Book Review (ARC) + Launch Party: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

One of my bucket list items of 2019 (and in life) is to attend an author signing, and I’m so so glad that I’m finally able to cross this item off my list because I attended Maurene Goo’s launch party for Somewhere Only We Know in Los Angeles!! 🥳 I ended up catching a 4AM flight, so I was completely tired throughout the whole day. But! when I was finally at the event, all the adrenaline and excitement woke me up and kept me so happy. This book is easily Maurene Goo’s best work to date. 💞 The romance flowed perfectly between Lucky and Jack, and the story had the right amount of cuteness mixed with reflective thoughts. If you’re a fan of K-Pop, yummy food, swoon-worthy characters, or even the occasional existential crisis, this is the book for you!!

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SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW  by Maurene Goo

PUBLISHED BY Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Fierce Reads, MacMillan

GENRES: Contemporary

PAGES: 320

ADD TO GOODREADS    //    BOOK DEPOSITORY

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10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

Trigger/Content Warnings: anxiety, extreme dieting

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Book Review

Somewhere Only We Know follows the perspectives of Lucky, South Korea’s most popular K-Pop idol (think Taeyeon or Sunmi) and Jack, an aspiring photographer. 🌟 Just as Lucky is about to make her American debut, one eventful night throws everything awry. Lucky is determined to have one last moment for herself before she becomes Mr. Ms. Worldwide™ like Pitbull, so when she unexpectedly runs into Jack while on her quest for a hamburger, they embark on an adventure to explore Hong Kong together, eating the night away and exploring until their hearts’ content…all while keeping her true identity a secret.

This book was such an easy read. 📖 Even though it takes place during the span of a few days, the pacing was perfect, and if you know me, you’d know I’m most picky about a book’s pacing. There wasn’t a single dull moment in the story, making it extremely easy to follow along and become invested in the plot and the lovable characters. I managed to fly through the entire book during my 4-hour flight, and every page was as indulgent as the next.

I know we bash a lot on insta-love in the YA community, but I think Maurene Goo handled the romance very well without making it overly cringey or surface level. 😍 It was a bit similar to The Sun is Also a Star where the characters really got the chance to open up to one another except this time it’s over the course of a few days. Sure, there is that initial attraction that sparks the chemistry between them, but as you read on, you can really see how the two characters are able to connect on a deeper level. The playful banter between Lucky and Jack was also so so fun to read. They’re able to poke fun at one another yet still challenge each other’s perspectives to grow as individuals.

Even though the romance has its fun and playful moments, it’s also a very reflective story about following your passions and living your life despite others’ expectations. The book dives into the numerous expectations and restriction placed on Lucky as a top-level K-Pop idol. (Although if you’re a veteran K-Pop fan, you probably know more about the dark side of the entertainment industry than this book explores.) On top of a tight schedule of rehearsals, performances, and interviews, she’s placed on a stringent diet and is required to maintain a pristine image. ✨ Meanwhile, Jack’s family have a set expectation for him to work in the finance industry (meanwhile, I’m a finance major) and are firm about the fact that photography is not a viable career path.

Overall, Somewhere Only We Know did not disappoint as one of my most highly anticipated books this year. 🥰 It was fun and playful yet also somewhat serious and introspective. The seamless incorporation of Asian culture in everyday life made me so happy, and all the references to the city and THE FOOD made me hungry for more. I loved every moment of this book, and I can’t wait to see what Maurene Goo writes next!!

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Launch Party & Photoshoot 🎉

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably seen these photos a bajillion times already, but I just can’t help but show them off. This is the first time I’ve ever attended an author signing or had a book personalized so this day and this book are forever going to hold a special place in my heart. 💘 Also, most of these photos were taken by the one and only Alexandra from Twirling Pages!

Have you read Somewhere Only We Know? What were your thoughts? 💕

24 thoughts on “Book Review (ARC) + Launch Party: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

  1. I can relate well with the ‘living your life despite others’ expectation’.. I read The Way You Make Me Feel and I liked it. I think this one sounds like a great read as well. Btw, I love your photos Tiff!! They’re amazing!😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOO Okay that’s good to hear because I actually think this book is better than THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL! The writing has improved so much 🙂

      and AWW ❤ thank you so so much!! I had so much fun, and I'm really really glad that you like them~

      Like

  2. I really need to add this book to my TBR, it sounds AMAZING and your review just makes me so, so impatient to read it ❤ I'm so happy you got to go to the launch (waking up sooooooooo early, I admire you so much haha) and your pictures are adorable ahhh ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWW I really really hope you read it sometime, Marie!! I have high hopes that you’ll like it. It’s right up our contemporary loving alley! ❤ and haha it was definitely wayyyy earlier than I would ever wake up, but whenever there are book events in LA, I'm always out of town and at school!! I decided it'd be worth to take an earlier flight since I was done with exams and school at that point! It makes me so happy that you like the pictures too 🙂 I always feel a little awkward taking done in public, but they were so much fun~

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get that, if I had that opportunity I would have gotten up too, even if it’s sooooo early haha 😀
        and no reason at all, your pictures and you are always, always fabulous ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw.. yay I’m glad you got to go to an author signing. I have always wanted to go to one myself as well!! And the quote Maurene wrote is so nice!! Also the photos are lovely– the book arch is amazing!!
    I have seen this book around but I didn’t know too much about it and I haven’t read a lot of contemporary but you have made me want to pick this one up!! I love playful banter and I am intrigued about the characters now!! 😊 Lovely review!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you!! I’ve never been to an author signing before this one so it was such a great experience. The quote matches the book so nicely too 🙂

      I would definitely recommend picking it up!! It’s so funny because I wasn’t the biggest fan of contemporaries a few years ago, but now, it’s one of my FAVORITE genres ❤ I'm so glad you like my review!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i loved this! i havent read the book but i love kpop and i’ll probably read it this summer! you look like you really enjoyed your time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa I love all of these photos and I’m so happy that you liked this one !!!!!! this is one of my most anticipated releases KDHSKDHSK and I love Maureen Goo so much!! I’m so happy that there’s authentic Asian culture woven into it and it’s in Hong Kong?? Hell yeaaah

    Liked by 1 person

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