Review: Shine by Jessica Jung

Title: Shine
Author: Jessica Jung
Series: Shine #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2 stars

A Korean American teen is thrust into the competitive, technicolor world of K-pop, from Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of Girls Generation.

What would you give for a chance to live your dreams?

For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels, known for churning out some of the world’s most popular stars. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right?

Not so much. As the dark scandals of an industry bent on controlling and commodifying beautiful girls begin to bubble up, Rachel wonders if she’s strong enough to be a winner, or if she’ll end up crushed… Especially when she begins to develop feelings for K-pop star and DB golden boy Jason Lee. It’s not just that he’s charming, sexy, and ridiculously talented. He’s also the first person who really understands how badly she wants her star to rise.

Review:

The moment I saw a kpop novel was coming out written by someone who was a member of one of the biggest girl groups of all time I knew my kpop loving ass needed to get my hands on this book immediately. It sounded like everything I would love.

Unfortunately, I didn’t love this at all. The writing was perfectly good. I have no complaints about that. I don’t know if Jessica used a ghost writer, but if she didn’t damn this girl is truly multi-talented.

I didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the characters. Everything felt so one dimensional to me. I went into this hoping for a 4/4.5 star book, but I feel like even 2 might be generous. The romance didn’t do much for me either. I thought Jason was quite boring and kind of an ass, but in an irredeemable way. And the mean girls seemed like the kind you’d find in a teen novel/film circa 2010. It completely fell flat for me. I hate that because I really did want to love this book.

The most disappointing part was the ending. Throughout the entire story Rachel is trying to fight against the mean girls and to rise above all the pettiness while doing it in order to debut with the new girl group, but in the end she just seemed to become one of them. There was not a single ounce of character development. I know there’s at least a second novel coming out so maybe Rachel and the other girls can find a heart then. Not only that, but all the events at the ending almost seemed like they negated the rest of the story. Like nothing that happened mattered. It was just messy and I didn’t like it.

About Jessica Jung:

Jessica Jung, known mononymously as Jessica, is an American singer, actress, and fashion designer known for her work as a former member of South Korean girl group Girls’ Generation.

Sundays in Bed With… Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Sundays In Bed WIth...

Welcome to the Sundays In Bed With… Meme! The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This weekend I’m reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. My friend and I were talking about how the Netflix show is coming out this month and we’ve decided to buddy read it together. I’m not sure how I feel about this book to be honest. I think I would have liked it more if I had read it back when it came out. But I still have plenty left to read so who knows, I might end up loving it.

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1

Publisher: Square Fish

Release Date: June 15, 2012

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.

A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker – Cover Reveal

Title: A Fate of Wrath & Flame
Author
: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: May 25, 2021

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Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom.

Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess–an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince.

Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.

Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.

About K.A. Tucker:

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women. 

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

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Sundays in Bed With… The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Sundays In Bed WIth...

Welcome to the Sundays In Bed With… Meme! The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This weekend I’m reading The Governess Game by Tessa Dare. I absolutely loved the first book in the series and I’m so excited to read Alexandra’s story. I’m only about 40 pages in, but so far so good. I have no doubt I’ll enjoy this one as much as The Duchess Deal.

Title: The Governess Game

Author: Tessa Dare

Series: Girl Meets Duke #2

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: August 28, 2018

The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Sundays In Bed With… The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Sundays In Bed WIth...

Welcome to the Sundays In Bed With… Meme! The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This weekend I’m reading The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. I’ve been hearing amazing things about the books for years so I finally decided to pick it up and it was the best decision of my life. It is so GOOD. It’s pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a historical romance. And it just proves that marriage of convenience will always be the superior trope. I have about 120 pages left and the plan is to finish it all today. I can’t wait!

Title: The Duchess Deal

Author: Tessa Dare

Series: Girl Meets Duke #1

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: August 22, 2017

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:

– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…