By: Cait Marie
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.
This book has been on my TBR for a couple years now, and I finally listened to the audiobook. I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about it, so it’s tricky to review.
Let’s start with the things I loved. The general plot was fantastic. I enjoyed the story and seeing Skye fight for her dreams. Watching her open up to new friends was great, and the romance was adorable. It was a very fun, quick read.
Some of the characters were really well developed while others felt a little flat too me. It was kind of one of those “out of sight, out of mind” situations, where the side characters didn’t seem to have full backstories and lives except when interacting with Skye. It wasn’t too bad, but there were times I forgot about characters, wondered what their motives were, etc. because there just wasn’t a lot of development there.
Even with the love interest, as perfectly swoony as he was, I feel like I didn’t actually know much about him. At one point near the end-ish, it said something about him being a model, and I literally went, “Oh yeah! I forgot that’s what he was.”
Skye herself was well done. She had a full story, giving us a better understanding of her actions and thinking. Which brings us to the two things I wasn’t fond of in the book.
First of all, in talking about underdeveloped characters, her mother is very hard on Skye about her weight, and we kind of find out why, but it’s never really explained thoroughly. There wasn’t this deep moment of, “This is what happened. This is why I do this.” It was more like an argument, an accusation, and then just… nothing. After all the build up, I expected that resolution to be much more meaningful. I also don’t remember why Skye’s dad wasn’t around, or if that was fully explained. It took a while for me to realize he worked somewhere else and didn’t live with them, but I still don’t know if he and her mom were still married or not. They seemed friendly, but again, that history wasn’t really developed for the readers.
The second thing was the focus on her weight. Now, do not get me wrong, as someone who has been overweight all my life, I appreciate books about body positivity. I absolutely loved how she stood her ground and refused to let them change her. I also really enjoyed seeing how confident she was and how much she loved herself. Her past is something I can personally relate to, but I’ve never reached that point where I’m fully comfortable with myself. In fact, it’s something I struggle with quite a bit. Which is why such a strong focus on the topic was a little much at times. There for a while, it was constantly brought up and it felt like that was all the book was going to be. I’ll be honest, I almost DNF’d it because of that.
I’m glad I didn’t thought. I really enjoyed the book overall. I did feel like some things could have been developed a bit more, and I think with more development, the topic of her weight and appearance wouldn’t have taken so much attention. It was a fun, light read, with a cute romance though.