26 juil. 2017

Review | I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Release Date : May 30th 2017

Genres : YA, Contemporary

Pages : 336 

Rating :★★★★☆

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.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a cute and endearing tale about conquering love. Desi Lee is an overachiever. She is involved in countless high school activites, she's determined and organizes every aspect of her life. However, when it comes to dating she is constantly failing because of surrealistic – and hilarious - reasons. When she meets Luca, she decides to make a plan, inspired by Korean dramas, to make him fall in love with her.

« You just needed a plan to take action […] I believed and still believe, that you can build your dreams brick by brick. That you can accomplish anything with persistence.
Even falling in love »

First of all, I'd like to emphasize the fact that you don't need to be a K drama fan to enjoy this book. Of course, knowing the references adds to the reading experience but they're all explained vividly so you won't feel lost or frustrated.
Maurene Goo manages to describe not only the drama scenes she refers to but also the emotions felt while watching them. As a huge fan, I recognized myself in her descriptions.

« K dramas bottled up swoony true love in addictive ten-to-twenty-hour packages. My reactions to chaste first kisses were akin to heart attacks. I bawled with abandon when couples had to break up, when one of them was suffering. I sighed happily with glazed eyes when my characters finally got their happy endings »

This book hooked me from the first chapter. It is so entertaining. Desi's romantic failures made me uncontrollably giggle and I had to stop reading many times to recover. She's a logical thinker while Luca is much more spontaneous. They're opposites in many ways but they're both passionate by what they do.
Some reviewers condemned how manipulative Desi is. It's true, it's the premise of this book after all : She is making a boy fall in love with her through staged situations. Her deceptions didn't made me like her any less because I expected them. I was amazed by how far she was willing to go. Can you imagine doing so much planning to date a guy ?

Desi's relationship with her father is my favorite aspect of the book. He is absolutely adorable. He's kind and supportive and as a k drama fan I related to his reactions (yes, I react like a 40 ish year old man). He's kind and supportive without losing his authority over her. He's not my fictional dad for nothing after all.

Then we have Desi's hilarious best friends who are always on the first row to witness and comment the weird situations she unintentionnally gets into. For diversity lovers, you'll be pleased to know that this book screams diversity : The MC and her best friend are PoCs and the other best friend is a lesbian.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is an enjoyable read that gives you some insights of the korean culture and of course, dramas.

2 commentaires:

  1. This sounds great and I love how she uses K-dramas as a map for navigating her love life. How fun. :)

  2. It is ! It's one of the funniest book I've read this year