Not Korean enough in Seoul,
not American enough in New York City –
does she have enough to make it as a star?
Her family’s support of Rachel’s quest to become a K-pop performer is both a comfort and a cage.
Umma, Appa, and her little sister left behind their lives in New York City six years ago when they moved to Seoul so she could train with DB Studios.
But the 17 year old must live at home instead at DB’s trainee house, attending school full-time, then cramming all rehearsals and lessons into the weekends…and doing her homework.
No boys, no social media, weekly weigh-ins – competition is fierce as DB plans to announce its new girl group soon.
Amid mounting pressures to excel in singing, dancing, interviewing skills, and poise, snooty heiress Mina leads her crew in harassing Rachel as a camera-shy American princess.
Rachel’s chance encounter with Jason Lee, internationally famous Korean-Canadian star of DB’s hit boy group, leads to an opportunity to perform with him – can she beat out Mina?
Romantic relationships are forbidden by DB Studios – is her friendship with Jason okay?
One poor decision makes Rachel’s mother furious and disappointed – will the huge disruption of her family’s lives be for nothing?
Written by former K-pop star Jessica Jung, this debut novel takes us behind the glitz of costumes, choreography, and luxury travel to the grind, sweat, and tears of the K-pop studios’ trainee system.
Read chapter one here, courtesy of the publisher, to meet Rachel, Mina, and the DB trainees striving for the chance to Shine on the international music scene.
How far would you travel to pursue your dream?
Book info: Shine / Jessica Jung. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2020. [author interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher through Edelweiss.