I received this book for free from Macmillan, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
on May 7, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Diversity & Multicultural, Family, Parents
Amazon // The Book Depository
10:00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.
11:00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.
12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.
roman holiday meets modern kpop? THIS IS THE BOOK OF MY DREAMS.
Somewhere Only We Know was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2019 and it did not disappoint!! i’ve been in a sort of reading slump, but i managed to binge this in one day so that’s saying something. (but also, i was on a plane so i had the time but…) the premise for this is something like a dream come true. Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies and the kpop industry is super interesting. the whole concept is like a fan fiction i always wanted – but better.
the story follows a
girl kpop idol named Lucky (i couldn’t help but continuously think of Britney’s Lucky which was one of my favorite bops as a kid). she’s on the cusp of changing her career in big ways, but is internally struggling with why she’s following this career path in the first place. i could really relate since i am/was in a similar position (minus being, you know, actually successful lmao). she’s reached (essentially) the peak of her career and it’s not what she initially thought it’d be. throughout the book, she continues to question what she really wants and in turn, it made me question what i really want. there are a ton of books out there that are simply cute and fun to read (which are great I LOVE THEM), but there’s a special place in my heart for ones that make me reflect on myself while also being cute and fun.
and this was super cute and fun!! i was kinda conflicted because – if you watched Roman Holiday you know – the male lead is kind of a lying, scheming, untrustworthy dick BUT WE LOVE HIM. Jack may seem like that because of his line of work, but he’s honestly so wholesome™!!! A+ character development for both of them and relationship development UGH.
this book made me SUPER HUNGRY because there are honestly too many food references. it also made me want to hop on the next flight to hong kong because !!!! hong kong. similar to Maurene Goo’s other novel, The Way You Make Me Feel (aka one of my all!! time!! faves!!), i was transported to the time and place of the book. it felt very cinematic and i imagined myself exploring the streets of HK alongside Lucky & Jack. this was a rom-com in book form and i could see and feel it. ALSO: the epilogue gave me so many La La Land vibes i just,,,, i cry. (no spoilers though! the ending is different from La La Land, but the ambiance made me nostalgic.)
in short, this book is magical. i love the characters; i love the cultural aspects; i love how it’s both cute and existential. all around wonderful. i honestly can’t say anything negative about it. maaaaybe the romance could’ve been more feels-y? but it was still good. if you love asian culture, cute cliches, and career driven characters, i would highly recommend!