Author: Alice Lin
Publication: June 7, 2022
Genre: Teen, YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Lulu Li has her last summer before college all planned out. But her plans go awry when she learns that Kite Xu, her old next-door neighbor and childhood friend, will be returning home from South Korea.
Lulu hasn’t seen Kite since eighth grade, after he left the country to pursue a career in K-pop, eventually debuting in the boy group Karnival. When Karnival announces that Kite will be taking a break from K-pop activities for mysterious reasons, the opportunity to rekindle their friendship arises.
Star-struck and nostalgic, Lulu tries to reconnect with Kite. As they continue to bond and reminisce over the past, Kite’s sister, Connie, warns Lulu not to get too close to her brother. The harder Lulu tries to deny her feelings, the stronger they get. But how could a K-pop star ever fall for a nobody from home? And even if he did, is there any way for their relationship to end but badly?
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**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I don’t remember where I saw this book. I think that I was scrolling through Netgalley when I can across it. I am a sucker for K-Pop. I enjoy listening to it and I love K-Pop romance books. I thoroughly enjoy them. So when I saw this one I knew that I needed to request it. I was excited when I eventually got approval confirmation for it.
Lulu is a huge fan of K-Pop, specifically Karnival. Her old best friend and neighbor is a singer in that boy band. She is blown away when she finds out that her friend Kai/Kite is coming home for some medical rest. She runs into him one night when out for a late-night walk. They seemingly pick up right where they left off 4 years prior. Except for this time sparks seem to fly between them. While I really enjoyed this book it felt like a massive soap opera for YA. It was the constant will they won’t they but the main character is bi, which I don’t really understand how that plays into the story but it apparently does, somehow I still haven’t figured it out yet. I did love the idea of the book. Drama happens with a K-Pop group and he moves back home and falls for his old friend. It just needed to be written a little differently. There was just too much hesitation and stuff like that from Lulu’s side, and that just got on my nerves.
Lulu’s two best friends were funny and kind of gave the book some comic relief. However, their K-pop obsession was a bit much. In that defense, I know that K-Pop fans are a little bit like that anyway. It just seemed exaggerated. At the end of the book, I really would have liked an epilogue of some sort. I needed to know if things worked out for them in the long run. Did Lulu get the study abroad that she wanted in Korea? Did things work out for Kite in his Karnival group? I needed more of a follow-up it just felt really rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t think that it was the most amazing thing that I have read all month, it just was meh. It wasn’t the first K-Pop book I have read either so I am not exactly completely oblivious to the scene. Don’t read what I have said and not read this book, read it and make your own decision about it.