I think I'm going to settle on 2.5 stars
I finished this in one day which means I must have liked something about it. I love korean culture, kdramas, etc -- I used to live there. I was so SO pumped for this book to come out. I wanted to read something that reminded me of a place I used to live that wasn't literary fiction. This was a freaking DREAM!
I started it and could immediately tell is was going to take a similar path to the ever so popular kdramas. There are certain tropes (see Maureen Goo's I Believe in a Thing Called Love) that make up kdramas and I could see hints of them in this book. I would say I was strongly invested until about the halfway mark. From there the story really fell apart for me.
Maybe there was just too much teen angst in the latter half? I really just could not for the life of me understand why the characters were making the choices they did. I felt like Jihoon was almost a different character??? Miyoung was making questionable decisions?? Her mom's reasoning for withholding information was weak??
Idk I just didn't find the characters' decisions to be believable. Not that stupid decisions can't be believable, but for me, the reasoning behind the decisions just didn't add up/mesh with their personalities.
The plot twists, even when I did not expect them, just fell flat for me. It was like "oh?" not "OMG!!" :'(
I'm actually so upset that I didn't like this as much as I was hoping to. I want more books like this! YA books set in different countries. Different MODERN countries, not just historical/fantasy settings. We get a lot of Euro-trip books, but not much else. Please! We want MORE!!!
*hot cheetos don't exist in korea*