Posts Tagged: simon and schuster

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

25 May, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Made in Korea

on May 18th 2021
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the BookGoodreads
rankly 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.


Valerie Kwon, an Asian American High School Senoir has her final year in the bag as an student entrepreneur running  V&C K-Beauty out of her locker. She and her cousin are selling Korean beauty products and have the corner on the market, until a new boy named Wes threatens their edge. Wes wants more than anything to go to music school and he needs a new instrument while Val wants a dream vacation for her grandmother. Both require money and both students are willing to go out to get it.

Made in Korea shows the cut throat efforts these two are willing to employ while addressing familial expectation and loss of the ideal dreams. I enjoyed Wes’ personality and kindness he shows to Val in the beginnings. As a reader, it was difficult for me to keep up with all of the Korean terms and a glossary or guide may be a useful tool. Overall, I hoped Val would come to a little but more of a realization of how selfish and laser focused she was, the ending left me a bit sad. There is hope from the adult mentors in their life and the power of hard work. My favorite chracter is the older, wiser halmeoni (grandmother). She is a gem! It’s good to see healthy family influencesin YA.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Perfect fo AAPI Heritage month, diverse characters.

Content: “F” word, lying to parent, stealing, counterfeit product.

About the Author

Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. You can visit her online at and on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

19 Mar, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Better Than the Movies

on March 18, 2021
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.


I smiled throughout this entire book. It was perfect. Such a welcome, fuzzy, charming YA. There were laugh out loud and swoon worthy moments. Childhood friends/ enemies, Liz and Wes are vying for the perfect parking spot. They are constantly at each other with snarky, witty back and forth. Their friend group has known each other all their lives,and when Michael moves back to town, Liz Buxbaum is sure he is destined to be sure to her romantic hero. With a “Can’t Buy Me Love” vibe scheme going between Liz and Wes, they are determined she will get the prom date of her dreams.

Wes. Favorite YA character ever. In tune, keen sense of humor, honest. I was wary at first at all the changes he wants Liz to make to win her man, but he redeems himself over and over again. With deeper issues like grief over the loss of mother, step-parent relationships and lying, the author does a great job of keeping everything low key and seamlessly woven into an awesome story. Highly recommend this one! Prepare to laugh out loud! I am adding Lynn Painter to my “go to” author list. Amazing debut. Thank you Simon and Schuster.

Content and trigger warnings: cigar smoking by minors, drinking, loss of a parent, sneaking out , kissing, mild swearing.

About the Author

Lynn Painter lives with her husband and pack of wild children in Nebraska, where she is a weekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald and an avid fan of napping. When working on a new book, she can often be found sound asleep on her office floor. Some might say she should grow up and stop randomly dozing off like she’s a toddler, but Lynn considers it part of her writing “process.”

Yeah – because that totally makes it legit.