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.
Before I start my review, I have to mention that the only reason I really wanted to read this book was that it made me think of the Keane song, which I was obsessed with when I was 14 years old. I just listened to it again and it took me right back!
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the review.
I’d previously read Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel in 2018, and felt that the characters were written to sound a lot younger than they actually were. The character I related to most in that book was the father, so yikes. In Somewhere Only We Know, that’s no longer the case. I felt like both Lucky and Jack were much more mature than I’d expect for characters of their age and it continually surprised me when I was reminded that they were supposed to be teenagers.
I think, overall, this book was pretty cute. I liked Lucky a lot, and Goo did a great job of making a celebrity seem relatable. I liked the exploration of mental illness in Korean culture and body image/dieting. I also liked Jack. He seemed to truly care what about what happened to Lucky from the first minute he met her. I’ve also never read a book about the paparazzi before, so that was an interesting wrench to throw in the story. All of the things that Lucky and Jack did on their romantic day out were so cute, too. This book made Hong Kong seem like the most magical place to visit.
With all of that said, there were also things that didn’t sit quite right with me. First of all, this book is heavy on the instalove. It takes place in one day, okay. ONE DAY. I’m a romantic at heart, but it was a little much even for me. The constant lying also bothered me. If you’re going to fall in love in 24 hours, at least be honest with each other! Good relationships are not built on a bed of lies!
Overall, this book kind of reminded me of a better executed Permanent Record. I still didn’t love it, and I’ll probably forget the entire plot by the end of the week, but it was fun while it lasted.
#mm20: winter wonderland
Have you read Somewhere Only We Know? Can you recommend any good celebrity romances?
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