Friends with ARCs | XOXO

XOXO by Axie Oh
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 4.5 stars | If you're in the mood for a feel-good contemporary YA, regardless of whether or not you love K-pop (bonus points if you do!), then look no further because XOXO is a book you need to add to your summer reading list. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I was perpetually smiling or "aww-ing" over this story. What surprised me, in a good way, was that it was about so much more than just a K-pop star and a regular girl falling in love (although I certainly loved that part too!) 

Jenny is a cello prodigy who wants nothing more than to get into a prestigious music conservatory but recently gets some constructive criticism: she lacks emotion. So when she meets Jaewoo in her uncle's Los Angeles karaoke bar, she throws caution to the wind and has an spontaneous, fun night of adventure with him. He disappears but Jenny runs into him three months later when she and her mom move to South Korea temporarily to take care of her grandmother. It turns out that Jaewoo is not only a student at the same elite arts academy as she is but he's also a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world and he's not allowed to date. 

It's so interesting to read about K-pop culture and what these stars go through to make it. Even though I can't imagine putting myself through that, I admired their determination and the sacrifices all the different characters made at such a young age. Having Jenny join the mix by meeting Jaewoo, his bandmates, and her own aspiring idol roommate, was refreshing because she truly treated them like normal people and strived to become their friend. In fact, the bond between Jenny and her roommate was one of my favorite parts of the story aside from the romance! But of course the relationship brewing between Jenny and Jaewoo was my main reason for loving the book. It felt organic and incredibly sweet. Then there's even a familial element as tension with her mom is explored and history with her grandmother. Seriously, this book has it all and juggled all the themes extremely well. 

What was your first experience living with a roommate at school |
My freshmen year at college was my first time living with a roommate. We were so different and while we got along for the most part, we weren't friends, didn't hang out outside of our room, and lost touch as soon as that first year ended. But she is the person I credit for getting me to read Harry Potter. She was obsessed while I was skeptical of the hype since the first movie was just about to come out. She surprised me with a copy of The Sorcerer's Stone for Christmas and that's how I got into the franchise. 

pub 7/13/21 by HarperTeen
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received e-ARC from pub for review

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


with love,