I’ll Be The One // pure and unbridled joy in book form

Hello bookworms of the universe! How are we feeling on this charmed Thursday??

I got my braces tightened today and my entire face feels like it’s been blended and then sandwiched between the jaws of a crocodile. We’re 10/10 thriving over here. But I had ice cream after, and since ice cream soothes the soul, it balances out a bit. 

I reread one of my favorites from 2020, I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee over the weekend. I know I already wrote a review of this book wayyyy back when I started blogging, but let’s be real it was a bit of a hot mess back then. Since the reread is fresh on my mind, I wanted to share some new thoughts in the form of a review that is not in the form of an overcooked brick. 

Book: I’ll Be The One

Author: Lyla Lee

Published June 16th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Ebook

trigger warnings

Fatphobia, racism, sexism and homophobia, emotional trauma inflicted by parent

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself (from Goodreads)

Skye is always being torn down. Whether it be for her weight, dancing, or for being bisexual someone has something to say. Girl really deserves her nickname Queen Skye. From the very beginning I was rooting for her, because throughout it all she remained authentically herself. Skye deserves the literal world and definitely topped my life of favorite characters. 

I originally thought Henry was going to be the mean famous guy who gets turned nice by the leading lady, but this was not the case at all. He was genuinely sweet the entire time. Plus he had a dog, so brownie points for that. I’m not a dog person and I still want to see his dog’s Instagram. 

The plot was genuinely so fun. It is basically a K-pop singing and dancing competition. I’m personally not well versed in the world of K-pop, but I think someone who really is would enjoy how K-pop centric the entire book is. There is singing, dancing, and a ton of drama, what more do you want??

I really enjoy how I’ll Be the One didn’t shy away from hard hitting topics. It took on fatphobia and emotional abuse head on and pulled exactly no punches. 

My only note would be that there we’re a couple places where the dialogue could have been fluffed up just a touch. Don’t get me wrong, it all felt really natural and well done, but a girl can only handle so many “yep” and “yups” before she spontaneously combusts from yep-variation overload. This is obviously super minor and not even something I picked up on the first time at all. 

Overall, this book took me out of my yuck mood. The characters and the competition are pure and unbridled joy in the form of a book and it is absolutely glorious. I’d highly recommend this book to someone in the mood for a contemporary or a fan of K-pop or singing competitions in general!

Have you read I’ll Be The One? What did you think??

15 thoughts on “I’ll Be The One // pure and unbridled joy in book form

    1. haha glad to hear it! this one definitely brings the fluffy moments while still having some more serious ones ❤️ hope you like it 🤞😁

      Liked by 1 person

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