REVIEW: Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


made in korea cover

Book: Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Release Date: May 18, 2021

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices Korean-American protagonists and side characters, biracial (Korean, white) side character

Summary: Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.

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REVIEW: Shipped by Angie Hockman

**I received an eARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


shipped cover

Book: Shipped by Angie Hockman

Release Date: January 19, 2021

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: Korean-American side character, lesbian side characters, gay side character

CW: loss of a parent (mother), mentions of emotional abuse, emeto (seasickness)

Summary: The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.

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MINI-REVIEW: Sweet on You by Carla de Guzman

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


sweet on you cover

Book: Sweet on You by Carla de Guzman

Release Date: October 19, 2020

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Rep: ownvoices Filipino protagonists, characters, and setting

Summary: All’s fair in love and prank wars

For barista and café owner Sari Tomas, Christmas means parols, family and no-holds-barred karaoke contests. This year, though, a new neighbor is throwing a wrench in all her best-laid plans. The baker next door—“some fancy boy from Manila”—might have cute buns, but when he tries to poach her customers with cheap coffee and cheaper tactics, the competition is officially on.

And Baker Boy better be ready, because Sari never loses.

Foodie extraordinaire Gabriel Capras wants to prove to his dad that his career choice doesn’t make him any less a man. The Laneways might not be Manila, but the close-knit community is the perfect spot to grow his bakery into a thriving business. He wasn’t expecting a gorgeous adversary in the barista next door, but flirting with her makes his heart race, and it’s not just the caffeine.

It’s winner takes all this Christmas. And more than one competitor might just lose their heart for the holidays.

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LIST: hate to love

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I’m a huge fan of the hate-to-love trope because I feel like it adds a tension to the book that is unparalleled. Also, amicable bickering can be so fun. Anyways, I know that a lot of other people love this trope as well, so here’s a list of books that have the hate-to-love trope!

The enemies-to-lovers trope is often thrown around like it’s synonymous with rivals-to-lovers or just hate-to-love, but they’re really different dynamics so I wanted to differentiate between them. Thus, this list is split into four different categories:

dislike-to-love
hate-to-love
rivals-to-lovers
enemies-to-lovers

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REVIEW: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


today tonight tomorrow cover

Book: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Release Date: July 28, 2020

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Rep: Jewish-Mexican-American protagonist, ownvoices Jewish-American main character/love interest, bisexual side character, lesbian Cambodian-American side character

Summary: The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

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REVIEW: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

**I received an eARC from the publisher (thank you, Page Street Kids!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


the henna wars cover

Book: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Release Date: May 12, 2020

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: ownvoices lesbian Bengali-Irish protagonist, bisexual biracial (Afro-Brazilian, white) love interest, Bengali-Irish side character, Korean-Irish side character

CW: forced outing, homophobia, racism, cultural appropriation

Summary: When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

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TOUR / REVIEW: Headliners by Lucy Parker

**I received an ARC for this blog tour. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**


headliners cover

Book: Headliners (London Celebrities #5) by Lucy Parker

Release Date: January 20, 2020

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: British Guyanese protagonist

Summary: Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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