Book Review: Made in Korea by Sarah Suk – K-Beauty and K-Pop Come Head-to-Head in this Delightful Rivals-to-Lovers YA Rom-Com

Blurb:

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.

I was provided an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading Made in Korea felt like a balm to the soul. There is something so satisfying about reading a romantic contemporary that just hits all the good spots: great storytelling, a rivals-to-lovers romance that I absolutely adored and rooted for, a cast of characters that were all flawed yet earnestly human, and nestled in between a tender story about ambition, identity, and acceptance from family.

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The Pond’s 32 Most Anticipated Books of 2021 (January – June)

The Pond's 32 Most Anticipated Books of 2021 (January – June)

We can feel it in our bones: 2021 is going to be an amazing reading year.

The beginning of the year feels like such an exciting time. There are so many books to look forward to this year, so many of which we are excited to read and whether we end up liking it or not – well, the anticipation feels so good.

When we scoured through our spreadsheet, looking for books releasing in 2021 to feature in our The Pond’s Most Anticipated Books list, we were stumped. We had a hard time featuring a list-sensible number of books (my own list included over 30 books!) – there were just so many exciting books to look forward to! (In saying that, this list was incredibly difficult list to put together, and we are looking forward to many books not included in this list as well!)

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