Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Publication: May 30th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.
I received an ARC of this book from Macmillan Publishers in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
“You can do this. You are NOT flailure girl tonight. You are a K drama heroine destined for love.”
I Believe In A Thing Called Love is one of my anticipated reads of the year, and it is, for one main reason: Kdrama. I haven’t read a single YA book that was inspired by korean drama so when I’ve learned about IBIATCL, I just jumped at the opportunity to read it (with high hopes of swoon and feels).
While I was expecting a whole lot of cute romance and mushy moments, which it actually has, there was a bit of let down with the execution and the flow of the story. And I find the problem in Desi’s list.
Desi, our “Kdrama heroine”, is prone to having flailure (flirt+flailure) moments with her long list of crushes. Cue the perfect specimen of a guy, Luca, who makes every girls pants drop, or in that case, Desi’s (another flailure moment). Flailures after flailures, Desi finally decides to put an end to this and win Luca’s affection, and the only way to success is by following “The K Drama Steps To True Love”, a list Desi made which is inspired by all the K Dramas she binge watched that all seem to have the same ending, the boy falls for the girl.
Like K dramas, the plot was loaded with cliche tropes and I guess it was difficult to avoid because that’s just how the story goes, for Desi to follow every step on her list. But for me, it became a bit boring since things seem to go in order and there’s really nothing much to expect. Don’t even get me started with how Desi went a bit too far a couple of times just to literally check off the things she must do on her list.
A bit creepy and insane if you ask me.
But on the upside, I did get the feels I was looking for, if only Desi didn’t show much obsession with fulfilling her list, I would have reached a greater level of #FEELS.
With the writing style, I love how easy this was to read. The way the story was told in Desi’s narration I can say is perfect. There were times I found my self in her shoes which a younger me could relate to.
Overall, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, is indeed a cute contemporary read. A must read for K Drama lovers (it’s loaded with references!)
It reminds you of that moment you first experience love – Like I said, a younger me could relate to Desi in some aspects and this is one of them. That time when I was lovestruck and it seems like hearts are flying everywhere!
“Everything reminds me of him: ramen, pencils, T-shirts, ice, my house, the Buick, my bed, trains, morning glories, the ocean, breathing.”
Father-daughter relationship – One of the adorable things in this book is Desi’s relationship with her father. They have this close-knit relationship that I rarely see in some YA books and it’s really refreshing to have a character like her dad.
Book description and cover image from Goodreads