Title: Somewhere Only We Know
Author: Maurene Goo
Genres: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Review Copy: Library
Availability: Available now
Summary: 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.
Review: All cards on the table, I like kpop. I’m not legit enough of a fan to be able to tell you the names of every single guy in BTS, but I can tell you which of their songs are my favorite. That being said, I was very much on board for a story following a k-pop star and a reporter. Somewhere Only We Know sounded like a ton of fun from the get-go, and spoiler alert, it absolutely was.
Like all of Maurene Goo’s books, Somewhere Only We Know has a fresh, adorable set-up designed to make your heart squeeze with emotions. And on top of that, the banter, meet-cute, and relationship dynamic is pretty darn cute as well. The book follows the dual POV of Lucky, a k-pop star about to break into the USA market, and Jack, an aspiring photographer moonlighting as a supplier of tabloid fodder. A match made in drama heaven.
You can’t help rooting for the pair, and the tension of their buried secrets (Jack’s especially) keeps you on the edge of your seat. You’re in for a fun ride if you pick this book up, and along the way, you’ll encounter such issues as body image within the k-pop industry, the stigma around mental health, and personal identity. They’re lightly touched on, but they’re there.
I read this book all in one sitting, and immediately afterwards, I had to go online and listen to some k-pop (Amber Liu is my go-to, naturally). Somewhere Only We Know is the perfect light summer read.
Recommendation: Buy it now! Especially if you’re at all a k-pop fan.