I'll Be the One
I'll Be the One

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Annotation: The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com ... more
Catalog Number: #219706
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 336
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-293692-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8404-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-293692-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8404-7
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
For most of her life, Skye Shin has been told that she can't and shouldn't do things because she's fat. The worst part? It's her mother who has consistently reinforced this idea. But this 16-year-old is about to prove the world wrong when she becomes a contestant in a televised K-pop competition, which she has every intention of winning. Despite a fat-shaming judge, her mother's ruthless criticism, and negative media attention, Skye's tenacity inspires others and just might win her the heart of her sexy partner. Lee's debut whips up intense Dumplin' vibes with a main character you want to reach into the pages for and honestly just hug for hours. There's a fair bit of telling instead of showing that rushes through scenes, but the story is strong, punctuated by moments of cheering triumph as Skye dismantles her emotional trauma. Skye's bisexuality and the sexual orientation of peripheral characters also strengthen the narrative. Readers looking for positive role models will gravitate to Skye's story, which will resonate with girls of every size.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 710 Skye Shin is plus-sized, bodyp-ositive, and mega-talented despite the negativity her mother continually batters her with. Skye sings and dances in her audition for a spot on "You're My Shining Star," hoping to become a breakout K-pop star. When she gets in for both talents, the real challenges begin: to win and tackle prejudice because of her size and her budding relationship with celebrity Henry Cho, who is also on the show. Skye needs to navigate vitriolic social media, her mother, and her friendships while remaining true to her talents and challenging the body norms of Korean women. This rom-com is everything it needs to be: predictable, filled with a sweet new romance, and starring a heroine to root for. The blend of contemporary cultural references and social media amplify Skye's generational conflict with her mother. The dynamic is entertaining and comfortable, but balanced with the seriousness of her ambition to succeed authentically as a bisexual Korean girl who isn't thin. In her dialogue-rich and character-driven novel, Lee finds a spot alongside Jenny Han and Stacey Lee in representing the diversity of Asian American experiences. Teens will feel seen in Skye's growing confidence as she faces multifaceted aspects of discrimination. VERDICT With the groundwork laid for a sequel and a joyful protagonist who speaks to Generation Z, this pleasantly contemporary title will fly off the shelves. Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, NY
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A plus-sized Korean American teen enters a K-pop competition in both the singing and dance categories.It was a long time coming, but at 16, Skye Shin is finally comfortable with her size-16 body. But that doesn’t mean she’s immune from the microaggressions she encounters everywhere she goes. Skye does a great job describing not just what it feels like to be on the receiving end of hurtful bias, but also how her experiences have shaped her, given her strength, and taught her to love herself. When a K-pop competition show comes to Los Angeles, nothing will stop Skye from competing, not even her own immigrant mother, whose body-shaming comments border on abusive. The judges, however, are a different story. She’s going to have to work harder than she ever has before to prove that talent can outshine prejudice. In the process, Skye’s strength and talent make her an inspiration to K-pop–loving teens everywhere—including those in real life. Lee’s YA debut slathers on all the juicy drama, high emotion, and kick-ass performances you’d expect from a K-pop talent competition but also has quieter moments where true friendships and a swoony romance develop. While most of the cast, including the hunky love interest, is Korean or Korean American, there are competitors of other races. Skye and the boy she likes are bisexual, and there are queer secondary characters.A fresh perspective on body image and K-pop? Jjang! (Fiction. 13-18)
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School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/20)
ALA Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity--perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy. Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn't dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn't call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she's about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her. She'll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she'll do it better than anyone else. When Skye nails her audition, she's immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn't count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho. But Skye has her sights on becoming the world's first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition-- without losing herself.

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