book reviews

Shine || Book Review

Hi guys! Today I’m going to do a book review of Shine by Jessica Jung.


Rachel is a seventeen year old Korean American who is an aspiring K-pop artist. When she was recruited to train at one of Seoul’s largest labels, six years ago, the answer was always yes. It seemed easy. There were only a few rules: work hard, be perfect and don’t date.

Now Rachel’s not so sure. As the pressure rises, and competitors in an industry set on beatifying girls rise up, she doesn’t know if she can make the cut. Things get even worse when she realizes her crush on Jason Lee, everyone’s favorite golden boy.


Rachel was not the most interesting character I’ve encountered so far, but I found it easy to relate to her general struggles (not being an aspiring K-pop artist, though). Her sister was adorable, and I found their relationship endearing. I also was drawn to her parents, who sacrificed so much for her to make her dreams come true. Their journey as a family was really enjoyable.

I didn’t like Jason that much. He was ignorant and oblivious, though I believe he was a semi-decent person after all. He also used people and his fame in a way that I didn’t approve of.


The plot wasn’t that interesting, but I liked how it focused on what it’s actually like to train in those conditions, not just what the world sees. I found it unfair how differently the girls were treated as well. It opened my eyes to something I hadn’t really thought about. I liked it much more than I thought I would, especially considering I don’t listen to K-pop.


I’ll give this one three stars, because I liked it, but it didn’t have the best writing and wasn’t exactly my style.

Have you read Shine? If so, what did you think about it? What are your thoughts on K-pop?


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