I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

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 huma...

Title:I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0374304041
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:336 pages

I Believe in a Thing Called Love Reviews

  • Amanda Pearl
    Sep 13, 2016

    To say that I'm excited for this is a severe understatement.

    ALMOST PPAAAAAARRRAAADIIIIIIIISSEE!

  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    Sep 07, 2016

    -----

    What a cute fun book this was! Full review TK

  • Maggie
    Sep 08, 2016

    20+ YEARS OF WATCHING KOREAN DRAMAS WITH MY MOM HAVE COME DOWN TO THIS MOMENT.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    Mar 02, 2017

    4.5 stars. Easily one of the best YA contemporaries I've found this year - it was absolutely hilarious & endearing!!

    I'm a huge fan of kdramas and love how this story even referenced so many of my favorites!! Basically, Desi follows a plan for everything and tries to control life's variables as much as possible after her mother's death. She decides she wants to get a boyfriend before she goes to college, so she watches a bunch of her dad's kdramas one weekend and makes a list of what all of t

    4.5 stars. Easily one of the best YA contemporaries I've found this year - it was absolutely hilarious & endearing!!

    I'm a huge fan of kdramas and love how this story even referenced so many of my favorites!! Basically, Desi follows a plan for everything and tries to control life's variables as much as possible after her mother's death. She decides she wants to get a boyfriend before she goes to college, so she watches a bunch of her dad's kdramas one weekend and makes a list of what all of the girls do to get guys (and Desi's feminist friend is quick to point out everything wrong with this scenario). Desi sets a plan in motion, though, and ends up doing some pretty crazy things before realizing maaaaybe it's not quite necessary.

    I liked that Desi was a relatable, driven student who had a legitimately strong resume to back up the idea that she's ambitious. Her mindset/motivation for trying to keep her life under control also made complete sense. Plus, she had a strong, well-developed personality & inner dialogue that made the story really easy to read!

    So the writing was really strong overall and never felt like an adult attempting to awkwardly write a teen (hallelujah). The characters were all completely realistic, too. The dad was way too adorable. And Desi's friends were such wonderful, vibrant characters... like you can

    their friendship and it starts to seem like you've known them for way longer than a few chapters.

    I wasn't huge on how far Desi went to get a boyfriend, though (like putting them in dangerous situations or not being honest). Sometimes her actions were legitimately scary and I wanted her to get help, BUT those actions also fit the context of a kdrama! This story was definitely like one itself. So if you don't watch a lot of kdramas, her behavior might seem problematic or strange. But I thought the story was really fun overall!

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!

  • Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
    Mar 31, 2017

    Full disclaimer, I've never seen a K-Drama before (although this book definitely peaked my interest in them) so I can't definitively judge how well this book actually aligns with the execution of the televised dramas. However,

    Plus, I had my wonderful reading buddy,

    reading along with me and he helped

    Full disclaimer, I've never seen a K-Drama before (although this book definitely peaked my interest in them) so I can't definitively judge how well this book actually aligns with the execution of the televised dramas. However,

    Plus, I had my wonderful reading buddy,

    reading along with me and he helped fill me in too.

    I want to be clear:

    I kept going back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for a number of reasons. There's some super cute and endearing aspects of this book, and it's quite well written, but I can't just overlook some of the more problematic elements either.

    One thing I loved about this story was the diverse and widely varied characters. There's so much positive representation and visibility here, which is always a plus in my book. Desi's parents emigrated to America before she was born, so her Korean heritage is still a large part of her life and factors heavily into the story.

    Maurene Goo incorporates a lot of information about Korean culture: television, language, food, etc., in their conversations and

    Also, can I just say how refreshing it is to see a healthy parent/teenage protagonist relationship in a YA novel? I feel like so often the parents are absent from the story, or enemies of the main character and that's certainly not the case here.

    However, despite how cute and fun I may have found those smaller, more intimate moments,

    Despite being the Valedictorian of her graduating class, Desi has extreme self-esteem issues and can't talk to boys without embarrassing herself, so she comes up with a plan to land herself Luca Drakos, the hottest boy in school.

    Utilizing steps meticulously taken from the K-Dramas she watches with her dad, Desi sets out to seduce herself a boyfriend. There's just one problem:

    Which I just can't get behind.

    I'm not even going to beat around the bush here. Desi's actions reach a point where the only way I could enjoy the story any further was to pretend that I was reading a psychological thriller. Seriously, that's how absurd some of the choices she makes are.

    One question I like to ask myself as I read, is "if the genders were reversed, would we still support this character's choices," and in all honesty, I don't think we would.

    On the contrary, I really enjoyed most of it. It's fast-paced, and the conversations between characters are really cute. I just wanted more accountability for Desi's actions in the end than we ended up getting.

    ★★★✯✩ =

    See this review and more like it on my bookblog:

    ___________________________________

    Buddy Reading this with my good friend

    . I've realized recently I'm woefully under-read in YA contemporaries, so this book seems like a perfect starting point to rectify that!

  • Joshua Gabriel (Forever Bookish Josh)
    Mar 31, 2017

    .

    . —Desi

    The moment I saw the blurb of this book, I was overwhelmed by the desire to get my hands on it. With the exception of Jenny Han's

    , I hardly own YA novels that feature Korean/Asian protagonists,

    .

    . —Desi

    The moment I saw the blurb of this book, I was overwhelmed by the desire to get my hands on it. With the exception of Jenny Han's

    , I hardly own YA novels that feature Korean/Asian protagonists, let alone characters who love K dramas. Being a fellow Asian and K drama fan, you can only imagine the happiness I felt when I was given the opportunity to read this book early.

    has a unique and engrossing premise. Desi, an admirable nerd, is used to setting goals and getting what she wants. She excels at everything academic, but she strangely sucks at love. Inspired by her favorite K dramas (and their formulaic happy endings), she devices a supposedly perfect plan to make Luca, her crush, fall for her.

    This book had me hooked from the start. It was so funny, relatable, and downright entertaining. Desi's romantic bloopers, aka "flailures," were especially giggle-worthy. I felt sorry for her, but I had a hunch that her choleric (and adorably nerdy) personality would eventually pay off. I had fun analyzing her nearly "sociopathic" behavior; she was somehow similar to Amazing Amy of

    .

    Desi’s remarkable intelligence was my favorite aspect of her personality. Basically, she was a well-rounded character; she was excellent in both academics and sports. As someone who took my education seriously back in my high school and college days, I was able to relate to Desi’s tendency to be adorably nerdy. Luca was erudite, too, in his own way, so I also became invested in his character development.

    Desi's relationship with her father was another thing that I enjoyed. They were practically best friends, but it was still apparent that she acknowledged his authority over her. It is also important (and funny) to note that Desi's father was the original K drama fan in their family. Without his influence, Desi wouldn't have come up with a flawless plan to get herself a man.

    The diversity in this book also deserved my applause. Both Desi and Luca were people of color, and Fiona, Desi's bff, was lesbian. Wes, Desi's second bff, exhibited behavior that made me suspect that he was gay, too. I apologize in advance if I was simply influenced by stereotypes while I analyzed his characterization. Nonetheless, this novel got an A+ from me in terms of racial and sexual diversity.

    In retrospect, Desi's "talent" for manipulation was the primary catalyst behind my 3-star rating. Desi was irrevocably an empowered female in light of her agency, but I found it hard to support her every time she

    toyed with Luca's feelings. In totality, Desi was goal-oriented to a fault. Until now, I cannot decide if her story deserves a happy ending because I do not appreciate the objectification of any sex.

    This book's affirmation of the Bad Father stereotype also hampered my enjoyment. I generally liked Luca because of his sweet and artistic personality, but I was annoyed that he predictably had daddy issues. I can hardly wait for YA lit to overcome this dreadful trope! :l

    Overall,

    is a literary tribute to K dramas. Just like K dramas, it will monopolize your attention and give you tons of happy feels. I did not enjoy it to the fullest, but I would recommend it to readers who are looking for a cute and refreshingly diverse book.

  • Tweebs☯
    Jun 03, 2017

    okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay I'll roll with it

    *slaps the table*

    IS THAT KDRAMA I SEE????

    Vhat vhat vhat vhat vhat

    sign me up

    be still my beating heart

    y'all I'm in tears

    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH

    rip to me because this is everything I ever wanted

    my prayers have been answered #praisethelord

    am I being tested in this life?? because I NEED MORE OF THIS I NEED A SEQUEL !!

    to be honest, I just want a Luca

    okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay I'll roll with it

    *slaps the table*

    IS THAT KDRAMA I SEE????

    Vhat vhat vhat vhat vhat

    sign me up

    be still my beating heart

    y'all I'm in tears

    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH

    rip to me because this is everything I ever wanted

    my prayers have been answered #praisethelord

    am I being tested in this life?? because I NEED MORE OF THIS I NEED A SEQUEL !!

    to be honest, I just want a Luca in my life because that love interest is 😍😍👌🏼👌🏼

    seriously can Luca just come and be the male lead in my nonexistent love life pls & thx

    but why is the main character so relatable? She's the definition of me.

    Guys I'm just going to go scream so expect a review in 3 years ok.

  • Khanh (the meanie)
    May 30, 2017

    This is

    This is the Asian-American YA book the world needs. I hate to say it but god it was so adorbs, and the spunky heroine even won me, a hard-core romance cynic over. The only thing that would have boosted it to 5 stars in my eyes: an Asian romance interest. Come on :\ can't the Asian guy ever be the main love interest for once?

    So a bit about me: I'm a 30-something grown ass Asian woman who still loves k-pop. I started off with j-pop and anime, graduated to Taiwanese dramas and music, then switched over to Korean dramas and manhwas and music and here I am. I've never been a huge fan of Asian dramas, to be honest. I watched a few that I liked, like Full House (not to be confused with the American version lololol) but the Korean drama, Meteor Garden, but I found the overwhelming majority of Korean dramas to be

    . The MC in the book describes it perfectly.

    The spunky, screeching, shrill, annoyingly positive main character against overwhelming odds never interested me. Like fuck that shit. Real life ain't like that. I'm sick of your fucking

    asshole alpha males who fall in

    too. I feel like you've watched one, you've watched them all, and I honestly can't stand them. The only one I can maybe watch these days is

    and that's mainly because I don't give a shit about the storyline because I can stare at Song Joong Ki's face the entire time. HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG HOW CAN A MAN BE THAT BEAUTIFUL IT'S JUST NOT FUCKING FAIR LIKE DOES HE EVEN HAVE PORES IN HIS FACE? I can only watch it for like 5 minutes at a time over my sister's back as she watches it mainly because - I'm embarrassed to even have to type this - but I just can't stare at him for too long. It's like looking into the sun.

    This was my fear about reading this book, the main character sounds like one of the perfect ones in the dramas. Positive and smart and so cute and adorkably clumsy. I don't like k-dramas, but I know people who love them, and I understand their feelings, because fuck, who am I to judge, I who fangirl over EXO.

    The MC in this book is a tough little cookie. Her mother died when she was just seven, and thanks to a little questionably self-experiment in which she kinda-sorta-convinces herself that she has a teeny bit of magical power that enables her to keep her head high.

    She's got great grades, good friends, a loving father. Desi just sucks at getting guys to notice her. Finally, she watched the k-dramas to which her dad has been long addicted, and like everything else she's ever done, sets out a plan to get the guy of her dreams.

    From my experiences with k-dramas, I expected the worst, but honestly, this list is pretty realistic and not crazy.

    This book was so fun to read. I didn't like one moment where she kind of blew off her future for him, but I guess the book kind of needed that to prove a point. The relationships were great, I especially liked the one between Desi and her father. I'm a huge critic of books with Asian main characters because typically they're not done to my liking or not realistic or just too stereotypically Asian or self-hating, but ha, the author is Korean and she did this right.

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