I Believe in A Thing Called Love

I Believe in A Thing Called Love

eBook - 2017
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A disaster in romance, high school senior Desi Lee decides to tackle her flirting failures by watching Korean television dramas, where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar Straus Giroux,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374304072
0374304076
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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samcmar Aug 01, 2017

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is one of those books that I cover lusted. The colour scheme, the adorable girl on the cover, it got me really excited. Then I found out it was a book about a girl looking for love the K-Drama way and I was instantly sold. Desi is a wonderful heroine full of humour and kindness, and she wears her heart on her sleeve. She is someone I feel like readers will fall in love with.

What instantly sold me on this story was Desi's relationship with her Appa (father). There was something so tender and sweet in their relationship, and they both draw strength from one another. It makes for a wonderful relationship to watch develop as the story hits its stride. It's also so darling when the two are sharing in their love of K Drama. It filled my heart with happy joy and made me want to pick up on watching K Dramas as well. I also want to point out the handy K Drama guide that was at the end of the book was SO HELPFUL for K Drama noobs. I think the only one I had seen that had been mentioned was Full House!

I actually also loved the romance between Desi and Luka. Usually I find YA romance to be very blindsided and it often doesn't feel very organic. While Desi is using K Drama to try and woo Luka, their relationship was actually very well plotted and developed, even right down to the climax. It's one of those books where I genuinely found myself attached to the romance. I also will say I LOVED Desi's friends and I appreciate that they felt like friends instead of the typical "friends without development" that exists in YA as well. There's one bit of this book that I loved between Desi and Violet and it really solidified how important friendship truly is.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is adorable, funny, and light-hearted. It's one of those stories you'll both laugh and cry through because there is just so much going on. I hope more readers fall in love with Desi -- she's truly quite a special protagonist.

This story stars a young Korean 17 year old named Desi Lee; the definition of perfection (at least for a teenager). She gets perfect grades, has multiple club activities, and awards and is super popular at her school. However the one thing she can never seem to master is love. After several failed attempts at flirting and falling a bit too easily for a new student named Lucas in her class, she turns to her father's so loved Korean dramas for guidance. Her so thought innocent feelings soon turn into a lot of chaos, problems and questions for everyone.
For everyone who doesn't know, a majority of kdramas center around a romantic plot that usually has very predictable yet enjoyable clichés,to the point where Desi makes a list of them and firmly believes that if she carries this out she'll win her love. At first it's cute and actually works out for her. However as the story goes on, we really get to see some of Desi's very irrational and rather ignorant logic. Most of the time, she forgets about her friends. school and family to chase after this one guy. She puts her and Lucas' life on the line to satisfy her barbaric fantasies, which is ironic because she is often portrayed as an intelligent and endearing person.
Overall the story is charming to people who can enjoy these types of books, not my favorite but it was pleasing to see something different and definitely new in youth novels especially with an east asian female lead. I personally can relate to many of the things that are going on in their high school lives, and many background characters are indeed also very nice such as Desi's friends and father as well as Lucas who has his fair share of hardships. Overall I rate this book to be 7.5/10
- V.D
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Maurene Goo’s contemporary novel, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, will appeal to seasoned fans of k-dramas and newcomers alike.
Desi Lee gets things done. Her hard work and dedication has made her both the perfect daughter and student. With her perfect grades and arsenal of extracurricular activities, she’s bound for Stanford and future success. However, as her last year of high school comes to an end, her perfect life is missing something - a boyfriend. To remedy this, Desi throws herself into the world of k-dramas and comes up with a list of the necessary steps she needs to follow in order to find love. As Desi follows her “K-Drama Rules for True Love”, disasters and hilarity ensue.
I have never watched a k-drama before. However, after reading this book my interest in the genre has definitely peaked. Goo does a good job of incorporating k-dramas into this book; there are enough references to delight seasoned viewers, while also providing just enough background knowledge so that newcomers are not overwhelmed or lost. I also enjoyed the fact that the book featured a Korean-American protagonist. I am always looking for diverse YA books and it was nice to see how much of Desi’s Korean background was a part of her everyday life. I was also pleased by the inclusion of a healthy parent-daughter relationship in the book. While there were many things about this book that I did enjoy, I could not bring myself to really enjoy it as I found Desi to be quite problematic and manipulative. Furthermore, I thought that some of the dialogue sounded a bit forced and dated.
Nonetheless, I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a cute, light-hearted summer read. I would strongly recommend this book to fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series (which also features a Korean-American protagonist), as well as fans of Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited.
-J.T.

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