BOOK REVIEW: My Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: My Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van DykenMy Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van Dyken
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Synopsis:

It’s not all K-dramas and happily ever afters.

Intern with Korea’s number one record label? Yes, please.
Find out there’s a huge scandal I need to help “manage”… not so much.
Add in the fact that I don’t recognize the “superstars” of the label and think they’re interns…
And my dream job quickly becomes more of a nightmare.

But I’m in Seoul, the one place that is beginning to feel more and more like home...
Except it isn’t home, and the drama surrounding the biggest K-pop group in the world, SWT, is consuming my every moment.
Spoiler alert. They hate me.
Everything I do is wrong: wrong clothes, wrong honorifics, wrong manners.
Till the leader of SWT takes pity on me.
But pity is dangerous when it comes from someone as beautiful as him.

Every SWT member is gorgeous, perfect, and cultivated to be an idol… lethal to a girl’s heart.
And sanity.
But fame plus a perfect face and voice don’t equal an easy life. As their comeback nears, the stakes rise higher.
Suicide watch…
Angry fans…
Threats…

All I want to do is survive.
But the price for survival might mean losing my heart.
And like a character in a K-drama, I’m not sure if there will be an actual happily ever after…
Or simply a lesson learned.

Review:

I went to Seoul searching for my heart— and found my destiny instead.

 My Summer in Seoul was brimming with emotion and swept me away.  I had absolutely no clue what I was getting into, since I don’t know anything about K-pop.  But that didn’t even matter.  At the heart of this story was friendship, love, trials and trust.  And each aspect was so emotional and powerful.  So if you’re a fan of enemies to lovers or romance stories with someone famous, then you definitely need this book in your life!

It was always the pretty ones that were the most complicated.
And mean.

Rachel Van Dyken always has the amazing talent of putting me directly into someone else’s shoes and feeling every single thing they do.  So of course I loved Grace!  She wanted to get into the music industry and her Uncle offered her a job to intern at his number one record label.  In Korea.  Grace jumped at the chance, but it definitely wasn’t what she thought it would be.  Yes it involved coffee runs and other similar tasks.  But she had to help oversee the largest K-pop group in the world.  And she started her first moment with them, thinking they were interns.  Whoops.

Well, if he wanted war.
He’d get it.
Because I wasn’t quitting.
I wasn’t leaving.
And I would stay even if it killed me.

Lucas, Rae, Sookie, Jay and Kai were a formable team in SWT.  But they hated Grace.  She was loud, bubbly, wouldn’t stop talking, and had no clue what she was doing.  Especially when it came to customs.  Thankfully Rae, the leader, took pity on her.  But it still wasn’t easy, especially with Lucas hating her the most.  And while Grace tried her hardest again and again, it still was never enough.

I didn’t look over my shoulder, even though I wanted to.
And I didn’t check on her again.
It wasn’t my place.
And she wasn’t mine to begin with.
Plus, she was the last girl in the world I would go for.
Dead. Last.

Grace was motivated, persevered when others wouldn’t and had the hugest heart ever.  And while she started figuring out how to handle the guys in SWT, Lucas still gave her all the hatred.  It didn’t matter what she would do or how kind she was to him.  He still hated her with a passion.  And as someone who loves enemies to lovers, Grace and Lucas’ story was fabulous!  It was a roller-coaster of emotions with the most fabulous angst!  And while my heart broke for Grace countless times, it also started to break for Lucas too.  Once we started to have chapters in his head too.

It was wrong, sneaking around, making her lie to everyone, bringing her down with me, but I couldn’t stop it any more than I could stop breathing.

Lucas was struggling.  The music industry of K-pop was beyond intense and brutal.  Fans controlled how high they climbed and how low they crashed with a scandal.  So as we started to learn more about Lucas, he earned my empathy.  Even if he could be a total asshole lol.  That’s because I loved how Lucas felt deeply.  I loved how passionate he was about music.  And I even loved how he messed with Grace at times.  But most of all, I loved when Lucas did something that allowed Grace to see more of him.  Lucas was drowning at times, and I kept hoping Grace could help him.  Somehow.

I still tasted her mouth; I still felt her skin on mine.
I still wanted her so much it hurt.

The way Grace and Lucas developed eeps, I loved it!  They made my heart pound faster!  And I’m not saying any more about them besides read this book!  On top of Grace and Lucas was an industry that was all consuming.  Intense isn’t even a strong enough word for it.  And we also got to know Rae, Sookie, Jay and Kai.  Oh you guys.  They slowly found a way into my heart and I didn’t ever want to say goodbye to them.  I’d be sooo happy if each of them got their own story!  Please ♥.

She had saved me. It was my turn. To save her.

My Summer in Seoul was an enemy to lovers tale that romances lovers will passionately fall in love with!  This story played out like I was watching a tv show unfold on Netflix, it was impossible to put down!  And while there was a lot of drama and emotion throughout this story, I laughed a ton too.  The bears?!  Oh I can’t even!  So yes, I loved this book and can’t recommend it enough!

Son of a bitch! I was killing them all! ALL OF THEM!

PS What I gasped over?  I was just as mad, right along with Grace!  Even though I guessed it.  Still.  Poor Grace ♥.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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8 Comments

  1. Sophie

    Is it YA or adult romance Jen? Because if it’s adult the cover is totally misleading 😉
    Sophie recently posted…Blogmas 2021 : book with the most diverse cast #blogmas2021My Profile

    • Jen

      It’s actually New Adult, but if it was a movie I would rate it PG-13. 🙂

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I was sitting here thinking, “I know absolutely nothing about K-Pop” but then you mentioned the same thing so I guess that’s not a deal breaker. LOL I love how you say that it played out like watching a TV show. I love when that happens!
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBRMy Profile

    • Jen

      Definitely not a deal breaker lol! I was clueless, like beyond clueless and it didn’t even matter. Someone bought the rights for this book and it looks like it’s being adapted to a TV show. I’m so excited to see where this goes!

  3. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I am not a K-Pop fan, but I’m not a hater either. However I’ve loved the few YA books I’ve read over the past year that had K-Pop aspects to them and this one is high on my radar! I didn’t realize it came out this year, for some reason I thought it would be 2022. Now I have to get my hands on it! Great review!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…E-galley Review: Washed Up (Bayside Heroes) by Kandi SteinerMy Profile

    • Jen

      I’m so happy this ended up coming out sooner then you thought! I can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts on it!

  4. Sam@wlabb

    I also know nothing of k-pop, but I have read quite a few books lately set in that world. I was eyeing this one, so seeing such a great review from you has me eager to check it out
    Sam@wlabb recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBRMy Profile

    • Jen

      I hope you enjoy it Sam! I can’t wait to read your review about My Summer in Seoul!

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