Currently Reading: I Love You So Mochi

Title_ I Love You So Mochi

What It’s About:  Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she’s been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she loses herself in Kyoto’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival–and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. What begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.


currently-reading...reboot


I am such a sucker for stories of self-discovery and of taking characters outside of their comfort zones in order to discover themselves.  It’s another character-driven novel for me, and I am looking forward to seeing how Kimi changes over this week in Japan with her grandparents and Akira.  I’m also just excited to be transported to Japan through this novel and see how vivid the descriptions are of each of the spaces Kimi inhabits.

I am 75 pages in and I am enjoying this book quite a bit already.  I can’t wait to read some more so if you will excuse me, I am going to go do that right now.

Finished Reading: The Sun Is Also A Star

Title_ The Sun Is Also a Star

What It’s About:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


Finished Reading...Reboot


On a bright morning in New York, Daniel and Natasha’s worlds collide.  Is it fate?  Or does fate not exist?  Are we just a sum of our choices?

I must admit like Natasha, I’m a realist, but I was completely charmed by this book that worked to prove me wrong about it all.  This book had so much in it and I am bursting to talk about it all.  From Daniel’s family’s expectations of becoming a doctor to those small realizations about his parents to how Natasha’s home space is structured to the insight we get into surrounding characters like the security guard and the lawyer.  I love how we get both the immigrant story and the first generation born Korean-American perspective.  Both are equally important to show because young adult readers past, present and future can relate to this.   The book at its core is so full of hope and possibility.  Despite the heartbreak we meet time and time again in this novel, something like fate drops us into connected moments of possibility.

Donut Rating 4

Currently Reading: The Sun is Also a Star

Title_ The Sun Is Also a Star

What It’s About: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


Currently Reading...Reboot


I am already halfway through this novel and it is so romantic and the writing is so lush and lyrical.  I’m kind of in love already.  I had never read Nicola Yoon’s books before so I had no idea what to expect.

I also really love how even though we have the alternating points-of-view of our two main characters, we get a glimpse into the lives of those around them too.

Let’s see how I feel when I finish it.

Future Reads: K-Pop in YA

future-reads-redesign

K-Pop is everywhere right now. That’s not news.  From BTS to Blackpink to EXO to Girls’ Generation, we’re hearing more and more music from artists in South Korea.  Honestly, I’m excited that so many people are embracing Korean pop music because it shows that even if the song isn’t in your language, you can fall in love with its sound and discover its meaning.  It could be a song that really grows to be something special for you.

This list of Future Reads will focus on upcoming young adult fiction books that feature the K-Pop industry and its idols.  I’ll also share a song with each book.


i'll be

Title: I’ll Be the One

Author: Lyla Lee

What It’s About:  Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame, and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

Why I am Excited: Debut authors have really been stunning the heck out of me lately and this book is no exception.  Being a fat girl myself, I can’t wait to read about Skye and how she’ll challenge the KPop industry and its beauty standards.  I’m rooting for her with all I’ve got.

The song is “Blueming” by IU


shineTitle: Shine

Author: Jessica Jung

What It’s About:  What would you give for a chance to live your dreams?

For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels, known for churning out some of the world’s most popular stars. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right?

Not so much. As the dark scandals of an industry bent on controlling and commodifying beautiful girls begin to bubble up, Rachel wonders if she’s strong enough to be a winner, or if she’ll end up crushed… Especially when she begins to develop feelings for K-pop star and DB golden boy Jason Lee. It’s not just that he’s charming, sexy, and ridiculously talented. He’s also the first person who really understands how badly she wants her star to rise.

Get ready as Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of Korea’s most famous girl group, Girls Generation, takes us inside the luxe, hyper-color world of K-pop, where the stakes are high, but for one girl, the cost of success—and love—might be even higher. It’s time for the world to see: this is what it takes to SHINE.

Why I am Excited:  The author, as many will know, was a former member of Girls’ Generation.  She was really one of the group’s shining stars so I am looking forward to seeing what her writing style is like and what kind of story she will choose to write.  She lived that idol life and while so many kpop listeners know some of what goes on in the industry, it’ll be intriguing to see what she reveals.

The song is “Stay Tonight” by CHUNG HA


kpop confidential

Title: K-Pop Confidential

Author: Stephan Lee

What It’s About: Candace Park’s life is all planned out. She takes all AP classes, helps her parents at their dry cleaner, and spends what little free time she has watching Rupaul’s Drag Race. Then there’s graduation, college, and a “Real Job.” What her parents and friends don’t really know, though, is that she has a secret passion: singing. But what’s the point? She’s never seen an Asian-American girl make it big as a singer-songwriter anyway.

So when Candace enters a K-pop audition at the mall on a dare, she doesn’t expect to actually win. She definitely doesn’t expect to plunge headfirst into the grueling world of a K-pop trainee. Especially when her parents don’t approve of it…at all.

But when they offer her the chance to travel to Seoul, South Korea to train at the top Korean music company in the world, how can she pass it up? The only problem is, in addition to the round-the-clock singing lessons, dance rehearsals, and beauty treatments, Candance has to agree to follow the uber-strict rules of a trainee. The most important of which is: NO DATING. But it becomes pretty much impossible to follow when Candace finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between a sweet boy trainee and a superstar member of the hottest boyband in the world.

Will all of her hard work be wasted if she follows her heart? Or can she be the perfect, hair-flipping idol and stay true to herself at the same time?

Why I am Excited:  The cover for this book is beyond beautiful.   That’s what drew me in at first glance.  I’m also loving that the main character is going out there and chasing her dreams.  I want to see her journey through the K-Pop industry, how that changes her and what she ultimately decides is best for her. I also want to see how Stephan Lee’s story will set itself apart from the other K-Pop themed novels coming out.  The author has made it clear through interviews that their intention is to celebrate the talent of these artists but also draw attention to how intense the pressure is.

The song is “DDU-DU DDU-DU” by Blackpink


Each author really has their own story to tell with their upcoming novels and I can’t wait to read them all. 

I also look forward to more novels about the K-Pop industry.   There are so many different stories to tell that explore other themes and other perspectives too.  They’re just waiting to be told and there are readers eager and ready to read them.

The song is “Really Bad Boy” by Red Velvet

Update:  I have changed the songs around so as to breathe a breath of fresh air into this post.  I will list the old song recommendations here.

  • “Hello Tutorial” by Zion. T (featuring Seulgi of Red Velvet)
  • “Don’t Recall” by KARD
  • “Feel Special” by TWICE
  • “I Just Wanna Dance” by Tiffany