BOOK REVIEW: K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee



Hey everyone! Time for another fun book review!

A BIG THANK YOU to Pansing who sent me for sending me a copy of this book!ย  ๐Ÿ˜ This book is now available in all good bookstores so make sure to check it out!


Author: Stephan Lee
Pages:ย  336
Blurb: Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her life, she’s been playing the role of the quiet Korean girl who takes all AP classes and plays a classical instrument, keeping her dreams of stardom-and her obsession with SLK, K-pop’s top boyband-to herself. She doesn’t see how a regular girl like her could possibly become one of those K-pop goddesses she sees on YouTube. Even though she can sing. Like, really sing.

So when Candace secretly enters a global audition held by SLK’s music label, the last thing she expects is to actually get a coveted spot in their trainee program. And convincing her strict parents to let her to go is all but impossible … although it’s nothing compared to what comes next.

Under the strict supervision of her instructors at the label’s headquarters in Seoul, Candace must perfect her performance skills to within an inch of her life, learn to speak Korean fluently, and navigate the complex hierarchies of her fellow trainees, all while following the strict rules of the industry. Rule number one? NO DATING, which becomes impossible to follow when she meets a dreamy boy trainee. And in the all-out battle to debut, Candace is in danger of planting herself in the middle of a scandal lighting up the K-pop fandom around the world.

If she doesn’t have what it takes to become a perfect, hair-flipping K-pop idol, what will that mean for her family, who have sacrificed everything to give her the chance? And is a spot in the most hyped K-pop girl group of all time really worth risking her friendships, her future, and everything she believes in?
My thoughts on this book:

The story is about Candace Park, an American teen who gets chosen out of thousands to participate in a trainee camp in Korea. Little does she know that there are steep sacrifices she has to make to become a KPOP idol.ย 

Candace was AMAZING, I loved her fire and spirit. She was strong and passionate. Even through the gruesome trainee camp that seemed hell-bent on destroying her flame, she was confident and firm in her beliefs. I also adored Candace’s Umma (mom), it was clear that she wanted her daughter to live out her dream but she was also hesitant and worried for her well being.

YoungBae is such an adorable cinnamon roll. He really is a BAE ๐Ÿฅบ I really liked his personality and wished he was in more scenes but I’m taking what I can get from this book๐Ÿ˜‚

At the trainee camp, there would be instances where Candace would get glimpses of YoungBae on the other side and it really sparked my curiosity as to how different male trainees got treated compared to the females. I wished we could see a KPOP male perspective, I’d like to see the contrasting difference of what a male KPOP idol would go through because I know that even though it’s a similar journey, there would be MAJOR differences.

As someone who’s recently gotten into KPOP, this was really exciting to me. There were some terminology I wasn’t used to but I’m glad I got to know more about it in this book! There was a handy guide at the end of the book as well as an EPIC playlist ๐Ÿ˜ the guide was extremely helpful as I found myself checking the terminology time and time again ๐Ÿ˜‚

The plot was really well done and although there weren’t many shocking plot twists, the storyline was quite interesting. For me, this book was more character driven. That being said, there was also important topics being adressed such as sexism and mistreatment of trainees in the KPOP industry which was really well written in this book.

This was an incredibly well written debut novel and I’m looking forward to what the author may come up with next! ๐Ÿ˜ The writing was fun and fresh, the characters were exciting and full of complexity. I especially enjoyed the behind the scenes look in the KPOP world.


I rated it a 4/5 ๐ŸŒŸ!

Would I recommend this book?
Yes! Definitely! It was fun and light but also explored many important themes ๐Ÿ’œ

Wishing all of you have amazing day! โœจ

Until the next blog post,
– the Joyful Readerโค๏ธ

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