Ice cold lattes and red hot kpop stars!
Krystal has just finished high school and is determined to achieve her dream of becoming a kpop star. After encountering a number of bumps in the road, she eventually auditions with big-time kpop producer, KYM. KYM signs her as the final member of his new multinational girl group, Kpop Club. With only 3 months to prepare for their debut performance, the Kpop Club girls must give everything if they are going to be ready in time. Will Krystal have what it takes to fulfil her dream, and could she have found someone special along the way?
Review |★ ★ 1/2
Ever since I started really getting into Korean Pop music, I’ve been craving to read a book inspired by K-pop. I wanted to read a touching story about an aspiring K-pop artist making their way into the music industry. An “underdog becoming a top dog” kind of story. Kpop Club is that story, but it wasn’t a good story.
I want to be a K-pop idol when I grow up! Kpop Club is a pretty linear story about Krystal who just finished high school and is looking to become a K-pop singer. She auditions at one of the top four entertainment companies in Korea, OMG Entertainment (yes, that is seriously the name). Her audition goes well, then things start to go awry and then everything quickly becomes all sunshine and rainbows after that. I didn’t feel for Krystal at all. Other than her bumpy start, I felt like she barely struggled or made any efforts in her goal. Things were just going so well for her. This was mainly the fault of the writing. I was basically told what was happening to Krystal rather than experiencing her journey. This made the story less fun
Did you say something, Mr. Kim? I had an issue with the extremely long dialogue used in this story. More than often, a character would tell us information rather than the author showing us in his writing. At times I felt like I was being force fed a lot of K-pop industry trivia. This may have been an attempt to give the readers an insight into the industry, but instead created too many incredibly long monologues. As a K-pop fan, I am interested in what the industry is like, however the delivery of information was boring and dragged on for too long. I don’t mind the trivia, but at least make it interesting or vital to the story. (On a different note, why were there so many “Mr. Kim” characters?. I understand that “Kim” is very common Korean name, but was it really necessary to have them in the story?)
Ten girls, one group. I liked the idea that Krystal, our main protagonist, eventually joins a girls group with international members. However, there were ten girls in total and none of them were memorable. Heck, even Krystal wasn’t that memorable. When the time came to introduce the rest of the Kpop Club members there were mentions of where the girls came from, a little about about their appearance/personality and who their favorite fictional K-pop groups were. Nothing after that. No dimension. No personality. The girls just became background characters.
What did I like? I appreciated the author’s efforts to illustrate what Seoul and Korean culture was like. He mentioned the different stations you could use to travel, Kakao Talk (a popular Korean mobile messenger) was mentioned, honorifics were used and plenty of Korean foods were mentioned (ah, pat bing soo *drools*). This worked and didn’t work at times, but good effort. What interested me most was the mention of plastic surgery and the pressure for K-pop ideals to adjust their body image in accordance to the popular trends. I honestly didn’t know anything about V-lines or those crazy dieting remedies that are so popular in Korea.
In conclusion, Kpop Club was just “meh”. This was almost the story I wanted to read, but was just poorly executed. Supposedly, there is going to be a sequel in the future. I seriously hope that there will be some major improvements by then.
Would I recommend it?
Nope. Sad to say, this book didn’t get a “Wow. Fantastic baby.”out of me.