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Book Review: XOXO by Axie Oh


Title: Fake It Till You Break It
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Genre: YA Romance
Format: Ebook
Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

Expand to view synopsis
Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.
Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.
When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love

Apparently, reading a Korean YA-romance novel gives you the same feels you get when watching a Kdrama—that slightly delirious feeling, as if you’re being tickled from the inside. Of course, I can’t say for sure that you’re going to enjoy this book, but if Kdrama is your jam, then you’re going to love this!

If not Kdrama, but you absolutely adore BTS or NCT or another Kpop band, then you’re going to find this very interesting! The politics of Korean idol life and how the bandmates try to weave through the murky waters of public opinion will definitely touch your heart.

And, if you’re neither of the above but you enjoy YA done right, and reading about young people overcoming objectionable situations to finding love, then you’re going to love this.

It has all the tropes you see in your average idol Kdrama: the seemingly naive female lead; the moody and standoffish male lead; a plethora of hilarious side characters; and a seemingly untenable situation preventing them from being together.

Reading this reminded me of the first time I watched You Are Beautiful, and, to be honest, A.N.J.E.L.L—the band in the series—still has a very special space in my heart. Taek-young, the male protagonist, will forever be the poster boy for ‘brooding men.’

I should say that the similarities between Taek-young and Jae-woo end at the both of them belonging to a band. Jae-woo is friendlier and more approachable, and I do wish that a few more pages had been dedicated to the growth of their relationship.

The book is written completely in Jenny—the female protagonist—’s POV and inasmuch as I LIVE for pining, I found Jenny funny and witty. I love how her character shone through all her actions, and how, towards the end, she developed a kind of maturity that wasn’t present before.

I definitely recommend this if you are familiar with band politics and looking for a light YA-romance read.

About The Author

Axie Oh
Expand to view biography
Axie Oh is a first generation Korean American, born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California – San Diego and holds an MFA from Lesley University in Writing for Young People. Her passions include K-pop, anime, stationery supplies, and milk tea. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her puppy, Toro

Are you interested in seeing my fan-casting? It’s glittering with fan favourites like Kim Young-dae(Seok-hoon from Penthouse); Cha Eun-woo(Sun-ho from True Beauty); and Kim So-hyun(Jo-Jo from Love Alarm 1 and 2). Find it here!

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