Somewhere Only We Know
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.

Somewhere Only We Know Details

TitleSomewhere Only We Know
Author
ReleaseMay 7th, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Rating
GenreContemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Somewhere Only We Know Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    “Gobaek.” She paused. “Isn’t it interesting that Koreans have a specific word for that? Because we understand that even saying you like someone is meaningful. In America, the moment is sealed by like, sex or some dramatic love confession. But in Korea, ‘I like you.’ That’s a big deal.” 3 stars. I have some mixed feelings about this one. I might yet bump up my rating because I did enjoy it quite a bit. Somewhere Only We Know is a sweet, fun one-day romance with short zippy chapters and a few ser “Gobaek.” She paused. “Isn’t it interesting that Koreans have a specific word for that? Because we understand that even saying you like someone is meaningful. In America, the moment is sealed by like, sex or some dramatic love confession. But in Korea, ‘I like you.’ That’s a big deal.” 3½ stars. I have some mixed feelings about this one. I might yet bump up my rating because I did enjoy it quite a bit. Somewhere Only We Know is a sweet, fun one-day romance with short zippy chapters and a few serious issues lurking beneath the surface.Lucky is the hottest new thing in K-pop and she's about to make her American debut. But one eventful night in Hong Kong leads her to Korean American Jack, an aspiring journalist who doesn't recognize her. Lucky uses this opportunity to take a break from all the stress and dieting of her music career. She keeps her true identity a secret and the two go adventuring around Hong Kong and eat a lot of delicious food along the way. Jack, on the other hand, sees a different kind of opportunity in his fateful meeting with Lucky. Though he pretends not to know who Lucky is, he is actually planning how he can use this encounter to further his career. He knows a personal story about such a big K-pop star could change everything for him.It's a perfect mix of sweet and serious. Lots of food, sightseeing, and fun dialogue. Over the course of the day, they open up to each other and come to care for one another. They challenge each other's perceptions and gain strength from one another. One day romances don't always work for me-- The Sun Is Also a Star is one example --but this one mostly did. I agree with Tatiana that Yoon is a stronger writer than Goo, but I actually enjoyed this one more, I think, because it didn't seem to take itself quite as seriously. It was lighter and sillier, and didn't try so hard to force the instalove on me.As I mentioned, there are some more serious issues brought up over the course of the novel. It is a light book, but with some surprising depth. It looks at body image and anxiety, and the stigma surrounding the latter in Korean culture, with Lucky having to take anti-anxiety meds in secret. Even the way the author examines having your passion be distorted and ruined by expectations and pressures was surprisingly deeper than I expected.The only thing I didn't like - and I'm still deciding how big of a deal I think this is - is the messed-up power dynamic that exists for the majority of the story. The first night they meet, Lucky has taken a combination of sleeping pills and anxiety meds, making her seem drunk. Then when she falls unconscious, Jack takes her back to his apartment and tucks her into his bed. He then proceeds to spend most of the book manipulating and lying to her. Rather than adding tension, I honestly felt quite humiliated on Lucky’s behalf when she is oblivious to Jack’s digging and believes his questions to be innocent. It made it hard to ship them when their relationship was built on lies.Still, it was a fun quick read, and the issues above don't go entirely unaddressed. I would happily read Maurene Goo again.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    I want an ARC of this more than I want to be Kim Taehyung's headband.UPDATE 4/30/19: DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE Y'ALL! I GOT AN ARC!!!! STRONG POWER THANK YOU, EDELWEISS+!Nochu came through!So I'm thinking there is (j)hope for me yet for becoming Tae Tae's headband one day. Quick, somebody tell Yoongi to wish for it to be true so it really happens!*windshield wiper laughs*5/3/19: The review, bruh!First and foremost, thank you so much to the publisher and to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a muc I want an ARC of this more than I want to be Kim Taehyung's headband.UPDATE 4/30/19: DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE Y'ALL! I GOT AN ARC!!!! STRONG POWER THANK YOU, EDELWEISS+!Nochu came through!So I'm thinking there is (j)hope for me yet for becoming Tae Tae's headband one day. Quick, somebody tell Yoongi to wish for it to be true so it really happens!*windshield wiper laughs*5/3/19: The review, bruh!First and foremost, thank you so much to the publisher and to Edelweiss+ for providing me with a much appreciated ARC of this book. I was honestly so happy when I was approved, I could have danced the night away.Okay, now time to get down to the nitty gritty - my thoughts on the book:Overall, I think this book was very sweet, very cute, but ultimately very forgettable. I'll explain further.Things I liked:1. The humor - I found the jokes and the overall humor in this book to be very relatable and right up my alley. There were several times where I physically had to stop reading to laugh out loud and soak in the funniness of the moment. This is the cutesy kind of contemporary stuff that makes me UWU (I'm sorry lol) big time.2. The plot/setup - Not going to lie, the main character and her situation SEVERELY reminded me of Hannah Montana. The whole 'nobody is gonna recognize me without my wig prolly' thing just gave me major throwback vibes for old Miley Stewart but I liked it. Of course, I was super interested in the subject matter of this book as a HUGE fan of both contemporary YA and K-Pop. There was just a few things that I wished would have been done differently.What I wasn't so thrilled about:1. Oh hello there, Insta-Love, (not) nice to see you again. I did not miss you. - So yeah, I don't really feel like the word "Love" belongs anywhere near a romance that takes place over the course of a mere 24-hour period. That 'I love you' shit almost made me drop my croissant. I gagged a little and did my best to stop myself from swallowing my tongue before it rolled down the back of my throat.2. Very American - I don't even know how to word this without offending anyone so, screw it, try not to get offended cuz here I go! The main characters are Korean-American. And that is fine. Obviously. It's great! However, I was really wanting to soak up a little more culture outside of my own while reading this book. I would have been really interested in seeing the differences between my own culture and Korean culture since I'm whiter than the screen I'm currently typing this review into. Anyway, there were some bits of Korean and even Chinese culture thrown in, but still, most of the characters were more American at than anything. Take away a few minor things and it could have felt as if the book itself was set in the good old US of A.3. Dual perspectives are twinning - I saw a few other people mention this in their reviews and I have to say that I agree with them. Several times I could not decipher the differences between the voices of Lucky and Jack. If it weren't for the 'he' or 'she' cues, I would not have been able to tell whose POV I was reading. The two characters were slightly different, but they really needed more work to be separate beings with separate personalities.4. A little too unbelievable - I mean, obviously when you're reading a book about a celebrity, there are going to be things that are a little far-fetched and hard to believe. And that being said, I do think the author did her best to really try to show a deeper side to the perspective of a K-Pop idol. However, the events that transpired at the end (without spoiling anything) were just a little too out there, considering how strict the K-Pop world really is, for me to take seriously. There would have been MAJOR repercussions to her actions and I'm talking *motions slitting my own throat* career done. Ended. Over. Kaput! To sum it all up, did I enjoy this book?YES!Am I glad I got to read it?HECK YEAH!Should you read it?YEAH, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO!Will I ever think of this book ever again?No... probably not.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI guess I should stop rolling my eyes at these one-day romances. I now have liked both The Sun Is Also a Star and Somewhere Only We Know. Both times I had started the books with skepticism and then slowly surrendered to the almost-insta-love. Not sure if what happens in these romances is love, but the attraction can happen in one day, and I am clearly capable of falling for this scenario.It took me awhile to get into this story. Lucky, a K-pop star, is getting ready for bed and takes so 3.5 starsI guess I should stop rolling my eyes at these one-day romances. I now have liked both The Sun Is Also a Star and Somewhere Only We Know. Both times I had started the books with skepticism and then slowly surrendered to the almost-insta-love. Not sure if what happens in these romances is love, but the attraction can happen in one day, and I am clearly capable of falling for this scenario.It took me awhile to get into this story. Lucky, a K-pop star, is getting ready for bed and takes some sleeping and anti-anxiety meds and suddenly decides to sneak out for a few minutes to get herself a burger. (A salad provided and approved by her handlers just isn't enough.) On the way, she gets lost and stumbles into Jack, a Korean American aspiring paparazzo. At first, Jack doesn't recognize Lucky and genuinely tries to help her, because she seems to be under the influence of something. But soon, he realizes who exactly she is and thinks that spending some time with this star and photographing her in the process could be his professional golden ticket. Like I said, I wasn't immediately into this setup. The whole sleeping meds thing just rubbed me the wrong way. Mercifully, that evening didn't last long, and the next day of frolicking around Hong Kong, eating delicious foods and seeing the sites was what turned things around for me. This is when the story becomes cute, and occasionally deep. This is when you get exactly what the synopsis promised you.Maurene Goo has used her love for Korean pop culture before in I Believe in a Thing Called Love (K-drama primer, basically), and in Somewhere Only We Know she puts the realities of K-pop stardom to a good use too. Lucky's personal story is great stuff. When I read The Sun Is Also a Star, I gave it 3.5 stars, but rounded it up to 4. This time, I am compelled to round it down, because Goo is not as strong a writer as Yoon is. For one, Lucky and Jack's voices are indistinguishable. Secondly, Goo, I feel, could have leaned into kdrama tropes even more; those tropes are so delicious for a reason. If she wanted to take the fluffy route, she should have dived into the tropes all the way. What Goo delivers on, though, is a cute romance, Roman Holiday in Hong Kong. This is a not exactly original, but fun beach read.
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  • Sara (sarawithoutanH)
    January 1, 1970
    Things I Liked• This book feels sooo much like a kdrama and I was LIVING for it! I need Netflix to make an adaptation ASAP. • The characters! Maurene Goo has always had strong female leads, but I’ve always felt her love interests were severely lacking. This was dual perspective and I think this made both characters so much more dynamic and interesting.• It was just so goddamn cute! I don’t read YA contemporary too often and I almost never rate it more than 4 stars but this book was an exception! Things I Liked• This book feels sooo much like a kdrama and I was LIVING for it! I need Netflix to make an adaptation ASAP. • The characters! Maurene Goo has always had strong female leads, but I’ve always felt her love interests were severely lacking. This was dual perspective and I think this made both characters so much more dynamic and interesting.• It was just so goddamn cute! I don’t read YA contemporary too often and I almost never rate it more than 4 stars but this book was an exception! Things I Disliked• The ending. Most of this book was absolutely fantastic, but the last quarter or so lost its luster. The ending felt rushed and a little far-fetched.Overall, this was a great contemporary. If you like kpop or kdramas, I definitely think you should pick this up!
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I just love Maurene Goo books so much! They’re like what i love about my favorite korean dramas, but in book form. This one was no exception. I adored the characters and the whole exploration of going after your dreams vs just going after achievement (honestly, needed that rn in my own life). I also loved the Hong Kong setting, the korean american characters talking about what it’s like to be korean american, and all the kpop! Also, Roman Holliday is one of my all time favorite films, so reading I just love Maurene Goo books so much! They’re like what i love about my favorite korean dramas, but in book form. This one was no exception. I adored the characters and the whole exploration of going after your dreams vs just going after achievement (honestly, needed that rn in my own life). I also loved the Hong Kong setting, the korean american characters talking about what it’s like to be korean american, and all the kpop! Also, Roman Holliday is one of my all time favorite films, so reading a modernized take on that was just so fun.
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  • chloe ꒰♡ˊ͈ ु꒳ ूˋ͈꒱.⑅*♡
    January 1, 1970
    WAIT WHAT??? IT'S SET IN HONG KONG? OMG I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO READ A YA BOOK SET IN HONG KONG I'M CRYING HAPPY TEARS I WANT THIS ADSFVAKBVVGB CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS TO COME OUT!update (12 may 2019): i'm finally done reading this, and oh my god i loved it so much. review to come!
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  • Joshee Kun (조수아)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.You're not the first person to assume that K-pop artists don't actually know anything about music. We don't go through that training because we like the fashion.I'm pretty torn about Maurene Goo's third novel. As a fan of K-pop (I have around 15 favorite artists), I expected that I would have a nearly perfect reading experience. Sadly, it seems that my love for the genre isn't strong enough to negate my disl Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.You're not the first person to assume that K-pop artists don't actually know anything about music. We don't go through that training because we like the fashion.I'm pretty torn about Maurene Goo's third novel. As a fan of K-pop (I have around 15 favorite artists), I expected that I would have a nearly perfect reading experience. Sadly, it seems that my love for the genre isn't strong enough to negate my dislike for unrealistic romance. Although instalove is practically a given in YA contemporary, I can't lower my standards and just highlight the book's strong points.Somewhere Only We Know follows Lucky, the best K-pop artist in the world. (Indeed, she even trumped BTS! LOL) After performing for the ecstatic Hong Kong audience, she realizes that her passion (turned job) no longer makes her happy. Starving because of her low-calorie diet, Lucky escapes the confines of her hotel and goes on a food trip with Jack, a fellow Korean-American who secretly works as a tabloid photographer. Unbeknownst to Lucky, Jack is actually using her to advance his career. However, as the day progresses, he falls in love with her, and his resolve begins to falter. Awesome, right? Hahaha. I don't have to tell you how their story ends.I loved how Maureen Goo explored certain issues surrounding the K-pop industry, like plastic surgery, racial discrimination, contractual celibacy, and personal alienation. The latter was emphasized through Lucky's character arc, and I somehow sympathized with her dilemma. She barely spent time with her family because of her hectic schedule, so she was always homesick. Plus, she couldn't go wherever she wanted nor eat her favorite unhealthy dishes. Lucky's management label obliged her to be a perfect "girl next door" who inspired everyone, making it hard for her to stay true to herself. In real life, many K-pop artists probably feel the same way. However, Lucky had it worse because she was a solo artist; girl and boy groups definitely feel less lonely since they live in the same apartment or dormitory and do lots of things together. With all that said, this book can be very enlightening to readers who are new to K-pop.As for Jack, he was hecka annoying. He lied to his parents about the nature of his internship, and he basically planned to ruin Lucky's musical career. If the public discovered that she was traversing Hong Kong with a boy, her innocent reputation could be tarnished permanently. I also didn't understand why Jack saw college as a waste of time. Indeed, you can get a job without a degree, but the knowledge that you gain during those four+ years is invaluable. Fortunately, things became better for Jack in the end. He saw the error of his ways and did his best to reconcile with his loved ones. Although the author made Jack's personality unlikable for the sake of character development, I couldn't muster any fondness for him. He was just a contributor to the novel's cultural diversity.I haven't read The Sun Is Also a Star, but it's probably similar to this book. After all, both of them feature protagonists who fall in love in a single day. Is that phenomenon really possible? That we-just met-but-I-feel-like-I've-known-you-forever cliche? Ugh. It's ironic how contemporary fiction can seem so fantastical. Hmm...the romance might have been less stressful if it hadn't resulted in cringy dialogue. Hopefully, the final manuscript will be less corny.In the end, Somewhere Only We Know has an excellent depiction of K-pop. I'm glad that Maurene did lots of research to ensure the accuracy and relevance of her work. However, if you're also not a fan of unrealistic relationships, I wish you all the best. xD
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  • Djezelle
    January 1, 1970
    K-Pop Idol? YES!
  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, and I’d specifically recommend this one to read if you enjoy fluffy (and maybe a little over the top) Korean dramas. There’s a particular aspect that bothered me at the start of this story, but otherwise, very cute, very sweet contemporary story.
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  • Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved Maurene Goo's previous novel, The Way You Make Me Feel, so I had been highly anticipating Somewhere Only We Know. This is the first book Maurene has written that's told in dual perspectives, instead of being told solely by the heroine, and I have to say that I missed the old format (but I do understand why there's a guy on the cover now!). While I did like Jack and getting to know his story / being able to see Lucky though his eyes, I think it took away from the story. Another cha I really loved Maurene Goo's previous novel, The Way You Make Me Feel, so I had been highly anticipating Somewhere Only We Know. This is the first book Maurene has written that's told in dual perspectives, instead of being told solely by the heroine, and I have to say that I missed the old format (but I do understand why there's a guy on the cover now!). While I did like Jack and getting to know his story / being able to see Lucky though his eyes, I think it took away from the story. Another change is that Somewhere Only We Know took place over the course of a day in Hong Kong and I wasn't fully sold on the romance between the characters. I think the story would've benefited if we had more time to see their feelings develop, though I understand the argument for it needing to be told in a day. It was a very cute and quick read but it isn't a book that's stuck with me upon finishing.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    You had me at K pop starlet.Update: I HAVE TO WAIT TILL MAY 7TH
  • Romie
    January 1, 1970
    things I liked:• the themes explored — following your dream and finding out who you really are and what you want to do• the dual perspective• the setting + the food — I really liked that we got to ‘visit’ Hong Kong and read about so many kind of Asian food• the parents of both main characters — very supportive and kind• Lucky was a very likable character and I wanted what’s best for her• the anxiety rep was good• I'm still a huge fan of Maurene Goo's writing — I think it's so easy and nice to re things I liked:• the themes explored — following your dream and finding out who you really are and what you want to do• the dual perspective• the setting + the food — I really liked that we got to ‘visit’ Hong Kong and read about so many kind of Asian food• the parents of both main characters — very supportive and kind• Lucky was a very likable character and I wanted what’s best for her• the anxiety rep was good• I'm still a huge fan of Maurene Goo's writing — I think it's so easy and nice to read her booksthings I didn’t like:• the fact that this book only took place during one day — it made the story between the two MCs less believe• insta love — I’m known to hate it, and the story only lasting a day made it so hard for me to believe in their love story• Jack was so judgmental for most of the book and just an ass• even though Lucky repeated several times shat she didn’t need to be saved, of course Jack was always there to save the day• the ending was so easy — after the big plot twist that we knew about but Lucky didn’t, it only took about 15 pages for things to be okay,,,,,like it was so easy for everything to be back to normal (I’m trying really hard not to spoil a specific thing that happened that bothered me a lot bu anyway)Yeah in the end I think it was a very bittersweet book, it had a lot of potential, but it felt a bit meh to me. (3.5)Thank you so much Farrar, Straus & Giroux Book for Young Readers for providing me a physical arc in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I had really enjoyed Maurene’s previous book and after reading this synopsis, I was eager to get into it. I liked Lucky and Jack well enough. They’re both good people struggling with what they want to do and in a random occurrence, find a spark. The banter between them was cute and there were definitely some sweet moments. There are a few other characters, but they were all shadows as the real story is Lucky and Jack. Plot wise, it was okay. It’s fast moving, the setting changes often, and the f I had really enjoyed Maurene’s previous book and after reading this synopsis, I was eager to get into it. I liked Lucky and Jack well enough. They’re both good people struggling with what they want to do and in a random occurrence, find a spark. The banter between them was cute and there were definitely some sweet moments. There are a few other characters, but they were all shadows as the real story is Lucky and Jack. Plot wise, it was okay. It’s fast moving, the setting changes often, and the food descriptions made me hungry. The scenery felt cardboard-y and didn’t help to conjure anything while I was reading. And while I enjoyed the way the day unfolded, I never quite saw the fall into love aspect. Overall, I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this story. I loved the ending and wanted more from it, but I could have easily set the book down and not finished.**Huge thanks to Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5
  • 《 sofia 》
    January 1, 1970
    check out this and other reviews on my blogi've only read one other maurene goo book, i believe in a thing called love, and i absolutely loved it. when i found out that she had a new book coming out, i knew i had to get my hands on it. yet as the reviews started coming it, my excitement started dying down, since most of them were either average or bad, and i couldn't help but thinking "fuck, i can't believe i'm going to dislike this book". now, how dare you? jokes, but also, this book was amazin check out this and other reviews on my blogi've only read one other maurene goo book, i believe in a thing called love, and i absolutely loved it. when i found out that she had a new book coming out, i knew i had to get my hands on it. yet as the reviews started coming it, my excitement started dying down, since most of them were either average or bad, and i couldn't help but thinking "fuck, i can't believe i'm going to dislike this book". now, how dare you? jokes, but also, this book was amazing, and i can't believe i ever thought this book was going to be "average".➳ lucky: lucky is a k-pop star that has just finished her tour, the last stop being hong kong. although exhausted, she needs to prepare for her big interview on the tonight show coming up, since her management expects it to be the start of her big break in america. yet after trying and failing to fall asleep, she knows there's one thing she needs before calling it a day: an hamburger. so, she grabs the hotel slippers, distracts her bodyguard, and heads outside. after roaming around hong kong looking for the burger she comes across this guy, jack, and suddenly she didn't just want a burger; she wanted to escape, have a rule-free day and do whatever she wants. with jack. i loved lucky. although i never really got much into k-pop, i've always been fascinated with the industry. i mean, after you hear that some of those artists eat one potato a day, it's hard not to be fascinated. getting to see an "actual" k-pop artist and what happens behind the scenes: her struggles, the sacrifices she has to make in order to make it in the industry, the highs and lows - it was insane. and i cried. i cried so much. although i'm not sure if it was because i felt for her, how she just wanted to sing and she was tired of having to behave a certain way all the time, or because it was 1 a.m. when i read this and a bitch gets emotional late at night.➳ jack: in order for his parents to allow him to take a gap year, jake agreed on taking an internship at the bank his dad works at, even though he wants nothing to do with finance. what his parents don't know is that on his free time he sneaks into places to catch celebrities doing things they probably shouldn't be doing and takes pictures of them doing said things for his tabloid job. when he sees this seemingly drunk girl on the bus, he can't help but go to her and give her hand. but after spending the night somewhat together, she falls asleep. on him. in the middle of the street. with no phone and no information about who this drunk girl is, he takes her to the apartment he shares with his friend, charlie. and that's when he finds out: the girl sleeping on his bed isn't fern, as she had claimed, but k-pop star lucky. when jack realizes that he has now kind of befriended a superstar, he know what he has to do: find out all he can about her and write a story on her for his tabloid. uh, jack was a character. as much as i love him now, i did not stan this bitch at the beginning. how was i supposed to root for him and lucky when jack was just out here lying to her and waiting until the end of the day to essentially sell the dirt he would get on her to the press?there were so many things i loved about somewhere only we know, but there's one thing that i just can't get behind. in the end, it only made me drop a start, but it's something that is still! annoying.➳ "actually, it was all a lie". as much as i loved somewhere only we know, i didn't enjoy how their relationship was based on a lie, and the consequently power dynamic between the two main characters. unlike other maurene goo books, this one is told in dual perspective, so you really get to know what is going on inside both of these character's heads. if that hadn't been the case, i probably wouldn't have enjoyed this book at all. this way you knew from the beginning what jack was after. i can only imagine how i would feel if i just found out at the end that everything had been a lie. still, how was i supposed to root for the two characters? i loved lucky, and even though i knew, she didn't.my head is telling me to rate this five stars, but my heart just can't do it. this was such a cute contemporary romance, and i would love there to be a sequel. i loved the ending sooo much, but i was still intrigued about what happened after. if you love fluffy contemporary romances, i can't recommend this enough.arc provided by the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewblog | instagram | twitter | tumblr | bookdepository
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  • Flora ❀
    January 1, 1970
    the first people maureen goo thanked in the acknowledgements were BTS and ARMY. excuse me while i go and cry in the corner.
  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    MY RATING: 1.5/5 STARS I received an ARC from Raincoast books in exchange for a honest review. Honestly, I love what Maurene Goo represents because she's an Asian American author who writes YA contemporaries representing the Asian community but this book was a huge let down. I think I've been under the impression that I loved the previous book she's written because why wouldn't I like a YA novel featuring a character I could relate to in terms of culture? But turns out, I forgot that I actually MY RATING: 1.5/5 STARS I received an ARC from Raincoast books in exchange for a honest review. Honestly, I love what Maurene Goo represents because she's an Asian American author who writes YA contemporaries representing the Asian community but this book was a huge let down. I think I've been under the impression that I loved the previous book she's written because why wouldn't I like a YA novel featuring a character I could relate to in terms of culture? But turns out, I forgot that I actually didn't really like 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love.' And unfortunately, Maurene Goo didn't win me with this one either. Somewhere Only We Know follows the story of a sixteen year old K-Pop Star called Lucky who just finished a huge Asian country tour and is staying in Hong Kong for the weekend before she makes her American debut on a popular evening television show. Lucky has a lot of things riding on her. If she does well, her label company will make sure to jam pack her schedule with events to make sure they earn as much coin as possible. If she doesn't, the label will most likely move onto their other stars and focus on them to grow their careers. When Lucky is about to fall asleep, she finds herself starving and craving a cheeseburger. Looped on sleeping pills and anxiety medication, Lucky ventures outside her hotel room and onto the streets, meeting a fellow Korean-American who currently resides in Hong Kong with his family, Jack. Jack dealing with his pressures from his strict Korean parents, opts to make a career for himself in photography. In order to pay for rent, and the super expensive adventure he's taking Lucky on, Jack takes photos of Lucky for a popular tabloid magazine. It isn't until along the way does he question his morals and ethics towards his lucrative side gig. Together, Lucky and Jack spend the weekend chasing the sun, visiting numerous Hong Kong attractions, eating all the delicious food the country has to offer, and falling in love. It's only until Lucky realizes the motive behind Jack's friendship/companionship does she find her world turned upside down. I'm a huge fan of Korean culture so when I knew there was going to be a book about a K-Pop star I was super excited. I normally don't read any books based on superstars and rockstars or musicians. I just don't connect with fabricated celebrities. But because this book was based on K-Pop, I gave it a try. And I'm severely disappointed to report that while Maurene Goo made sure to have a lot of K-Drama references in her previous novel, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, she didn't put ANYTHING relating to K-Pop in this book at all. It just doesn't make sense to not put any references to who Lucky's colleagues are or the korean artists she listens to. Maybe, Goo didn't want to date the book and so it can live on for decades to come but it irked me as a fan because it missed the perfect "I know that!" reference moment. While Goo left out references, the book did a great job at giving a snippet of a typical Korean Idol life. Lucky cannot be ungracious, rude, or have any attitude towards anyone in the public eye. She also can't, always watching what she eats, and practices her routines and singing non-stop. It's tough being an idol and I felt from my knowledge of the industry, Goo did a fantastic job at showing non-Kpop fans what it's about. However, the book itself was lacking severely. I didn't feel any chemistry between Jack and Lucky. They came off more like friends at best. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was love at first sight situation since they only spent two days together and their feelings were so deep they declared their love on Sunday night. I also had a huge problem with the fact that there's really no plot except they hung out together and she avoided the public eye when she finally got recognized and Jack admitted that he knew who she was all along after a quick google search. They literally went to a bunch of sight-seeing attractions and ate a bunch of food so much to the point that I thought it was a food guide. I also didn't like how Jack's backstory was that he spent his gap year building the courage to go against his parents' wishes of becoming a banker and being a photographer instead only to have the parents be OKAY with it at the very end. Like they were so relaxed about it I was shocked. What was the point of his angst when in the end the parents would just agree? Goo also had an interesting approach to this book as well as she tried to delve into deeper philosophical topics teenagers and adults like myself could relate to. The idea that there are a group of people who are too afraid to pursue their passion and make excuses every step of the way to not go along that path. While it's a fantastic point to inspire readers, it came off very...John Green but not quite. It didn't make sense most of the time and it sounded more like it was supposed to come off smart but came out more like fluff instead. Lucky also comes over very self-righteous. Her mentality is that ANYONE CAN ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS IF THEY PUT THEIR MINDS TO IT which is fantastic but also there's a natural limitation to what people can do. Not everyone can make it like she does and she should know her years of training as an idol that not every idol can be successful her. There will always be someone who was more talented than her but didn't get the same opportunities as her to get the spotlight she did. Lucky was just simply lucky in that aspect.Finally, the ending. All was forgiven way too quickly and things wrapped up too nicely for anyone to really take it seriously.MY RECOMMENDATION It's a light contemporary read but honestly, not that cute and nothing much happens. I can't really even recommend this to a K-Pop fan because it included the bare minimum of K-Pop references. 
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    It has a cover! The Way You Make Me Feel was one of my favorite contemporary books of 2018, I can't wait
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsthe ending was really quite cute!!!
  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    God bless this book; let's all hope it turns out to be as adorable as the blurb sounds!
  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    perfection
  • ║ madalin ║
    January 1, 1970
    "At the end of today was a goodbye. Anything that could grow between us would be gone within hours, ephemeral and faded before it could even begin. We were like the stars seen from Earth- a memory of something that was already finished."OOOOHH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. WOW. I am letting everyone know now that this is not going to be cohesive in any way and will consist entirely of me fangirling about how much I love this book and Maurene Goo. I literally just finished this book not five minutes ago but "At the end of today was a goodbye. Anything that could grow between us would be gone within hours, ephemeral and faded before it could even begin. We were like the stars seen from Earth- a memory of something that was already finished."OOOOHH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. WOW. I am letting everyone know now that this is not going to be cohesive in any way and will consist entirely of me fangirling about how much I love this book and Maurene Goo. I literally just finished this book not five minutes ago but I have to talk about it immediately. This is HANDS- DOWN one of my favorite contemporaries of ALL TIME. Everything about this book makes my heart happy and I want to read about these characters so much more. I'm thinking of this book right now as The Sun Is Also a Star (which I loved, 5/5 stars), but like 50 times better. That's seriously saying something because I love Nicola Yoon and that book. But this book... I really don't have the words to describe how amazing this book is, but I'm gonna try.Okay, actually, I just remembered this is an arc, and I don't want to go into too many details since this book doesn't come out until May, so here's more of a vague list of everything I loved. - Lucky. Seriously one of the most down to earth female characters I've read in a while. I can't tell you the last time I've read about a famous person in a YA novel because it's usually not my taste, but oh my god. She's so likable and I love her with all my heart. I think a lot of YA readers will definitely appreciate her character. Is this too many details? I don't know I'm just so excited. Okay back to just list form.- Jack. (*swoons*)- The fact that this book takes place basically in the span of one weekend but still had me falling in love with everything.-The whole entire plot?? So vague I know but TRUST ME it's so good. Look I can't even describe the things I love about this book well because it's seriously everything. I'm moving this right to my favorites shelf, and I will definitely be buying a finished copy of this book when it comes out (and I hope everyone else does too). Thank you to Fierce Reads for letting me get my hands on this beautiful book a few months early!!
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  • Shehzeen Muzaffar
    January 1, 1970
    K-POP IDOL?!!! OMGGG
  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    WE DON'T DESERVE SUCH PERFECT, CUTE, SWOONY BOOKS but dear lord I am so happy they exist and I can read them. If you don't love Jack and Lucky as much as I do after reading this book I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. (JK but also not.)
  • Savannah (The Book Prophet)
    January 1, 1970
    YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS BOOK. KPOP???? YES PLEASE IM ALL IN
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Maurene Goo, for putting this HUGE smile on my face! Somewhere Only We Know was an absolute delight. I had previously read articles calling this "a modern-day Roman Holiday", and I must admit, Goo did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the original story, while making it modern and meaningful for the YA audience.Lucky was a K-pop princess, and her days were filled with work, work, and more work. At the end of her tour, she escaped her security detail, and ventured out to enjoy H Thank you, Maurene Goo, for putting this HUGE smile on my face! Somewhere Only We Know was an absolute delight. I had previously read articles calling this "a modern-day Roman Holiday", and I must admit, Goo did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the original story, while making it modern and meaningful for the YA audience.Lucky was a K-pop princess, and her days were filled with work, work, and more work. At the end of her tour, she escaped her security detail, and ventured out to enjoy Hong Kong on her own. Certain events bring her into the path of Jack, who happened to be moonlighting as a tabloid photographer. In an effort to get a big Lucky scoop, he offered to show her around Hong Kong, but the more time they spent together, the more their feelings became intertwined. This question if Lucky and Jack could make this feeling last for more than a night. I instantly fell in love with Lucky, and became fiercely protective of her. She was so sweet and genuine, and I empathized with the battle she was fighting within herself. She loved having the opportunity to be a singing sensation, but she longed for more normalcy and autonomy. It was easy to see how much this one day of freedom meant, and I wanted more of that work-life balance for her.Though I liked Jack, in general, it took me a looooong time to trust him. His motives were not pure, and his deception was something that could have ruined Lucky. It was good to see he had a conscience, and was able to see beyond the famous veneer and recognize Lucky as an actual person.The two of them together made my heart soar. I adored their interactions, and as they grew closer and closer to one another, my heart beat faster and faster. Some may condemn this as instalove, but I DON'T CARE! It was fun. It was sweet. It was adorable and charming. It made me happy. I loved the way each of them could really "see" one another, and they were supportive and encouraging. They were a perfect coupling, and I wanted their adventure to last forever.I had the best time frolicking in Hong Kong with these two. First of all, we ate A LOT. Goo incorporated so much food into their 24-hour adventure, and I was totally jealous...and hungry. I also loved that she brought us to so many different points of interest. I love when an author utilizes the setting of their book, and Goo practically made Hong Kong another character in this story. It was a wonderful backdrop for this whirlwind romance, and it just ratcheted up my desire to visit there someday.But, a BIG reason for this grin on my face was that ending! My smile grew wider and wider with each sentence, and it was perfection for me. It also had me yearning for a sequel, but you know, that's me reacting to how much I loved both Lucky and Jack, and I just want more of their story.Somewhere Only We Know was so many things. It was a love story, but it was also a story of finding oneself and their purpose, and taking the action necessary to make their wants come to fruition. This book surpassed my expectations, and obviously left me drying my happy tears.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Tiffany Chiang
    January 1, 1970
    This book is easily Maurene Goo’s best work to date. The romance flowed perfectly between Lucky and Jack, and the story had the right amount of cuteness mixed with reflective thoughts. If you’re a fan of K-Pop, yummy food, swoon-worthy characters, or even the occasional existential crisis, this is the book for you!!Somewhere Only We Know follows the perspectives of Lucky, South Korea’s most popular K-Pop idol (think Taeyeon or Sunmi) and Jack, an aspiring photographer. Just as Lucky is about to This book is easily Maurene Goo’s best work to date. The romance flowed perfectly between Lucky and Jack, and the story had the right amount of cuteness mixed with reflective thoughts. If you’re a fan of K-Pop, yummy food, swoon-worthy characters, or even the occasional existential crisis, this is the book for you!!Somewhere Only We Know follows the perspectives of Lucky, South Korea’s most popular K-Pop idol (think Taeyeon or Sunmi) and Jack, an aspiring photographer. Just as Lucky is about to make her American debut, one eventful night throws everything awry. Lucky is determined to have one last moment for herself before she becomes Mr. Ms. Worldwide™ like Pitbull, so when she unexpectedly runs into Jack while on her quest for a hamburger, they embark on an ~adventure~ to explore Hong Kong, eating the night away and exploring until their hearts’ content…all while keeping her true identity a secret. This book was such an easy read. Even though it takes place during the span of a few days, the pacing was perfect, and if you know me, you’d know I’m most picky about a book’s pacing. There wasn’t a single dull moment in the story, making it extremely easy to follow along and become invested in the plot and the lovable characters. I managed to fly through the entire book during my 4-hour flight, and every page was as indulgent as the next.I know we bash a lot on insta-love in the YA community, but I think Maurene Goo handled the romance very well without making it overly cringey or surface level. It was a bit similar to The Sun is Also a Star where the characters really got the chance to open up to one another except this time it’s over the course of a few days. Sure, there is that initial attraction that sparks the chemistry between them, but as you read on, you can really see how the two characters are able to connect on a deeper level. The playful banter between Lucky and Jack was also so so fun to read. They’re able to poke fun at one another yet still challenge each other’s perspectives to grow as individuals. Even though the romance has its fun and playful moments, it’s also a very reflective story about following your passions and living your life despite others’ expectations. The book dives into the numerous expectations and restriction placed on Lucky as a top-level K-Pop idol. (Although if you’re a veteran K-Pop fan, you probably know more about the dark side of the entertainment industry than this book explores.) On top of a tight schedule of rehearsals, performances, and interviews, she’s placed on a stringent diet and is required to maintain a pristine image. Meanwhile, Jack’s family have a set expectation for him to work in the finance industry (meanwhile, I’m a finance major) and are firm about the fact that photography is not a viable career path. Overall, Somewhere Only We Know did not disappoint as one of my most highly anticipated books this year. It was fun and playful yet also somewhat serious and introspective. The seamless incorporation of Asian culture in everyday life made me so happy, and all the references to the city and THE FOOD made me hungry for more. I loved every moment of this book, and I can’t wait to see what Maurene Goo writes next!!
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a cute story.  I loved The Way You Make Me Feel a bit more, but Somewhere Only We Know was really good.  I love how Maurene Goo always has so much food in her books!  I get hungry while reading them.This book takes place over a weekend, but most of the story is told in one full day.  Lucky is in Hong Kong, just finishing her tour.  She's a K-pop star who is always on a strict schedule.  She can't eat what she wants and can't get in any trouble or her label will drop her.  K-pop sta This was such a cute story.  I loved The Way You Make Me Feel a bit more, but Somewhere Only We Know was really good.  I love how Maurene Goo always has so much food in her books!  I get hungry while reading them.This book takes place over a weekend, but most of the story is told in one full day.  Lucky is in Hong Kong, just finishing her tour.  She's a K-pop star who is always on a strict schedule.  She can't eat what she wants and can't get in any trouble or her label will drop her.  K-pop stars must be darn near perfect.  Lucky takes Ativan for anxiety, but doesn't really tell anyone.  It's the stigma of needing to take medication.  She also takes sleep pills.  On her last night, she isn't really happy and decides she needs a hamburger.  She already took her meds, but decided to sneak out instead.Jack snuck up to the penthouse to take a scandalous photo of two stars having an affair.  While he's interning with his dad at a bank during his gap year, he's also secretly working for a tabloid.  He runs into a cute girl wearing slippers when he's leaving.  Jack asks her if she wants to come with him and she agrees.  She tells him that her name is Fern and he thinks she's really drunk.  Jack takes her home to sleep it off and realizes that he has Lucky in his apartment.  He automatically tells his boss and plans out something to do to get photos of her.  Maybe this will get him a real job for the tabloid.Jack and Fern decide to spend the day together.  She wants to escape and see everything in Hong Kong.  Jack takes her to different places throughout the day, and a lot of that involved eating.  During this time, they both start to open up about themselves.  They are both lying about some things, but it's easier telling someone you won't see again some of your secrets.  Jack doesn't really want to go to college and is afraid to tell his family that he wants to take photos.  Fern/Lucky realizes that she's lost that true passion for music somewhere along the way.  She wants to feel it again.  And to make up her mind on certain things in her life.  She's never even kissed a boy.Jack and Lucky both realize that they're having feelings for each other.  Something different than ever before.  Lucky feels safe and protected with Jack.  He listens to her and they have fun.  Jack starts to see the strength and passion in Lucky.  How she gets so excited over everything.  She's making him see everything differently, too.  "Some people have star quality.  They radiate something otherworldly.  It's not only that they're attractive, there's a magnetism and a presence.  And Lucky had it.""She was perfect, though.  Not because she was Lucky, the music video goddess, wearing heels that could kill a man.  But because she was so excited by the world around her.  Because she was making me see Hong Kong through her eyes--a city that, while cool, had felt foreign to me for the past year.  She added this warmth to every spot we visited, a wash of golden light.  Everything tasted better because of watching her eat it.  Everything looked beautiful because she walked through it."But their perfect time was doomed.  Lucky found out about the photos Jack had been taking of her.  She left and planned to never see him again.  She was heartbroken after never having these feelings for someone before.  She goes to LA and goes on with her life.  Yes, this is a story about falling in love in just one day.  But I found it more of a story that every person we encounter can mean something in our lives.  It can be a just a chance meeting or someone you've known for years.  Certain people help us open up and see who we are and who we could be.I gave this book 4 1/2 stars.  Quotes are taken from an arc and may change before final publication.  Thank you to FierceReads/Macmillan for sending me a copy for review.  
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  • Dessa Mae
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm, not sure how to feel about this. I did enjoy reading it but everything was so wrapped up nicely in the end that it's somehow too good to be true. I dunno.
  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    You had me at K-pop!!!
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