Release Date: 13 Jul 2021
Jenny’s never had much time for boys, K-pop, or really anything besides her dream of being a professional cellist. But when she finds herself falling for a K-pop idol, she has to decide whether their love is worth the risk. A modern forbidden romance wrapped in the glamorous and exclusive world of K-pop, XOXO is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Maurene Goo.
Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically trained cellist without choosing practice over fun. That is, until the night she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, handsome, and just a little bit tormented, Jaewoo is exactly the kind of distraction Jenny would normally avoid. And yet, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable evening wandering Los Angeles with him on the night before his flight home to South Korea.
With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what could have been. But when Jenny and her mother move to Seoul to take care of her ailing grandmother, who does she meet at the elite arts academy she’s just been accepted to? Jaewoo.
Finding the dreamy stranger who swept you off your feet in your homeroom is one thing, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Turns out, Jaewoo is a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world. And like most K-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from dating anyone.
When a relationship means not only jeopardizing her place at her dream music school but also endangering everything Jaewoo’s worked for, Jenny has to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love. XOXO is a new romance that proves chasing your dreams doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your heart, from acclaimed author Axie Oh.
To me, it showed that what truly matters is universal. It crosses cultural boundaries. These are: Family. Friends. Hope. Love. Themes that I love in books.
The story is fast past, and does give you enough to feel complete. But it also makes you want to read about the other characters.
I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)
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Now I’m going to bring up other books. (After all, this is a book blog. You might want to check these out too! ) This book reminded me of some other books I’ve read. For one, for a girl who is into classical music who runs into a successful pop star, there is Buxton Peaks by Julie Spencer. In XOXO, Jenny Go is an aspiring cellist. The pop star is Jaewoo. Just like in Buxton Peaks, Jenny has no knowledge of who the celebrity is. Yet, during the course of meeting him, and falling in love with him, she’ll come to know and love his music. This is probably a common theme in celebrity romance novels.
As for Kpop/Kdrama books, I thought of Jennie Bennett’s charming romances. In XOXO, Jae Woo runs away for a moment and meets our female leading lady In Runaway Pop Star, we have the same thing happening. And I enjoyed how this book made me think of other good books I have read.
For traveling to Korea, and a short whirlwind romance, I also thought of Flower Boy Tour Guide by Shannon Kent.
Again, these are delightful books. If you like Axie Oh, you’ll enjoy these too.
Remember, LOVE is UNIVERSAL! It transcends cultures. It is a powerful uniting force.