book review, young adult

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (ARC Review)

31145133Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publisher: Macmillan
Date published: May 30, 2017
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 336
Source: Book Distributor


A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the book distributor, in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: 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 human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.


– My Review –

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To someone who has geographically felt very alone when it comes to liking kdramas (Korean TV shows) and kpop (Korean pop) for nearly a decade, this book was life! The first thing which caught my attention about this book was the cover because I am actively selecting more diverse books for myself to read. I was intrigued, but when I read the description, I was entirely, 100% sold. I requested it through a contact of mine about five minutes after the cover initially caught my eye! And I am so, so glad that I was sent this book for review!

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Reading this book in Tokyooo

Our heroine, Desi Lee, is instantaneously likeable. From the very first page I found her to be cute and endearing, and I found myself caring for her and wishing all the good things to happen to her, very quickly. Due to the book being written in the first person from Desi’s perspective, we are not exposed to the thoughts of other characters, but I was entirely fine with this because Desi was a very cute and funny narrator! It definitely helped that I could also see parts of myself in her, particularly in the unlucky-but-later-funny-moments department!

The other characters were also quite diverse, easily distinguishable, and memorable! I also won’t like that the hero, Luca Drakos, definitely melted my heart a little! He definitely reminded me of some of my favourite broody kdrama heroes, and this was a very good thing. By the time I was getting close to finishing this book, I was actually thinking that I hope a Korean TV network will buy the rights to this book and make it into a kdrama! Due to this story taking place in the United States, however, I’m not sure how the story would translate from the page to the small screen…but one can dream, right?

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Me reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love before flying to Seoul, South Korea!

Goo’s writing is engaging and easy to follow in I Believe in a Thing Called Love, and as I mentioned above, I really enjoyed Desi’s narrative style. The tone was that of someone telling a friend of theirs about their antics, and it therefore felt very friendly and approachable. I also really enjoyed how the plot was mapped out, as it provided just the right amount of roller coaster ups and downs necessary to keep me entertained, happy, and sad (just like my favourite kdramas)! Goo is definitely a gifted storyteller, and I really hope to see more books like these from her in the future! I also really hope that this book has convinced some of those who have never heard of kdramas, or who have been thinking about watching kdramas but haven’t quite gotten to it yet, to go watch kdramas because they are just great!


– About the Author –

6549377Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She studied communication at UC San Diego and then later received a Masters in publishing, writing, and literature at Emerson College. Before publishing her first book, Since You Asked, she worked in both textbook and art book publishing. She also has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants and lives in Los Angeles. You can visit her at, or on Twitter and Instagram!


– Purchase Links –

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10 thoughts on “I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (ARC Review)

  1. This book came out at just the right time! I’ve just been getting into watching kdramas myself so this is perfect for me! It’s so cool that you got to read it while you were traveling to Tokyo and Seoul!

    1. Yessss I cannot believe the perfect timing for you! I’m so happy you’re into kdramas now, and that you’ll also be reading this book! We can fangirl together even more now 😀 Also yesss, that was super awesome timing for me too! Just a great past few weeks 🙂

  2. As a K-drama watchers, I was super excited when I read the synopsis and see it mentions K-drama. This book is currently on my tbr so hopefully I’ll get to read this one soon 🙂 x

    1. Yaaaay! So happy to bring this book into the lives of other kdrama watchers! She makes a lot of references to well-known dramas, most of which I watched, and I really liked that! I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did, when you read it! 😀

  3. I’m super excited to read this, and your review made me even more pumped to do so! I’ve put it on hold at the library, so I’m going to pick it up and read it pretty soon. Thanks for an awesome review!

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad that you will be reading it! Also thank you so much for your kind words, and also for reading my review and leaving a comment about it. 🙂

      As for tips for a new blogger…hmm. I would say that even if things feel like they are moving slowly (gaining followers, receiving ARCs, etc.), you should keep trying and things will work out! Also, don’t be afraid to let your own voice show through your writing. And lastly, always make your layouts and formatting as aesthetically pleasing for yourself as you can, because readers will really appreciate that 🙂

      I have followed your blog and will take a look at some of your posts soon! Good luck with everything!!!

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