BOOK REVIEW: K-pop Confidential by Stephan Lee

Title: K-pop Confidential
Author: Stephan Lee
Publication: September 15, 2020
Publisher: Point
Genre: Teen & YA Fiction
Pages: 217

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her life, she’s been playing the role of the quiet Korean girl who takes all AP classes and plays a classical instrument, keeping her dreams of stardom-and her obsession with SLK, K-pop’s top boyband-to herself. She doesn’t see how a regular girl like her could possibly become one of those K-pop goddesses she sees on YouTube. Even though she can sing. Like, really sing.

So when Candace secretly enters a global audition held by SLK’s music label, the last thing she expects is to actually get a coveted spot in their trainee program. And convincing her strict parents to let her to go is all but impossible … although it’s nothing compared to what comes next.

Under the strict supervision of her instructors at the label’s headquarters in Seoul, Candace must perfect her performance skills to within an inch of her life, learn to speak Korean fluently, and navigate the complex hierarchies of her fellow trainees, all while following the strict rules of the industry. Rule number one? NO DATING, which becomes impossible to follow when she meets a dreamy boy trainee. And in the all-out battle to debut, Candace is in danger of planting herself in the middle of a scandal lighting up the K-pop fandom around the world.

If she doesn’t have what it takes to become a perfect, hair-flipping K-pop idol, what will that mean for her family, who have sacrificed everything to give her the chance? And is a spot in the most hyped K-pop girl group of all time really worth risking her friendships, her future, and everything she believes in?


When I saw this book on Bookstagram ( Instagram but just strictly books) I knew I had to read it.  It was something that I knew I would thoroughly enjoy.  I promptly preordered it.  At $3.99 for a pre-order I knew it was something, I could order without my husband flipping his lid for a expensive book purchase.  I couldn’t wait to read it once it hit my Kindle.

Candace loves to sing but her parents want her to play a musical instrument which she hates with a passion.  She is a closeted K-Pop lover and doesn’t admit it around her friends.  She decides at her friends convincing to enter an talent contests of sorts with a prominent K-Pop trainee place from Seoul.  What she didn’t count on was actually winning the contest.  This is a dream for her.  The hard part was convincing her parents to allow her to go.  After all to quote Lizzie McGuire ” This is what dreams are made of”…..or are they.  This book was such a happy pick me up book that I read through it rather quickly.  I was juggling another book at the same time for book club so some nights I didn’t get much read those nights as I wanted

I gave it 4 stars because of the way the book was ended.  It was like this massive climatic thing happened on the world stage and then bam it was over.  I wanted to know more about what happened with Candace and all of her new friends.  Did they end up getting music contracts with the support they got after what happened?  Did Candace and YoungBae start a relationship..that one may be a given with what happened at the end but I need to know.  This book was a perfect coming of age and learning about who you are as a person and not changing what you are for someone else.  At times it seems that Candace learned that the hard way but at the end she stayed true to who she was.  She also learned about friendships and how assuming something about another person can lead to massive blow ups.  This book is the perfect book for young adults for that reason, not to teach a lesson per-say but to showcase what can happen.  I will certainly keeping an eye out for other books but this author.  On a side note….be prepared to blast K-Pop music loud in your house.  I did that for days while reading this book….. Amazon actually has a K-Pop playlist in their Amazon Music thing. 


Pick up your copy of K-pop Confidential by Stephan Lee on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished.

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