Cute. Fun. Fizzy.
Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.
I went into this book already full of others’ opinions and concerns and comments.
That said, I was determined to just kick back and read it, without letting others affect it.
I think I acheived it.
I was interested in this book because I’m always a fan of displacement stories, or ‘fresh start’ plots, and this was definitely one of those. Also, it was a situation that sort of matches the kind of circumstances those I am employed to look after experience, so I was keen to experience some of that culture shock and adaptation myself.
I really liked Grace, and I liked her room mate Sophie even more. It took a while for me to warm to Jason; that whole ‘he’s so horrible to me but I can’t deny how hot he is’ thing just gets on my nerves. He’s a prick, therefore not worth your time. Naturally, feelings and thoughts can change over time, I just wish that insta-feeling thing was cut out.
The storyline itself was fast paced and compelling. Grace and Jason have a lot in common, and I was glad to see that whereas the beginning was tropey, their ending was not. As in, she does recognise that she can’t ‘fix’ him with love, or whatever. Obvs, he doesn’t want to take no for an answer, and I liked the effort he made. That said, the ending itself was quite drawn out and probably could have been a good ten pages shorter.
Right. Let’s tackle that elephant in the room.
Is this book racist?
There are characters that certainly act out and say some cringe-worthy things, but I think the characters that matter grow and move forward in good ways. Grace herself is unwilling and grumbly in the beginning, but she didn’t go to Korea for a cultural education, she was there to run away. So her mindset wasn’t the best when she arrives. Personally I don’t think she ever acts in a way that would offend someone, in a racially unacceptable way, she’s just a haughty biatch at first. In general.
Is the writing of the Korean characters stereotypical?
I’ll concede to that one. There are some descriptions that are so obvious, and almost lazy. I felt like there were some details/scenes that could have been conceived better, or maybe just imagined in a way that I didn’t expect rather than taking a well worn path.
This book is a lot of fun. It’s sweet, it’s fluffy, but it doesn’t shy away from its darker side. Easy to read and easy to get hooked on. I liked it very much.
Concept – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
Ending or Twist – 3/5
Overall – 4/5
(Book bought by me, with my own cash. Opinions bought by no one.)