Another of my most anticipated reads of 2019 is in the books, and I’m so excited to share my review of it with y’all. I’ve been following this book ever since it was announced, and even highlighted the cover reveal on my blog.
I picked up this ARC from a book festival. A huge thank you to the publisher, Macmillan, for offering these.
Title: Somewhere Only We Know
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Length: 328 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
This might sound silly, but I’m always floored when authors can write an entire book that takes place over the course of only a few days (barely 3 days in this book). I was excited about this book from the get-go and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint. I loved the concept and how it shone some light on the K-pop music industry. Even though this book takes place over the course of a few days, it really does feel longer, allowing you to really connect with Lucky and Jack. If you aren’t a fan of insta-love, this might not be for you, but Lucky really got, well, lucky, that Jack was the one who found her. When things come head-to-head between the two, I found myself a little sad at the outcome. But by the end of the novel, I found that I had fully enjoyed the connection Lucky and Jack made and how it made them question what they really want in life.
Like I stated earlier, I loved how Lucky and Jack connected. Not only did they poke fun at each for being Korean-American, but they found a lot of things in common outside of this and it mainly stemmed around questioning what they want in life. Lucky is about to have his big break, and Jack thinks he might too but in a different way. It was a good reminder that both are teens, and it’s okay to question the path that you’re going if you think it isn’t the right one. I liked each person that Jack introduced to Lucky, and you can tell he’s actually a genuinely nice person. Lucky struggles with anxiety, too, but I can’t speak how about accurately this was portrayed. However, what is addressed is mental health is still somewhat of a taboo to speak of in Korean culture.
I love Maurene’s writing style. She’s one of those authors that it just seems to come so easy as I read it on the page. It’s witty and realistic, pulling you in, making you care for these characters. This book is also the perfect K-drama–cute, a little cheesy, but totally romantic–and I wish Netflix or other film companies would pick up Maurene’s books for adaptations.
Also, did anyone catch that Easter egg at the end of the book?! I loved it!
Check out these other reviews:
- Emma at Hapa Bookworm gave this book a solid 5 stars.
- Sarah at Cover to Cover gushed about this book in her in-depth review.
- Joshua from Highlit spoke about his disappointments with this book.