I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ONCE UPON A K-PROM by Kat Cho Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
What would you do if the world’s biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school.
Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged.
So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.
Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?
Title: Once Upon a K-Prom
Author: Kat Cho
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
This book was full of wonderful characters, ex-bff vibes, and k-pop fameeee.
I knew basically nothing about k-pop before starting this book so it was a lot of fun getting to know the characters and story while also getting a crash course in k-pop! It also made me want to look up some the popular k-pop groups and see why they’re so popular. This book should come with a warning.
WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO STALK AND OBSESS OVER K-POP IF YOU DON’T ALREADY
One of my absolute favorite characters in this book (apart from Robbie and Elena) was Sooyeon. She was another k-pop Idol in this book and was so stinking nice and cool that I wanted to be best friends with her. I’ll let you get to know her through reading the book, but just know, she was awesome!
Also, the problems with the k-pop world that are talked about in this book are crazy! Maybe for someone who is a fan already of k-pop, they know what ugly things can go down in this world, but I didn’t know. And this book was very enlightening. It all sounds very intense and controlled and it made me want to give every k-pop idol a big hug. I definitely have more sympathy for them now.
This book is sorta written in dual pov. Not exactly, but enough to give the reader an idea of a very important problem in the plot. I didn’t mind the dual pov, especially when I was able to get to know Robbie a little bit better. It was also nice to see into the lives of the other members of the k-pop group since Robbie was around them more than Elena.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and my introduction to k-pop! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of k-pop culture to catch up on.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
When most people think of prom, they probably picture dresses and limos and dancing the night away with their dream date. When I think of prom, I picture aching feet, overpriced decorations, and unrealistic expectations.
Obviously, I was in the minority, though. As was proof by the long line of upper classmen willing to spend their entire lunch period standing in line to buy prom tickets.
It was day three of ticket sales, which meant it was also day three of the Awareness Club’s Alterna-Prom Initiative.
It was…not going great.
Okay, fine, it was a big fat failure.
We’d set up a station where students could donate their change to West Pinebrook’s Community Center after buying tickets.
“Any more donations?” I asked, leaning over the table.
Max Cohen shook his head. “Sorry, Elena.”
I glared at the jar. It was almost empty. The dollar bill I’d placed in there was still the only donation. I’d thought maybe having money already would make us look less pathetic, but it just looked sadder somehow.
I glanced at my carefully written spreadsheet. I’d made it to track potential donations. We were way behind what I’d projected. But I guess I hadn’t factored in teenage apathy.
“Has anyone taken a pamphlet?” I glared at the suspiciously full pile.
“To do that they’d have to stop avoiding our table like we all had the plague.” Josie rolled her eyes.
I’d spent days writing those pamphlets up, included photos of the kids from the community center at last year’s holiday party and the fundraiser website to donate online. It explained that we weren’t telling people not to go to prom, but to rethink how they spent their money on the dance.
That’s why my best friend, Josie Flores, had come up with the term “alterna-prom initiative” even though I worried it was a little wordy and confusing. It hadn’t helped though. Everyone just thought we were flat out protesting prom.
“Come on, El, if they won’t take a pamphlet, let’s just hand them out,” Josie said, stepping out from behind the table. She was willow thin with smooth brown skin, a pretty narrow face, and dark hair that framed it in curls. It was everything I used to wish for when I was little instead of my round Korean face, short legs, and flat stick-straight black hair.
“I’ll help!” Max jumped up.
“No, you guard the table and the…dollar,” Josie said, eyeing the sad jar.
I gave him an “I’m sorry” shrug at getting stuck with table duty again. But he dutifully sat back down. He’d do anything for Josie.
Since sophomore year, he always mooned at her behind his wire-rimmed glasses. They weirdly worked on him, like nerdy white boy chic. His curly hair used to be cropped short in middle school, but he’d grown it out now and it flopped into his eyes. It was cute in a Shawn Mendes kind of way.
Josie started down the line, handing pamphlets out, making sure each person at least opened it before she moved on. She didn’t seem to mind the annoyed looks she got or the rude comments. I wish I could be that confident, not to care what everyone thought of me.
“They’re in trouble of losing funding,” I said to a group of juniors I’d just handed pamphlets to. None had opened them. So I took one and opened it myself to a bullet point list of ways to save on prom. “Instead of spending hundreds on limos and dresses and tuxedos, you could just wear an old suit or a dress from rent-the-runway and drive yourself. Then donate what you saved to the center.”
“Hey, you’re Ethan Soo’s sister right?” One of them squinted at me as if trying to see the family resemblance.
I sighed. It was common for kids to remember my brother before they remembered something as pesky as my actual name. He was the popular twin after all.
“I’m Elena,” I mumbled. “So, back to the community center, if you don’t have any extra cash right now, there’s an online donation site you can use too.”
They all just blinked at me before returning to their conversation about some new movie that had just released. Were these people heartless? Did they not see the adorable children smiling out at them from the pamphlet?
“I’m sorry,” I tried to get their attention again, but they kept ignoring me.
“El, you gotta stop apologizing all the time,” Josie said, walking over. She was down to her last few pamphlets and I felt guilty that I still had a full pile.
“I can’t help it.” I frowned because she was right. It was just such a knee-jerk reaction for me to constantly apologize every time I felt even an inkling that someone felt uncomfortable around me.
“I don’t think this is working,” Josie said, scowling at the line of students doing their best to ignore us. “I think we’ll have to use more radical methods.”
“Well, unless you want to go full Robin Hood, I think pamphlets and peaceful protest are all we’ve got right now.” I sighed.
“I have something to help our cause,” Josie said, taking off toward the exit.
“As long as it doesn’t make a mess!” I called after her, but I wasn’t sure if she heard me as she pushed out of the cafeteria.
Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. She currently lives and works in NYC and spends her free time trying to figure out what kind of puppy to adopt. Kat is the internationally bestselling author of the Gumiho duology (Penguin) and Once Upon a K-Prom (Disney).
1 winner will receive a finished copy of ONCE UPON A K-PROM, US Only.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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