June 7, 2017

How to Get the Guy • I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Desi Lee is a very capable girl, with a list of extra-curriculars a mile long and stellar grades that guarantee her spot at Stanford after high school. But the one thing she’s never had is a boyfriend, and that has a lot to do with the fact that she’s a disaster when it comes to the whole romance thing. When a new boy comes into her life and piques her interest, Desi decides to tackle her clumsiness romance the only way she knows – by making a list of steps to achieve her goal. Drawing inspiration from the K-dramas her dad loves to watch, Desi makes her moves to capture the attention of Luca Drakos. But when reality bursts the fantasy bubble she’s created, Desi learns that there’s more to real love than just meet-cutes and drama.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love book cover
Plot? If you have ever loved a Korean drama, you will likely enjoy I Believe in a Thing Called Love as much as I did. (To be clear, by the way, it’s not a requirement for enjoying this book, but it will heighten that enjoyment for sure.) Despite the formulaic set-up for this story (which is also something that K-drama watchers tend to notice in the series they watch), it was a fun reading experience. I thought it played out much like a romantic comedy – awkward girl wants to get mysterious guy, and there are shenanigans along the way. It was adorable and sweet and quirky, and in case it’s not clear, I enjoyed it. 

Characters? I adored Desi! She reminded me a lot of the person I was in high school, especially because she tried to do her best at absolutely everything she was involved in, and because she tried to do right by most of the people in her life. There’s also the matter of her clumsiness when it comes to any form of romance, which was also me in high school… Ahem. The secondary characters – particularly Desi’s father, her best friends and Luca – were all extremely likable as well, and they were developed just enough to make them pop off the page.

Writing? It was simplistic, but I think that just made this novel easier to fly through. It also suited the feel of the story, since it is something that’s light and fun and totally perfect for a summer read. I liked that it was mostly structured around Desi’s list of steps, as that made it even more unique.

Overall? While it isn’t necessarily a new all-time favorite, I liked I Believe in a Thing Called Love a lot. It was the perfect YA rom-com read, with the additional quirk of including something I love (Korean dramas) as part of the main storyline and structure. I would highly recommend snagging a copy to read during your summer vacation!

What's your favorite Korean movie or Korean drama series? I’ve watched a few series that I loved and have many more on my queue, but a K-drama series that will always have my heart is Princess Hours. It’s a series set in an alternate 21st century Korea where the monarchy still exists, and focuses primarily on the lives of Crown Prince Lee Shin and his bride Chae-kyeong. It’s funny and sweet and emotional, and yes, maybe a little bit over the top, but I absolutely adored it – and still do. (And now I just want to do a rewatch…) (P.S. If you have Korean drama recommendations, I am all ears! Leave them in the comment section below.)

Publisher: Farrar, Strous and Giroux (BYR) | Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)


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