Chasing celebrities through the city…
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance
No. of pages: 328
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.
This was a cute slow-burn romance. Loved the inclusion of K-Pop and aspects of the industry… and its introduction into America through the idol ‘Lucky.’
Told in alternating perspectives between K-pop singer Lucky and her love interest paparazzi photo-journalist Jack, ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ was a pleasant mash up of culture and romance. This rang all the same notes of the only other title from Maurene Goo that I’ve read ‘The Way You Make Me Feel.’ It’s a light breeze romance much in the same vein as Kasie West. Don’t expect anything too complex or angsty, just a fluffy rom-com that’s easy to digest and escape for an afternoon.
This is a quick read and Goo managed to keep the pace going all the way through with comedy and hijinks.
Lucky is an authoritative protagonist, in control of who she is and where she wants to go (sort of.) It was refreshing to read a capable main character in this genre and not have her as some wilting flower. I want to say she was slightly immature, but given the circumstances in which she has grown up, being sheltered by her managerial staff in the Korean music industry, I feel her naivety is on par with her exposure to the outside world. Having said that, in other matters she is mature beyond her years with an assurance that was inspirational.
I read ‘Hello, I Love You’ by Katie M. Stout in 2016 which is tackles a similar storyline, but Maurene Goo has executed this story much better. And because of this ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ did not feel all that original.
Jack was an interesting character for and I loved him as a love interest. He’s a bad boy that’s not quite a bad boy. I also think that more research could have been done on the lifestyle of the paparazzi and photography equipment, because this aspect of the novel lost a lot of realism for me. I know a bit about this occupation and Jack did not seem to even tackle even the most basic aspects of this line of work. It was just a very loose, uneducated guess at what that career is actually like.
As with all contemporary romances, this was extremely predictable, but it did take me on a bit of a ride, and offered a slight twist which gave ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ a breath of fresh air.
I loved if for its sub-genre and cultural representation but was an average read. I’m kinda thinking it’s going to be easily forgettable because it’s such a light uncomplicated romance. I can see it being fun for its intended demographic. I read it in one sitting in one day and enjoyed my time with it, but I don’t know if this is for everyone.
I’d only recommend this if you like cute contemporaries.
Overall feeling: okie-dokie
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