- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 30, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374304041
- ISBN-13: 978-0374304041
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Believe in a Thing Called Love Hardcover – May 30, 2017
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“Desi's implementation of measures such as ‘Be Caught in an Obviously Lopsided Love Triangle’ yields hilarious, at times unintended results, lending this teen rom-com a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion . . . [Goo's] funny, engaging narrative also delivers powerful messages of inclusion and acceptance.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“The art-centric romance that develops between Desi and Luca is rewarding to follow, as are their parental relationships, particularly that between Desi and her widowed Appa. Goo simultaneously honors and deconstructs romantic tropes, both in general and specific to K dramas, and does so using a wonderfully diverse cast.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“In the tradition of best-laid plans, Desi’s goes painfully awry in ways that elevate the story above the level of fluffy, cross-cultural rom-com. Friends and family are well crafted to inspire discussions about the comfort and complications they afford . . . Readers who crave believability with their fun and wit will be satisfied with the way the plan works out.” ―VOYA
About the Author
Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She is the author of Since You Asked... and has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants. You can find her in Los Angeles with herhusband and two cats--one weird, one even more weird. maurenegoo.com
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Top customer reviews
I LOVED so many of the characters in this book. Desi, her friends, her dad, and her love interest were all lovable, vibrant, and quirky in their own ways. I thought the author did a great job at making each character feel real and relatable.
The relationship Desi had with her dad warmed my heart. They had such a warm and loving relationship, it was truly precious. I was glad that the author included such a positive father-daughter relationship. I also loved the way the author wrote the bond between Desi and her two best friends. Instead of just being told that they were best friends, the author expertly showed us how deep their bond was and I could feel it in my heart.
Desi was an adorable, strong, kind, funny, and relatable main character. I really admired her dedication to everything she got involved in. She never did anything without putting 100% effort into, and I appreciated that. I even related to her on that level, because I was the SAME EXACT WAY in high school. I was always an overachiever, so I definitely felt a special kinship with her. I thought the author did a great job at making Desi's personality shine throughout this novel. Even though I wanted to shake some sense into her at times, I really loved Desi's character.
Even though Desi's K-drama inspired plan was extremely ridiculous, it was so much fun to read about. The plan Desi made to get a boyfriend added such a hilarious, fun, and charming element to this story. I have recently become a lover of K-dramas, so I loved the list she came up with because it was so accurate to K-drama romance! However, I will admit that some of the situations Desi came up with were a bit drastic and even dangerous. I felt myself cringing at some of Desi's decisions and I was yelling "no, don't do that!" out loud. Some of the situations Desi put herself in were actually scary, but I guess that fits the bill of drama!
The romance in this book was so stinking cute. I enjoyed the pacing of the relationship and I felt like it developed at a believable pace. I shipped Desi and Luca SO HARD. Their romance made me smile and swoon so many times. Their romance was as sweet as cotton candy and I never got sick of it.
Overall, I thought this was a charming and hilarious novel. I would recommend this book to everyone and anyone!
Goodbye as I go and binge watch every K-drama ever!
4.5 / 5 Fangs
This was the kind of diverse, cute, over the top, screwball romantic comedy that is so lacking in romance these days. Not every YA book has to be some kind of drama llama ding dong. Sometimes love is downright hilarious and makes people do crazy things they'd normally never do. If we're talking about teenagers, love and hormones can make for serious comedy.
Now, I'm not all that familiar with the K-Drama genre (much more familiar with K-beauty brands being a total lipstick junkie and all), a state of affairs I'm definitely going rectify because of this book. However, the old saying about the best laid plans of mice and high school girls...
Overachieving heroine Desi Lee has a plan for everything and she's good at everything. She's already class valedictorian, a member of just about every school club and student council, and a star of the school soccer team. She's Stanford University bound. She's a girl on a serious mission to be a doctor like her mother.
The only thing she doesn't have is a boyfriend.
Seems Desi and boys are truly like oil and water. Even talking to a member of the opposite sex results in what her two best friends call 'flailure':
"Flailure. The clever word Wes had come up with for when I failed at flirting. Get it? Flirt + failure = flailure."
So what happens when a gorgeous new student named Luca ends up in her AP class? She's not only smitten, but "OMG I've got to have him" smitten.
What to do?
Well, Desi being the girl with the plan, she decides to utilize the tropes from her father's beloved K-Dramas. She concocts an entire list of how she's going to make the sexy boho artist Luca her boyfriend before she leaves high school. And because she's mapped out her strategy, courtesy of the erstwhile heroines and heroes of K-Dramas (which she has studied like the SAT's) what could possibly go wrong???
2) Finding out that it's okay to not be together or good at everything all the time.
There was so much to love about this novel. Big kudos for how diverse the characters were. Unlike some authors who think inclusion is like pulling teeth without novocaine (and end up doing more harm due to lazy stereotyping), this was diversity written like what real life looks like. Wow, teens from varying backgrounds are friends, who knew? Desi is Korean-American, her two best friends Wes and Fiona are Black and Latin respectively, and in Fiona's case, a lesbian. I also loved how Desi and her father were wonderfully close (her mother having passed away when Desi was seven). It was also refreshing that Desi's father was an auto mechanic rather than the stereotyped doctor or scientist. I loved how sweet and down to earth he was, a nice balance to his daughter's Type-A personality.
Luca was sweet and while typical of the "misunderstood artistic type with messed up parents" his being in Desi's well-organized life served a larger purpose. He actually saw her for the imperfect girl she was, and liked her anyway. And I liked that too - that Desi wasn't the standard "gorgeous CW-teen" girl, but a relatable teen with zits and not model thin. Even Luca had zits, along with the beanie.
After this all kinds of awesome novel, I'm really not looking forward to going back to the crushing mediocrity that is The Black Witch.