ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was really excited to receive an e-arc to read and review. A kpop book written by an actual kpop idol, now I am not familiar with Girls Generation but that did not lessen my excitement. I am sad to say I was very disappointed in this book.
Shine follows the story of Rachel Kim, she is a trainee at DB one of Korea’s top kpop companies. Rachel is from New York, so a lot of the other girls often call her “Princess Rachel” as her mother laid down some ground rules such as she lives at home and not at the trainee house. Rachel is incredibly talented and is working hard to be able to debut, then she meets Jason Lee, DB hottest male idol. Rachel must choose between her career in kpop or to follow her heart.
As a huge fan of kpop I understand just how hard the industry can be especially for female idols. The strict rules about appearance, what they eat, who they can date or be friends with. The sexism in the industry was also talked about a lot through the book. How there are double standards for female and male idols. The things the boys can do in there everyday life is praised yet if s girl were to do it they are punished.
I thought a book about a girl group would be about friendship but what I got was a lot of snarky dialogue, mean pranks and bullying.
All the characters felt as if they had the same voice, none of them really stood out. Rachel being the MV did not have me rooting for her as she came across as any girl with talent. And Mina was just the Korean version of mean girls, even then get insults were repetitive. Other than Rachel’s father the adults in this book were all creeps and sexiest. The interactions with the executives had me angry and frustrated.
The plot moves along quickly and the writing was well done. The romance was sweet, that was my favourite part of the book. Honestly the only reason I’m giving it a three instead of a two.
I wish Rachel would have had more character development, maybe then I would have felt an emotional connection to the story. Overall, it was an easy and quick read and don’t take my review as a reason not to read it. These were just my thoughts and feelings.