ownvoice. I do have a few things to say. I love how body positive Skye was. I loved to see her comfortable in her own body. I loved that she proved that the fault was not in her but in the people around her. The unbelievable beauty standards that our societies have. I’ve read so much about Korean beauty standards and the things people go through for that approval whether willingly or not, especially in the Kpop industry. I love that the author pointed this out and called it out here. I love that the author also showed the effect that the shaming and horrible comments can have on someone even if they do love their body. From time to time the things that people say will seep through the cracks.
Henry Cho was so easy to love! If I’m being honest all the friends that Skye made were. I loved that we got a good look at their relationships and how supportive they all were of each other. Henry was the biggest softie! He’s also easily one of my favorite characters. He wasn’t one of those characters that starts off as a jerk and then suddenly becomes all sweet. He just was sweet from the very beginning. I loved that the author showed what it was like on his side with being a model and everything. You truly never know what someones life is like or what they’re going through or have had to go through. Someone’s Instagram feed doesn’t give anyone the right to just assume something about someone. I loved that the relationship between him and Skye was so simple and cute. I needed something fluffy and this book came right in! Skye, Tiffany and Lana were my favorite friendship. Their relationship was supporting all around and I just love girls supporting girls so much. Steve and Portia were also so nice and I loved how they were around Skye as the story progressed.
I’m personally a huge fan of Kpop and have been for years. So all the songs and groups mentioned made me have so many fangirl moments. I loved reading about the competitions. It was very frustrating at times because of the things that Skye had to go through and the awful people she met, but if Skye proved anything it’s that she is the most amazing and confident person there is. That ending was everything I had hoped for and so much more!
I’ve written so much and I don’t really know what else to say other than I loved this book and you need to read it! This has become a new favorite and I’m definitely going to be looking out for future books by Lyla Lee.
About the Author
Lyla Lee is the author of the Mindy Kim series as well as the upcoming YA novel, I’ll Be The One. Although she was born in a small town in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various parts of the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. When she is not writing, she is teaching kids, petting cute dogs, and searching for the perfect bowl of shaved ice. She is represented by Penny Moore of Aevitas Creative.