SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.
Goodreads Rating: 3.77/5 Stars
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
As many of you know, lately I haven’t been in the mood for contemporary novels. I don’t know what it is, but fantasy has just been calling to me lately and it’s where I’ve been spending most of my time. However, since I am in a bit of a slump thanks to King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, I decided to take a short break from young adult fantasy and picked up a copy of this book, which was recommended by Katytastic from Booktube.
I will admit to initially having a difficult time getting invested into this novel. For myself, the hardest aspect to get used to was the writing style. It was following the patterns of a more inexperienced writer – general description, focused on brief and rapid moving dialogue, etc. – which was a turn off initially. Although it took me about 140 pages, it was around that point that I started to ignore the state of the writing and simply sat back to enjoy the lighthearted characters and unfolding plot. (Needless to say, this is a habit that I need to take up more often.)
There is one aspect that I completely adored about this novel – the diversity. It was refreshing to read a book that had a diverse cast of characters that not only had unique personalities, but played off of each other very well. FINISH THIS
Overall, the plot had many things that were difficult to believe, so it definitely pushed the reader in terms of suspension of disbelief. FINISH THIS
The highlight of this novel, by far, was the use of k-dramas. (Now, I will admit to being an avid k-drama watcher myself, so that was one of the reasons why I picked up this novel.) Maureen Goo did a beautiful job of explaining what k-dramas are (even if she did spell it wrong as K drama – that was a pet peeve of mine that increasingly grew more and more annoying as I read on, but that’s a rant for a different day) and used the tropes and formulaic plot well within her own novel. More than once, I found myself saying that I felt as if I was watching a k-drama rather than reading a young adult contemporary novel. Not only did Desi use the k-drama steps to get her first boyfriend, but her life definitely turned into a k-drama, with unrealistic plot points on all. However, by having that nod to the television show genre, it made everything more lighthearted and humorous to read about.
While I do love a good k-drama and this book did a great job of working off of those, I definitely can say that this wasn’t one of my favorite contemporary reads from 2017. Although, if you’re a k-drama fan and are looking for a fast and amusing read, I do recommend this novel to you!