The last person Hannah wants to see is her former best friend, Jacob. Until blackmail and a bucket list, along with two meddling mamas, push them together for a summer worthy of a K-drama…
Hannah Cho had the next year all planned out—the perfect summer with her boyfriend, Nate, and then a fun senior year with all of their friends.
But then Nate does what everyone else in Hannah’s life seems to do—he leaves her, claiming they have nothing in common. He and all her friends are newly obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas, and Hannah is not. After years of trying to embrace the American part and shunning the Korean side of her Korean American identity to fit in, Hannah finds that’s exactly what now has her on the outs.
But someone who does know K-dramas—so well that he’s actually starring in one—is Jacob Kim, Hannah’s former best friend, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s desperate for a break from the fame and someone to trust, so a family trip back to San Diego might be just what he needs…that is, if he and Hannah can figure out what went wrong when they last parted and navigate the new feelings developing between them.
Author: Susan Lee
Publication Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
While this book is not a new favorite of mine, it was a nice read. With sweet scenes, fun POVs, and the ex-bff trope, it was a good YA romance.
At first, I loved Hannah’s personality and voice. Things started to go downhill about halfway through the book, but we won’t talk about that yet. She was strong, spoke her mind, and went after what she wanted. Also, her thoughts were so stinking funny! I loved being inside her mind as she went through some ridiculous situations.
And Jacob, again I liked him well enough at the beginning of the book (but not as much as Hannah), but then didn’t really care for him towards the end. He had a much softer personality than Hannah. He was sweet and avoided conflict, but didn’t always get what he wanted. He did what was best for the people he loved.
Now let me attempt to explain why I disliked the second half of this book so much. One, Hannah and Jacob didn’t really discuss their feelings for each other, but they were acting on them? Sorta. Plus, they both knew the other person liked them. It was very strange. Two, anytime there was amazing tension in the relationship, it was prematurely defused. I was continually let down by a scene ending and taking the tension with it, or dialogue going in a completely different direction and pushing the tension out of the way. It was really disappointing so I never got the build-up for their relationship that I was searching for. Third, I just didn’t like the characters anymore. They started to not feel like the same people I met at the beginning of the book, but in a bad, poorly written way. I was really sad about that.
Overall, I liked this book, but didn’t love it. A similar (but better) book I recommend is Once Upon a K-Prom for the similar ex-bff trope and Korean famous person plot.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To check out my other reviews, click here. Or to check out more books by Susan Lee, go to her Goodreads profile or visit her website.
Danielle Hammelef says
I also read this book and had similar feelings about it. It was fun, but the characters frustrated me at times.
The Book View says
I’m glad I’m not the only one
I'm All Booked Up YA says
We love the ex-bff to lovers trope in YA and it sounds like it was done really well.
The Book View says
Right? I’m an absolute sucker for ex-bffs
Andge @ Down the Rabbit Hole says
I need more ex-BFFs or even bffs to lovers kinda stories 😩 I do hope I’ll enjoy this one. I meant to get to it earlier but…reading slumps are such a problem.
The Book View says
Reading slumps are the WORST