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Once Upon a K-Prom

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What would you do if the world's biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school. Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best frie What would you do if the world's biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school. Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing - she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that's always made her feel like she belonged. So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love. Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants - even if she can't stop thinking about Robbie's smile...right?


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What would you do if the world's biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school. Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best frie What would you do if the world's biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school. Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing - she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that's always made her feel like she belonged. So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love. Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants - even if she can't stop thinking about Robbie's smile...right?

30 review for Once Upon a K-Prom

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    this is so stinkin’ cute! i am so weak for stories about childhood sweethearts. so a boy coming back to town to take his childhood crush to prom because of a promise they made seven years ago? instant swooning for me! i also loved how much this reminded me of axie ohs ‘xoxo.’ it honestly felt like a spin-off novel and i was just reading about a different member of the k-pop group. i had to keep reminding myself that its a completely different band and a different story/world altogether! lol. i lo this is so stinkin’ cute! i am so weak for stories about childhood sweethearts. so a boy coming back to town to take his childhood crush to prom because of a promise they made seven years ago? instant swooning for me! i also loved how much this reminded me of axie ohs ‘xoxo.’ it honestly felt like a spin-off novel and i was just reading about a different member of the k-pop group. i had to keep reminding myself that its a completely different band and a different story/world altogether! lol. i loved the banter between the boys, the sweetness between elana and robbie, the cute plot of going to prom, and the importance of growing up and discovering whats important in life. this hits all the bases and is definitely a book you will want to pick up! a massive thanks to disney/hyperion for the ARC!! ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kat Cho

    UPDATE: 9/24/2021 Cover is up! Love this beautifully illustrated cover and all the small details it incorporates from the book! Cover Art: Xiao Tong Kong. Cover Design: Marci Senders. Hand lettering: Liz Casal Goodhue. ********************* UPDATE: 9/2021 CW: discussions of parent death For more info on the book & some fun extras (incl spotify playlist): http://katchowrites.com/books/once-up... ********************* So excited for everyone to read K-Prom! It’s no secret how much I love k-pop & I love t UPDATE: 9/24/2021 Cover is up! Love this beautifully illustrated cover and all the small details it incorporates from the book! Cover Art: Xiao Tong Kong. Cover Design: Marci Senders. Hand lettering: Liz Casal Goodhue. ********************* UPDATE: 9/2021 CW: discussions of parent death For more info on the book & some fun extras (incl spotify playlist): http://katchowrites.com/books/once-up... ********************* So excited for everyone to read K-Prom! It’s no secret how much I love k-pop & I love the friends-to-lovers trope, but more specifically I love “childhood friends who separated & meet again years later" trope. It's a book about first love, friendship, finding what you're passionate about and being true to yourself! And, of course, K-pop!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    oh, this is going to be everything !! Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch oh, this is going to be everything !! Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Finnigan

    My expectations were too high for this book!! I’m upset. This book was mostly enjoyable, but it wasn’t this amazing book that I thought it would be. The description and the cover made it seem like pure wholesome perfection, but the execution fell flat. This book read like a typical Disney Channel movie. It was cheesy and light with some good messages but it has a high importance placed on school dances by ALL the characters except the main character and the bullies are all childish. I guess you c My expectations were too high for this book!! I’m upset. This book was mostly enjoyable, but it wasn’t this amazing book that I thought it would be. The description and the cover made it seem like pure wholesome perfection, but the execution fell flat. This book read like a typical Disney Channel movie. It was cheesy and light with some good messages but it has a high importance placed on school dances by ALL the characters except the main character and the bullies are all childish. I guess you could say it’s like a K-Drama in some sense, too, but I feel like it’s closer to what a Disney Channel movie is like. It’s definitely a type of story that a lot of people would like, but it wasn’t what I was hoping that I would get from this story. I also kept getting annoyed that the main character kept comparing her romance to a K-Drama. Like we get it, you want this book to be like a K-Drama; stop making comparisons to K-Dramas nonstop and just let the vibes take over instead. The characters were a mixed bag for me. Minseok was my absolute favorite and he would definitely be my bias if WDB was a real group, but the rest of the characters all got on my nerves. Robbie’s character was odd? I don’t really know the right way to word it. He just didn’t always feel like Robbie. It was like his personality was somewhat inconsistent. Ethan’s personality seemed inconsistent at times, too. Jackson felt too much like a stereotype of what a fictional kid is supposed to act like. Sooyeon grew on me throughout the course of the book, but it felt like she was just thrown in there to cause unnecessary jealousy at first. Felicity and Caroline were unbearable and their personalities were shallow. It also seemed like every character was unreasonably blaming Elena for every issue that went on in their life and Elena didn’t even stand up for herself when she should’ve. I definitely empathized with Elena, but I didn’t find myself rooting for her or anything like that. It just felt like there was something missing from almost all of the characters. The book and specifically the romance started to improve around the 60% mark of the book. The romance started to get good around that mark and the K-Pop world was dived into more at the point in the book. The issue with this whole book though was that it lacked depth. I’m not even going to include trigger warnings for this review because any “triggering” topic was just briefly touched on then ignored for the rest of the book. The story was nice escapism, but I expected more from this author since everyone talks about how they love her other books. Since the story was so light and fluffy, it’s definitely something that you can read quickly between more intense books, but it’s not a book that I’d necessarily recommend to everyone. I wish this book would’ve been longer so that more depth could’ve been added to the story. This really had so much potential, but it turned out to be just an okay read. Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced reader’s copy of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    ~👑Special thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!👑~ I should've accepted that marriage proposal. Rating: ✨✨✨✨3.6 See, when one gets a 'Say Yes To The Ring' moment when one is in kindergarten, that immature, tiny, miniscule brain thinks 'oh, that's weird, let's run away'. While years later, that same immature, slightly larger, miniscule brain thinks, "I could've been a married lady by now, with a slightly-disturbed-because-the-kid-chased-me-all-around-the-fountain-while-vi ~👑Special thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!👑~ I should've accepted that marriage proposal. Rating: ✨✨✨✨3.6 See, when one gets a 'Say Yes To The Ring' moment when one is in kindergarten, that immature, tiny, miniscule brain thinks 'oh, that's weird, let's run away'. While years later, that same immature, slightly larger, miniscule brain thinks, "I could've been a married lady by now, with a slightly-disturbed-because-the-kid-chased-me-all-around-the-fountain-while-viciously-holding-on-to-said-flower-ring to lovers trope, and sweat stains from running away as my reminder of it." Frankly, I'm still wiping tears. With a big chunk of ice to make myself suffer because why can't I have THIS- I missed the opportunity, and it hunts me. It doesn't, but I'll say it does for effect. I may be emotionally spent and money less, but let's make it ~dramatic~ Being superficial for a second, that cover owns me. It owns my mortgage, my life, my own Barbie collection- and while reading some corny/ slightly cheesy scenes that fit perfectly with the vibes of the book, I thought about being critical and judging everything... But then I thought, let's be real, I'm never going to have this ish (unless the kid that chased me back then, still holds a burning candle for my arrival, which I doubt-) in real life, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Speaking of which, that brings me to the first topic of this ess- review (barely two days back in Hell, and I've already been hijacked), the fact that books like this give me hope for my celebrity meet-cute. AKA, the plot and storyline. The book's pace itself was on steroids, most likely some hallucinogenic drug too- wait, maybe that was me, never mind. By page 20, the characters were already in each other's lives, by page 40, feelings were already present. By page 100 they probably swore never to be apart again- you know what I mean. Those kinds of steroids, and honestly? This mass of bad decisions was alllll here for it. I've been dying to read a celebrity/commoner book that's appropriate to mark as 'read' (cough) when people that share my own blood follow me- and this one was the perfect one! Quick, light and basically a batch of whipped cream dumped on waffles. Dang, now I'm hungry. Which is also what this book made me feel. For food, not uh... I'll shut up now. Holy fire is needed in aisle 5 The storyline follows best friends that were separated when they were kids--one taken to stardom in the K-Pop industry, whilst the other strived to save a community center from closing down-- then suddenly Spy Boy comes back into the picture, and guess what? He rocks the MCs world. ... ...... I need a mental ice bath. The puns are too frigid- (I need help) I liked that plot so much (not the ice bath one). Not too much to absolutely adore it, but I flew through it like a single-minded chipmunk. Then, of course, we have the daydreaming portion where I envisioned V as the love interest for the whole book- And I blushed. Flushed (not the toilet) And combusted. But revived myself to finish this. The characters themselves weren't that big of a deal. Superficial, sweet, if they died maybe I wouldn't have cried- BUT THAT'S OKAY. NOT EVERY BOOK HAS TO BREAK YOU, BOOKSY. HUSH YOURSELF I really wanted to care more about them, you know? I wanted to see how they were beneath their masks and dance breaks. They were more... fillers, I think. We got the mean girls. Sassy bff. Annoying yet super hot brother. More mean people. The one friend that's not mean but not nice. You know the gist- The MC needs a thousand hugs, possibly a bottle of tequila, possibly a pillow fort and the words 'you're worth staying for' tattooed on her forehead. You have no idea how much I related to how she felt and the things she did when times seemed a little too difficult. Trust me, I gave up on the violin a loooong time ago because I didn't have a passion for it, and maybe I didn't. But perhaps I didn't want it because it got hard to do. And the fact that she went from journaling to music to art and didn't find the one that called to her made me feel not alone. We're teens, we don't have anything planned out, most of us don't know what the heck to do with life itself. And even if you're not a teen! Perhaps you're 88 (which is epic) and don't know what the complete purpose of your existence is. I've learned that just enjoying hobbies or studying the things you want to study is what makes living, better than existing for a single goal. And her character ARC was fabulous. Mainly because the rest of the characters made her see what was going wrong, and I love THE COMMUNICATION- Then we have the love interest-he- UGH, okay? (look at me using my words) That's really all. I wanted to squeeze the cuteness out of his bootiful self, bottle it up and spritz it every time I walked into a room. Disturbing visual? Yes. We need to bury this man under 56789 pounds of cotton to preserve his precious innocence. Time and time again, his adorable self was too much to resist. If I were to rate him from 'Ew, what's that', to 'MARRY ME, LET'S HAVE OFFSPRING-', I would give him a solid 'you brighten up my day, you' next to 'I'll steal you away and place you in a lovable dungeon' More on the like than in the love-basically this whole book. The main event of this book, though, was (McDonald's outro) the romance! It was easy, sometimes not very easy because COMMUNICATION was not present (I have an innate dislike for that trope), but ultimately fun, loveable, perhaps shoveable too, sweet and quick. The atmosphere it created was not one of sizzling feasts, more like desserts served cold on a summer day. I had the issue of finding it was too fast for me to completely adore it, but I see why. Or at least what was the purpose of it. Childhood sweethearts meet again, disastrous Promposal, the holy duo of Rom- Coms everywhere. It helps that I was eating Ice Cream while reading, not going to lie- *wink WINK* The thing I least enjoyed, overall, was probably how easy every problem was fixed at the end. Because sometimes it takes time to recuperate a bond, to forgive years of fights or hatred. The fact that it was made so easy within the last 25 pages was a tad frustrating. I want to see the struggle, or even better, leave it open-ended! Life is not perfect, so why should familial or even romantic relationships strive to be so? On a closing note, this is a book you can most likely read in under four hours. It's funny, fluffy, uncomplicated, painless (ahem, as every book you read should be, Booksy-) and above all, so flipping wholesome. I'm still waiting for my ring, V. You may be a little (COUGH) older than me, BUT I'LL SOON BE LEGAL- JUST HOLD UP THE DANG AGING- EVEN THOUGH YOU LOOK SO FINE STANDING THERE- (P.S: To the boy who chased me with a flower ring, I want to tell you that even though I screamed bloody murder, you made me feel loved, and I hope someone makes you feel that way now. Or, you know, give me a call-) I wish you the sweetest bookish day! ..................... If To All The Boy's I've Loved Before had an affair with a cupcake behind Shine's (by Jessica Jung) back and somehow involved a hint of unrequited love from K-pop Confidential, the baby from that complicated triad would be this book. ..................... SIGN ME UP, LOCK ME UP AND THROW AWAY THE DARN KEY. I'M HOOKED.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    I may not be a K-pop fangirl, but I am a huge fan of this book! Two childhood friends are reunited for a prom date. Sounds simple, but there is much more to this one. Elena is a high school senior in an Chicago-area high school. Robbie is a K-pop star. Cue the netizens and Constellations. Kat Cho gives a story with depth that explores the price of fame and also the opportunities it brings. I loved Elena's volunteer time at the local community center and her ideas for spending less on prom so the I may not be a K-pop fangirl, but I am a huge fan of this book! Two childhood friends are reunited for a prom date. Sounds simple, but there is much more to this one. Elena is a high school senior in an Chicago-area high school. Robbie is a K-pop star. Cue the netizens and Constellations. Kat Cho gives a story with depth that explores the price of fame and also the opportunities it brings. I loved Elena's volunteer time at the local community center and her ideas for spending less on prom so there is money for donating to a good cause. This clean, teen romance put a smile on my face. Looking forward to checking out more of Kat Cho's books. Thank you to Disney-Hyperion and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    steph ♡

    I blame myself for having exceedingly high expectations, still, this read like fan fiction and felt clunky in many places. Not to mention the main character and her 'Woe is me/I'm not like other girls' mentality that seemed to be her defining personality trait, which annoyed me to no end. All in all, this could've been so much better. Sigh. I blame myself for having exceedingly high expectations, still, this read like fan fiction and felt clunky in many places. Not to mention the main character and her 'Woe is me/I'm not like other girls' mentality that seemed to be her defining personality trait, which annoyed me to no end. All in all, this could've been so much better. Sigh.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chloe F

    Okay, first of all I want to say thank you to Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book!!! This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and when I got the email that my request for this ARC was accepted, I started reading immediately. I actually finished this in one day, so that says a lot on how much I enjoyed it. I actually teared up a couple of times during this story, the characters were written so well especially Elena’s. She Okay, first of all I want to say thank you to Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book!!! This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and when I got the email that my request for this ARC was accepted, I started reading immediately. I actually finished this in one day, so that says a lot on how much I enjoyed it. I actually teared up a couple of times during this story, the characters were written so well especially Elena’s. She was so relatable. The storyline and characters got me hooked from the first page. Also, the romance between Elena and Robbie was so cute. I loved the Kpop aspect of this book and how it was ordinary girl/pop star trope. It does kind of have a 10 Things I Hate About You thing to it but you’ll find out. Overall this definitely lived up to my expectations and I hope you guys love it too and read it when it comes out on May 17!!!! :)))

  9. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    read on my blog rep: Korean-American protagonist, Korean love interest and side characters, Mexican-American side character; (Korean-American author) cw: mentions of death of a parent (father) from a car accident **I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was one that I had to read. The idea of your old best friend becoming a K-pop idol and then re read on my blog rep: Korean-American protagonist, Korean love interest and side characters, Mexican-American side character; (Korean-American author) cw: mentions of death of a parent (father) from a car accident **I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was one that I had to read. The idea of your old best friend becoming a K-pop idol and then returning to fulfill a childhood promise to take you to prom? Such a wild ride, and I definitely had so much fun while reading this book. In Once Upon a K-Prom, a girl’s childhood best friend—and now a world-famous K-pop idol—comes back into her life, and she must decide if his spotlight is worth getting to know him again while also discovering her own passions. Elena Soo is used to people leaving her: her sisters, her friends, her first crush. When her childhood best friend Robbie comes back into her life to fulfill their pact to go to prom together, she has a hard time connecting him as a member of the most famous K-pop group in the world and the boy she once knew. He really does want to reconnect with her, though, and she begrudgingly gets pulled into his world of cameras and fans. She can’t help but fall for him again, and vice versa, and their friendship eventually (and finally) turns into feelings neither of them can ignore anymore. This book was so much fun! I read it all in one day because I couldn’t put it down. The premise sounds so wild, but the circumstances of the book felt very natural. It was also interesting how detailed the boy group Robbie is a part of, WDB, was, with profiles of each member throughout the novel as well as hints toward their backstory. While aspects of the K-pop industry are prevalent throughout the book, they’re explained well enough for people who might not know but not too detailed to be longwinded for people who do know, so I think this story will be enjoyable to K-pop fans and non-fans alike. I was confused by the BTS erasure at first, but I soon realized that WDB basically takes over their existence for the purposes of the story. It doesn’t detract from your experience if you just don’t overthink it, which I probably was. I will say that I thought the book portrayed idol life as only stifling and rigid—and it obviously can be, don’t get me wrong—but I felt like parts of it leaned into “the dark side of K-pop” rhetoric where some people act like idols are machines and not allowed to do anything their company doesn’t want. Maybe I’m just overthinking it again because there wouldn’t be much of a story without this conflict, I guess. Anyways, I really liked the characters! We get both Elena’s and Robbie’s point-of-view although I would say Elena is more of the main character. Robbie’s chapters provided some more insight on what was happening on his side and fleshed out his character, but most of the story is Elena’s. Elena has gone through life not able to pinpoint an interest or a hobby, and she’s used to being overlooked. Her older sisters never come home anymore, and her mom focuses more on her twin brother Ethan than her. I liked seeing her begin to realize that people do, in fact, care about her and see her, even if that’s not what it seems like at first. Meanwhile, Robbie wants to produce and write his own music but is scared of his ideas getting rejected by the company. I really liked how, while this is a diasporic story, Elena doesn’t struggle with her Korean-American identity. Obviously these feelings and stories are valid, but I did relate more to how being Korean American is not a source of conflict for her. Her Korean culture is just a part of her and not one that she feels out-of-place for, a bit of a privileged position as she acknowledges. The side characters were also great. Ethan obviously feels pushed away by Elena, not that she’ll hear it, and they do have a nice talk toward the end of the book. Elena’s best friend Josie tries to get her out of her comfort zone but also supports her when she’s down. Elena also volunteers at a community center where she’s very close to the people who regularly visit there. They’re the reason why she works so hard to campaign for funding to keep the center open when it’s on the brink of being shut down. I also liked reading about the other members of Robbie’s group; they have a good rapport and are particularly playful with Robbie, who’s the maknae or the youngest of the group. The romance was really cute! As I said before, this is an “estranged childhood best friends to lovers” story. Elena and Robbie were childhood friends that haven’t spoken in four years after Robbie became a trainee. However, all this time, Elena thought he ghosted her and rebuffs his first attempt at asking her to prom because of this. Once they get over this, they begin to relearn their friendship with each other, rekindling their romantic feelings for each other. Overall, Once Upon a K-Prom was a fun, adorable story that also navigated discovering your passion. I liked the characters, and the romance was very cute. Whether you’re into K-pop or not, I think anyone can enjoy this estranged-childhood-friends-to-lovers story! original review: not the bts erasure 😭 (joking, mostly. some of wdb's backstory is def inspired by them so that was necessary I guess) but fr, this book was very fun and the romance was a sweet estranged childhood friends to lovers

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mai-Anh

    Reading for AAPI month Unfortunately, I don't think this author is for me. I've tried Wicked Fox two or three times, and if a hot fox can't keep me occupied, a friends to lovers with zero chemistry sure won't. Kpop book recs bc why not: 5 stars XOXO 4 stars I'll Be the One has LGBTQIA+ rep if you want to read for Pride Month 3 stars K-pop Confidential is written by a LGBTQIA+ author if you want to read for Pride Month. The sequel K-Pop Revolution just came out, but I don't generally pick up sequels for Reading for AAPI month Unfortunately, I don't think this author is for me. I've tried Wicked Fox two or three times, and if a hot fox can't keep me occupied, a friends to lovers with zero chemistry sure won't. Kpop book recs bc why not: 5 stars XOXO 4 stars I'll Be the One has LGBTQIA+ rep if you want to read for Pride Month 3 stars K-pop Confidential is written by a LGBTQIA+ author if you want to read for Pride Month. The sequel K-Pop Revolution just came out, but I don't generally pick up sequels for books I only gave 3 stars to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    A BITCH IS GETTING A COPY FROM THE PUBLISHER <3

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)

    Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... As the youngest child in the Soo family along with her twin brother, Elena just wants to get out of everyone's shadows. Her successful sisters and even her more popular twin brother all seem to have accomplishments Elena can only dream of. When prom season comes around, she hopes to make her mark by focusing her energy on the community center where she volunteers instead of all the prom chaos going around her. But then Robbie Choi, Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... As the youngest child in the Soo family along with her twin brother, Elena just wants to get out of everyone's shadows. Her successful sisters and even her more popular twin brother all seem to have accomplishments Elena can only dream of. When prom season comes around, she hopes to make her mark by focusing her energy on the community center where she volunteers instead of all the prom chaos going around her. But then Robbie Choi, her childhood best friend, shows up at her door, literally asking her to attend prom with him. Seven years earlier, Robbie had left the U.S. for Korea without much communication with Elena over the years. While Elena has been working to save the community center, Robbie has become a member of the global sensation K-pop boy group everyone is talking about. How will prom season turn out for Elena? I loved the characters especially Elena because she's just SO relatable. She's honestly kind of a perfectionist and feels that everything has to go a certain way according to her plan but also life doesn't work that way. Sometimes, she has a hard time knowing that but the supportive people around her always help remind her of it. Overall, Once Upon a K-Prom was just such a fun, easy read. The childhood lovers omg are just so cute. Books on K-pop are becoming popular these days and this one is definitely a must-read! **Thank you so much to Rockstar Book Tours and Disney Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour!**

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    Once Upon A K-Prom is incredibly reminiscent of XOXO by Axie Oh. But while XOXO takes place in Seoul, this story is set in the USA. This follows Elena, a girl who isn’t keen on going to prom for several reasons. One is that she’d much rather the funds go to the local community center and the other reason? Well, that reason is the star of the biggest Kpop boy band in Korea…and the boy who’d promised to take her to prom when they were little. So what happens when he comes knocking on her door, pre Once Upon A K-Prom is incredibly reminiscent of XOXO by Axie Oh. But while XOXO takes place in Seoul, this story is set in the USA. This follows Elena, a girl who isn’t keen on going to prom for several reasons. One is that she’d much rather the funds go to the local community center and the other reason? Well, that reason is the star of the biggest Kpop boy band in Korea…and the boy who’d promised to take her to prom when they were little. So what happens when he comes knocking on her door, prepared to keep the promise? What happens when the Robbie Choi Elena used to love is now a pink-haired idol? I somehow read this entire story within the span of almost one full plane ride. It’s so incredibly wholesome and fun, and full of all the cute Kpop cliches. Elena sometimes annoyed me with how quickly she shut down Robbie, and her refusal to communicate properly, but I liked her for the most part. She feels overshadowed by all of her siblings and just wants to make her Korean mom proud. I loved seeing her passion for helping people, specifically those in the community center. Even better, she has great female friendships that aren’t toxic in any way. This did touch on some of the rougher aspects of the industry, such as the terrible attitude towards Korean idols and dating, as well as the concept of an artist’s freedom with their music. So I really appreciated that! AND THE ROMANCE!!! It was so cute!!! I mean, it relied a little too much on miscommunication for my tastes but it was super sweet for the most part. It also had the benefit of being supported by hilarious banter from Robbie’s bandmates so yeah. I enjoyed the glitz, the glamour, and the insanity of Kpop. But I also really enjoyed the smaller, sweet moments between Robbie and Elena that really helped make their relationship feel organic. I just wish that miscommunication hadn’t gotten in the way so much, because it truly did make the story feel a bit repetitive. a huge thank you to the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

  14. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    yeah this with the best-friends-keeping-their-promises-and-also-falling-in-love

  15. 5 out of 5

    Scarlett

    This was too cute I love it so much the characters were so wholesome 🤌🏻the character development 🤌🏻 and the cover 😍😍😍😍this is a great rom com and the puns 🤌🏻 I love this book, all I need is to own it!!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chantaal

    All I want from books like this is to have fun and I HAD FUN. This is a really fun read, utilizing all the best fanfic tropes for a story that is pretty well told. I did have some issues with some of the rapid fire character resolutions toward the end, but they were only minor gripes. This book read fast and delightful and cheesy and I enjoyed it. I think it pairs really well with Axie Oh's XOXO (though I liked that one a bit more). All I want from books like this is to have fun and I HAD FUN. This is a really fun read, utilizing all the best fanfic tropes for a story that is pretty well told. I did have some issues with some of the rapid fire character resolutions toward the end, but they were only minor gripes. This book read fast and delightful and cheesy and I enjoyed it. I think it pairs really well with Axie Oh's XOXO (though I liked that one a bit more).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    "Was this what seven years did to someone? Just took all their sweetest features and sharpened them just enough to make them dangerous. Because that dimple was a serious weapon." For fans of Axie Oh's XOXO and Kristen Burnham's Heart & Seoul comes Once Upon a K-prom, a refreshing meet cute with a twist. Let's be honest, if you are looking for a young adult story with that k-drama twist, I am your girl to give you the truth as I absolutely devour everything in this sub genre of YA. I absolutely lo "Was this what seven years did to someone? Just took all their sweetest features and sharpened them just enough to make them dangerous. Because that dimple was a serious weapon." For fans of Axie Oh's XOXO and Kristen Burnham's Heart & Seoul comes Once Upon a K-prom, a refreshing meet cute with a twist. Let's be honest, if you are looking for a young adult story with that k-drama twist, I am your girl to give you the truth as I absolutely devour everything in this sub genre of YA. I absolutely love watching k-dramas so reading instead of watching these types of stories is literally my guilty pleasure. Elena has practically felt invisible her entire life. Not only has she been overshadowed by her older sisters, she is constantly overshadowed by her own twin Ethan. Everyone constantly leaves Elena -- they are always moving, leaving her feeling even more alone. The one person in the world Elena misses the most was her best friend Robbie who moved when they were 10 years old to Seoul, South Korea. Now Robbie has found his passion and is a part of a famous k-pop group. Elena's world is suddenly turned upside down when Robbie shows up on her door step 7 years later to uphold his promise to her -- They would go to prom together. However, is Robbie still the person she fell in love with when she was 10 or is has he changed with fame? When I begin reading I felt like the story I was sold in the synopsis wasn't the story I was getting, but as the story progressed it got a lot better and I really started to enjoy it. I personally think this is defiantly aimed more towards the younger audience of YA as there isn't a whole lot of spice to it, but doesn't mean I didn't think it was a cute story! So let's dive into my overall experience! The beginning of this novel was incredibly slow. We see Robbie show up within the first few chapters, however, it feels like it's dragged on and we have filler chapters where nothing really significant happens. I understand the playing hard to get and Robbie going all out to prove himself, I just think it was missing that special emph to get it to the five stars I would really love to give it. One of my biggest take aways and suggestions before this book is published is maybe a guide for some of the Hangul words that are included in the novel to be included. I Found myself reading and noticing there were Hangul words mixed into the sentences without any real translation or indication of what the words meant. For example, " I remembered the story about how harabeoji had come to the us to work for a few years without halmeoni." I of course know that Harabeoji is grandfather and halmeoni is grandmother, finally my years of watch k-dramas has finally paid off haha, but to the average reader of YA they might not have that basic knowledge of Hangul to understand the context of the sentence. Especially with there being no clarification or context to indication that she is talking about her grandfather and grandmother. I think that just a guide at the beginning to the words word be an amazing feature that would help the reader understand a little better. Overall, this was a light read for me and I did enjoy the overall theme of the novel! I think this was a really cute fun read and those who are also into kdrama style books or books in a high school setting will really enjoy this read! I also found out that this was the author's first contemporary novel, but she's written a fantasy romance series. Needless to say, I am intrigued and ready to read it as I did overall like the writing style of this author!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Netgalley approved me for this gem and I am over the moon! REVIEW TIME! Reasons to read: childhood friends reuniting except one is a famous K-pop idol and OMG I only recently became obsessed with K-pop thanks to a Blackpink reaction video and now I'm devouring anything having to do with K-pop! Let's be honest, I'm on the older spectrum, but I do enjoy a good YA contemporary as it does make this 80-year-old woman feel young again. Jk, I'm not 80, but someday's I feel like I am. I digress... Before Ro Netgalley approved me for this gem and I am over the moon! REVIEW TIME! Reasons to read: childhood friends reuniting except one is a famous K-pop idol and OMG I only recently became obsessed with K-pop thanks to a Blackpink reaction video and now I'm devouring anything having to do with K-pop! Let's be honest, I'm on the older spectrum, but I do enjoy a good YA contemporary as it does make this 80-year-old woman feel young again. Jk, I'm not 80, but someday's I feel like I am. I digress... Before Robbie moved to Korea, he and Elena made a promise to attend prom together. Years later, that promise is the last thing on Elena's mind. She's bust volunteering at her local community center and raising money to keep it going, so when Robbie knocks on her door one afternoon, she's flabbergasted for more reasons than one. One is Robbie is a famous idol in one of the most popular K-pop bands around. His attitude is different and she's initially put off; they have drifted apart over the years and their prom promise was nearly forgotten. But the more Elena starts to get to know Robbie again, the more she sees the old Robbie coming through. The things I loved: I adore that Elena is not initially starstruck by Robbie and it makes for some serious tension when she grows to love the man he's become and vice versa. She's focused on the things she cares for and doesn't let anything deter her from her goals. It was fun seeing her loosen her grip on controlling the things that cannot control. Robbie and Elena's relationship is slow-burn and not as rushed as most YA novels. Can I take a second to gush over Robbie's bandmates? They are all so kind and unique and added such a fun element to the story. Some quick issues I had: I felt like Robbie's POV was thrown in last second and didn't add much depth to the story; it would have been fine without it. The lack of communication and repeated conflicts felt redundant. I felt like I was in the Twilight zone when the same thing that had just happened, happened again and I'm like, at this point, why isn't Elana asking more questions and communicating better instead of jumping to just assuming she's being used or wronged? She had some woe-is-me moments that took me out of the book and I began to lose my connection with her. Overall, this was a cute and fun read and will be an amazing addition to your bookshelves.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    Once Upon A K-Prom is incredibly reminiscent of XOXO by Axie Oh. But while XOXO takes place in Seoul, this story is set in the USA. This follows Elena, a girl who isn’t keen on going to prom for several reasons. One is that she’d much rather the funds go to the local community center, and the other reason? Well, that reason is the star of the biggest Kpop boy band in Korea…and the boy who’d promised to take her to prom when they were little. So what happens when he comes knocking on her door, pr Once Upon A K-Prom is incredibly reminiscent of XOXO by Axie Oh. But while XOXO takes place in Seoul, this story is set in the USA. This follows Elena, a girl who isn’t keen on going to prom for several reasons. One is that she’d much rather the funds go to the local community center, and the other reason? Well, that reason is the star of the biggest Kpop boy band in Korea…and the boy who’d promised to take her to prom when they were little. So what happens when he comes knocking on her door, prepared to keep the promise? What happens when the Robbie Choi Elena used to love is now a pink-haired idol? I somehow read this entire story within the span of almost one full plane ride. It’s so incredibly wholesome, and fun, and full of all the cute Kpop cliches. Elena sometimes annoyed me with how quickly she shut down Robbie, and her refusal to communicate properly, but I liked her for the most part. She feels overshadowed by all of her siblings, and just wants to make her Korean mom proud. I loved seeing her passion for helping people, specifically those in the community center. Even better, she has great female friendships that aren’t toxic in any way. This did touch on some of the rougher aspects of the industry, such as the terrible attitude towards Korean idols and dating, as well as the concept of an artist’s freedom with their music. So I really appreciated that! AND THE ROMANCE!!! It was so cute!!! I mean, it relied a little too much on miscommunication for my tastes but it was super sweet for the most part. It also had the benefit of being supported by hilarious banter from Robbie’s bandmates so yeah. I enjoyed the glitz, the glamour, and the insanity of Kpop. But I also really enjoyed the smaller, sweet moments between Robbie and Elena that really helped make their relationship feel organic. I just wish that miscommunication hadn’t gotten in the way so much, because it truly did make the story feel a bit repetitive. So that’s it! This is definitely a shorter review but I’d 100% recommend this for fans of XOXO by Axie Oh! I’m giving this 4.25/5 stars. i finished this entire book somehow on an airplane after reading nothing all week so…do i get bonus points or no? anyways this was too cute for words and will honestly be the highlight spring contemporary novel. full rtc! thank you disney books for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

  20. 4 out of 5

    andi

    → 3.5 stars once upon a k-prom was very cute, but it was simply not for me. i don’t have any particular feelings for this book, it wasn’t mind-blowing and it wasn’t bad. it’s pretty fun to read, so i would definitely recommend it, but it’s just one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” cases. i really liked the end half of the book, it was so fun to read and it kept me engaged to the very end, however, the beginning was a bit tedious. the references were also really fun to see and i quite like the fr → 3.5 stars once upon a k-prom was very cute, but it was simply not for me. i don’t have any particular feelings for this book, it wasn’t mind-blowing and it wasn’t bad. it’s pretty fun to read, so i would definitely recommend it, but it’s just one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” cases. i really liked the end half of the book, it was so fun to read and it kept me engaged to the very end, however, the beginning was a bit tedious. the references were also really fun to see and i quite like the friends-to-lovers trope and how the book approached it. i think this novel simply bit off more than it can chew because it switched between so many side plots, that nothing felt well-developed. the characters felt a bit one-dimensional, with a couple of main traits and that’s it. i literally can’t tell you anything about them because they were all superficially characterized. their problems were explored on a surface level and i don’t think all of them were resolved properly. the main character, elena, was interesting, but i have a bone to pick with how she was written. the “everyone leaves me” mentality got annoying really fast. she does get better, but i think the switch was a bit too abrupt. i wish we would’ve gotten more of her realizing she also tends to give up on people easily. she simply refused to communicate with anyone and all of those problems could’ve been avoided so easily. or, at least, resolved sooner. the book is told in 1st pov – elena’s, but then we’d have some chapters that followed robbie written in 3rd pov and i did not get why. it brought absolutely nothing to the story, it broke off the flow because it abruptly switched at the worst times. once upon a k-prom is a light-hearted novel that also touches on some heavier topics -like the struggle with self-identity and the dark side of the k-pop industry. i really liked the way these topics were covered and i wished we would’ve spent more time watching the characters deal with some of these issues. the book was simply too fast-paced for what it tried to do. overall, it’s a really cute book and i would totally recommend it for when you’re in the mood for something light. i have to say fans of xoxo by axie oh will probably like this one as well!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kris Mauna

    As a K-pop fan, I have a love/hate relationship with books that are centered around the music genre. There are times when the stories can come off as stereotypical, but I am happy to say that wasn’t the case with Once Upon a K-Prom. I completely adored this book! It’s prom season at Elena’s school and everyone is excited about the special night. They’re ready for dressing up, fancy dinners, and massive limos. The entire student population is talking non-stop about prom, besides Elena and her frie As a K-pop fan, I have a love/hate relationship with books that are centered around the music genre. There are times when the stories can come off as stereotypical, but I am happy to say that wasn’t the case with Once Upon a K-Prom. I completely adored this book! It’s prom season at Elena’s school and everyone is excited about the special night. They’re ready for dressing up, fancy dinners, and massive limos. The entire student population is talking non-stop about prom, besides Elena and her friends. Their club has organized a campaign for students to spend less at prom this year and instead use their money to donate to the local community center. Saving the community center is Elena’s biggest wish. When her childhood best friend and older sisters moved away, Elena felt lonely until she found solace at the community center. It’s been the one place where she hasn’t felt invisible. I really enjoyed Elena as a character. She’s very timid with low self-esteem because she’s afraid to show people her true self. She doesn’t want anyone else to leave her like people always have. There were plenty of times that I wished I could be her friend to tell her how amazing she was! This made her journey more entertaining though because I was rooting for her until the very end. Of course, going to the prom is the last thing on Elena’s mind, until her old childhood best friend shows up at her doorstep. He’s returned so he can keep their promise of attending the dance together. He also happens to be a member of the biggest K-pop group in the world. It was so fun meeting Robbie and the rest of the group members! I was happily surprised that we got some chapters from Robbie’s POV because it helped tie in the K-pop aspect of this book, and it was executed well. All of the members were fun! I wouldn’t be upset if Kat Cho decided to write another book in this universe centered around a different member. The best word to describe this book would be: sweet. All first love stories are, and Elena and Robbie’s was very cute! There were a lot of obstacles between them, but reading about the two of them reconciling was heartwarming. Once Upon a K-Prom is pure escapism and I loved it. It’s fluffy and exactly what I needed to read to feel better. This is a story about love, friendships, and finding the confidence to be yourself! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves YA romances or is a fan of K-pop. | review originally posted on Bookstacked |

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan Rose

    *3.5 Before reading Once Upon a K-Prom, I knew very little about K-Pop. However, as soon as I saw the cover for this book and read the description, I thought it sounded so cute that I wanted to give it a try, despite my lack of knowledge on the topic. I will say, I’d probably recommend doing at least a little light research on K-Pop if you’re entirely unfamiliar with it like I was, just because it’s way more complicated than I thought it was! I did learn a lot while reading this, but it might’ve *3.5 Before reading Once Upon a K-Prom, I knew very little about K-Pop. However, as soon as I saw the cover for this book and read the description, I thought it sounded so cute that I wanted to give it a try, despite my lack of knowledge on the topic. I will say, I’d probably recommend doing at least a little light research on K-Pop if you’re entirely unfamiliar with it like I was, just because it’s way more complicated than I thought it was! I did learn a lot while reading this, but it might’ve been a little easier to follow along with all of the terms and references had I had a basic understanding of it. Despite this, I did enjoy my time with Once Upon a K-Prom. It was a super cute and quick read about a romance between two old friends who reconnect after a few years apart, though now as different people. This was certainly a challenge for Elena and Robbie as they learned to navigate their friendship as new people, and with new feelings. Their romance was sweet, though I did have a few issues with it. My main concern with the romance, and with the entire story, was Robbie’s character. I wish we’d gotten more chapters in his point of view, because it would have helped the reader understand his motives better. We get a few hints that something more than what we see is happening, but because we spend very little time in his point of view, when the revelation came for what was actually going on (sorry for being vague; I don’t want to spoil anything), it felt like it came out of left field, and was also out of character for Robbie. If we’d had more time in his thoughts—even if it wasn’t revealed outright—we probably would have had a better idea of what was to come. His characterization just felt a little bit inconsistent to me. He had all these feelings from childhood, but the way he acts on them in his teen years doesn’t quite match up with that. And I know part of that was due to growing up as an idol, but I would’ve liked to have seen just a little more consistency, especially with his feelings and actions towards Elena. In addition to that, everything also always seemed to be Elena’s fault. She was constantly being blamed for everything—and while she certainly wasn’t blameless, it got a little crazy with how much responsibility she was being piled with. Sure, she contributed to a lot of the issues that take place, but it wasn’t all on her. I wish that had been addressed better, because to me it felt like her entire personality (scheduling everything out, always having a plan), was the reason things in her life went wrong. This is problematic to me, because as someone who thrives with schedules and consistency, and knows several other people who do too, I felt the conflict could have been handled better. Even with all of these issues, I still flew through Once Upon a K-Prom. I read it in a matter of two days, during finals week at that, and did enjoy it. I loved the banter between the band members, and Elena’s friendship with Josie. These were some of the highlights of the story for me, and really kept me going. I also loved reading about Elena’s time at the community center. I thought it was so endearing, and most of my favorite scenes were in relation to the center. It was an interesting addition to the plot and really strengthened the story. Throughout the entire book, I was rooting for Elena’s success in raising enough money to save the center, and by the time I finished, I had a huge smile on my face. Ultimately, I did end up liking Once Upon a K-Prom, though I couldn’t ignore my issues with it, which is why I decided to give it a 3.5 star rating. Overall though, it was very cute, and I read it so quickly. If you enjoy K-Pop and childhood friends-to-lovers stories, I’d definitely recommend this one! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gili

    The only thing this book has got going for it is the beautiful cover. Lying for a bad reason, excusing the lying with saying the guy is emotionally immature (and that being a good thing?), plot that could be saved by people actually talking to each other and getting their consent, underdeveloped family dynamics and a personal pet peeve- constantly telling a woman she need to loosen up when she really isn’t that uptight. It also managed to be boring on top of everything. I’m starting to think maybe The only thing this book has got going for it is the beautiful cover. Lying for a bad reason, excusing the lying with saying the guy is emotionally immature (and that being a good thing?), plot that could be saved by people actually talking to each other and getting their consent, underdeveloped family dynamics and a personal pet peeve- constantly telling a woman she need to loosen up when she really isn’t that uptight. It also managed to be boring on top of everything. I’m starting to think maybe books about k pop are not for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    Wicked Fox and Vicious Spirits are one of my all-time favourite duologies, AND I love K-Pop. So this should have been a new favourite, right? Now don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad book. But I was hoping for so much more. I frankly found myself quite bored while reading this, especially because I felt like I never really got to know the characters, which made it feel like it was dragging at times. I also wanted a lot more charm from this. I guess I just didn't like the characters very much. Wicked Fox and Vicious Spirits are one of my all-time favourite duologies, AND I love K-Pop. So this should have been a new favourite, right? Now don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad book. But I was hoping for so much more. I frankly found myself quite bored while reading this, especially because I felt like I never really got to know the characters, which made it feel like it was dragging at times. I also wanted a lot more charm from this. I guess I just didn't like the characters very much.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    Never been a big of the whole prom thing but since this sounds like disastrous fun, I'm innnn Never been a big of the whole prom thing but since this sounds like disastrous fun, I'm innnn

  26. 4 out of 5

    Autumn (Chapter Malliumpkin)

    Arc was given by Disney Publishing Worldwide & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is being published after the release date (May 17th, 2022) Content/Trigger Warnings: MC with low self-esteem, scene and talk of separation anxiety, depictions of anxiety, talk of abandonment, bullying, brief mentions of chronic migraines, harassment, death of a parent (in the past), talk of acrophobia (fear of heights) “And for a breathless second, all I could do was stare at him as my Arc was given by Disney Publishing Worldwide & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is being published after the release date (May 17th, 2022) Content/Trigger Warnings: MC with low self-esteem, scene and talk of separation anxiety, depictions of anxiety, talk of abandonment, bullying, brief mentions of chronic migraines, harassment, death of a parent (in the past), talk of acrophobia (fear of heights) “And for a breathless second, all I could do was stare at him as my pulse echoed like thunder through my head.” Kat Cho has been an author on my radar for a while now, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down with her work until now and I think my expectation where blown out of the water. This book was absolutely everything. Truly, with my whole dang chest, I loved this book with every fiber of my soul. I mentioned before that I put this on a few five star predictions lists and honestly, I wish I could give this all the stars. Maybe I’m being mushy and sentimental about the places in my heart this book touched, but I really adored this book, these characters, and I wish it wasn’t over just yet. We follow the perspectives of Elena Soo, an anxious girl who always feels like she’s being left behind by the ones she loves and now the one place she calls sanctuary is now in danger of shutting down. And Robbie Choi, a K-Pop idol and an old best friend to Elena, who has returned to keep the childhood promise they made to one another from long ago. After all the time that’s passed between the two of them, these once close best friends will go on a journey of reconnecting with one another and even admitting the truth about their honest feelings. Swoon worthy moments, heartbreaking moments, and second chances will ensue for this dynamic duo. I adored Elena and Robbie as our main characters. I’ve seen so many readers say that we don’t see enough of who these characters are, not enough detail of their history together, but I think they’re perfect. Robbie and Elena came off as very really people. Not only when they’re together, whether it was them reconnecting or struggling with expressing themselves, but also in the moments that had your heart hammering in your chest, rooting for them to be happy. Even on their own, they felt like very strong characters. Elena has anxiety and we see that constantly reflected throughout this book. We see her doubt herself and see her navigate her feelings, and even her coming to terms with some of the things she’s done to protect herself. And Robbie, Robbie is incredibly shy yet we see him be charm and charismatic at times, as well. There were so many layers to these characters and it was lovely getting to see all the different sides to them. “There’s too much between us to be just starting out. But we can see how we fit together now, after all of our history, the good and the bad. A K-Pop idol and a regular girl.” The friendship between Elena and Robbie was probably the thing that got me the most. I’m talking moments of clutching my tablet, rooting for them and sobbing as these two were navigating their way back to one another. This friendship so close to home with my own childhood friend, how close we are, and how now we’re navigating our friendship after he and his family moved back to Japan. So reading Elena and Robbie go through so much with their friendship and seeing them work through the good, the bad, and the cute yet awkward moments really tugged at my heart strings, and made me miss my best friend a whole heck-a-ton. “Robbie didn’t want to give up on this chance to spend time with his old best friend. Not when he’d jumped through so many hoops just to see her again.” Speaking of characters, there’s so many amazing side characters throughout this book. Like Elena’s brother, Ethan and how despite them having some rough patches, these two always make amends with one another. We also get to see the way Robbie interacts with the other members of WDB (Wondeo Byul or Wonder Star) whbich was so freaking wholesome and precious. It’ll make your heart melt. Plus, we get little WDB member pages scattered throughout the book which was a lovely bonus. I’m just going to say it, there’s going to be a lot of happy k-pop lovers who I think are going to fall in love with this book, for sure. And I have to talk about Soonyeon is and how much I loved her character. Her character was such a lovely surprise and I really enjoyed the way the author had Elena become good friends with someone from Robbie’s whole world. That friendship blooming the way it did was just chef’s kiss! Also, there’s a lot of Korean culture throughout this entire book. I really appreciated the author adding a lot of Korean words throughout this book. Every time I see authors use their language, their culture, anything of the sort it just makes my heart all warm and fuzzy inside. Which I know, probably sounds a little corny, but it just makes me so happy seeing authors do that. I think that’s an aspect in books that often get overlooked or aren’t always given the spotlight it deserves . So I wanted to take a moment to say how much I really valued and cherished that part of this book. On top of that, we get to see a lot of insight of the music industry in different cultures. There was a time where it was almost taboo to talk about the way the music industry treats their artists or what artists have to go through, and thankfully now, we’re entering into a time where it’s being brought into the light more and talked about more. And that was an element of this book that I’m glad the author didn’t hold back with. I really appreciate how the author took it, not just with Robbie, but also with the side characters in this book. I’m really glad we got to see different sides of that within these pages. I think if there was anything I had to really find fault in with this book, it would probably be the lack of perspective we get from Robbie. While this book a two-person point of view book, we get very few chapters from Robbie’s perspective and I think this book would have benefitted even more if we had more chapters from Robbie’s pov. There were so many moments in this book that would have been really interesting to see from Robbie’s side and we just didn’t get that. Not necessarily a disappointment, but it definitely felt like a missed opportunity. Overall, what more could I possibly say about this book that I haven’t already. Honestly, I thought I may have set the bar too high for this book especially since this is my first time reading anything by this author, but I truly loved this. I had messaged my childhood friend about this book, telling him how much I adored it, and he’s really invested in reading this book now, and I just really fell in love with this book. I definitely think this is going to be one of those books where readers will find every flaw in it or they’re absolutely going to adore it. And definitely, many k-pop lovers are going to enjoy this book. I can’t recommend it enough and you know, if you’re on the fence about whether to pick it up or not then let this review give you the nudge you needed to give this book a chance. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Blog|Instagram|YouTube|Ko-fi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neko~chan

    This book was impossible to rate because like would I have enjoyed it when I was in my peak Kpop phase? Maybe. I might have liked it or I might have totally hated it. This is a turn your brain off and go with the flow kind of book. It’s camp.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    3.5 stars. I’ve said it elsewhere, but pre/teen Alexa would absolutely have been all about this story. It has the hallmarks of the tales I grew up reading and writing — a main character (two actually) who is trying to figure themselves and their relationship out, a pop music aspect (though mine would have been more Western and less K-pop back then) and a budding romance between two former childhood friends. It was charming and the last couple of chapters gave me all those excellent ~fan fiction 3.5 stars. I’ve said it elsewhere, but pre/teen Alexa would absolutely have been all about this story. It has the hallmarks of the tales I grew up reading and writing — a main character (two actually) who is trying to figure themselves and their relationship out, a pop music aspect (though mine would have been more Western and less K-pop back then) and a budding romance between two former childhood friends. It was charming and the last couple of chapters gave me all those excellent ~fan fiction vibes; but it also felt surreal to see a big chunk of who I used to be reflected in main character Elena. All in all, ONCE UPON A K-PROM was fun to read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Dual POV, Once Upon a K-Prom is about wanting to be seen. Feeling like a spare child, Elena just wants to be seen, to be understood. To stop being Ethan's sister and now, with the re-emergence of her ex-childhood best friend, Robbie's friend. In the midst of a campaign to save her local community center, Robbie shows back up in her life to ask her to prom. He shows her that he did (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Dual POV, Once Upon a K-Prom is about wanting to be seen. Feeling like a spare child, Elena just wants to be seen, to be understood. To stop being Ethan's sister and now, with the re-emergence of her ex-childhood best friend, Robbie's friend. In the midst of a campaign to save her local community center, Robbie shows back up in her life to ask her to prom. He shows her that he didn't forget about his promise from when they were children, but what about the cold shoulder the last years? Throughout Once Upon a K-Prom, both Robbie and Elena have to reckon with who they are. With the differences in their lives since they last spoke. Can they bridge the distance and divide of time? How some things have changed and others have stayed the same. Robbie's fame is something almost fairy tale like to Elena, but can she break through to find out who he truly is. Behind this image he projects to the world, who is Robbie? full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    You'd have to be living under a cave to not notice that K-Pop is slowly taking over the world. When this came up as our bookclub selection for May, I just knew it would be adorable. And I'm so glad I was right. I would like to preface this review with saying I am so glad I have friends who LOVE K-Pop and that I had also recently attended a K-Pop concert because it made some of the mentions in this book a little more easy to understand. Also, I absolutely love the troupes of celebrity/non-celebrit You'd have to be living under a cave to not notice that K-Pop is slowly taking over the world. When this came up as our bookclub selection for May, I just knew it would be adorable. And I'm so glad I was right. I would like to preface this review with saying I am so glad I have friends who LOVE K-Pop and that I had also recently attended a K-Pop concert because it made some of the mentions in this book a little more easy to understand. Also, I absolutely love the troupes of celebrity/non-celebrity and childhood crushes returning. What I liked about Cho was that the characters weren't perfect. Elena drove me absolutely nuts at times with how she pushed everyone away. But she was a teenage girl trying to deal with her childhood crush coming back into her life and the fact that he was an international superstar. Then there was Robbie - Oh Robbie. This boy just was a mess. He just kept tripping over his own feet the entire book. It's like I just wanted to grab their heads and SMOOSH. Another thing I liked was how in depth Cho went with the K-Pop lifestyle. It really isn't all glitz and glamour as it appears. They are very much controlled and held to insane levels otherwise they jeopardize their contracts with the people who "made" them. I'm not sure if Cho knew someone in the business or just did a lot of research, but it felt very close to what I've read about those type of acts. Was it unrealistic? Of course. They were put in situations that never would happen. But was it fun? 100%. A very cute romcom that brought happiness when needed.

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