a promise and a wish | once upon a kprom by kat cho

by - 8:00 AM

"When I think of prom, I picture aching feet, overpriced decorations, and unrealistic expectations. Obviously, I was in the minority though."

isbn: 978-1368054544 | pages: 336
      publication date: May 17, 2022 | source: physical-own/tour
     genre: young adult, rom-com, contemporary
     rating: 6/10 
Writing: 6 | Atmosphere: 6 | World-Building: 6 | Plot: 6 |  Characters: 6 | Impact: 6

     A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    |    B O O K S H O P * 
     B O O K D E P O S I T O R Y    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S
links with an (*) are affiliate where, when used to purchase gives me a small commission to support my blog at no extra cost to you!

a promise to be kept
Once Upon a Kprom is the ray of sunshine that this month needed to remind the East Coast that spring is very much happening. This book is full of butterflies and giant smiles because the characters are just so darn cute. Elena Soo is trying to convince her classmates to donate their prom budgets to saving the community center which leaves her ostracized by her classmates. While she isn't anti-prom exactly, she has no interest in attending - until her childhood best friend turned K-pop superstar shows up to ask her to prom.

I've been on an absolute roll with reading K-pop related stories and this one is another that just indulges its readers in the forbidden romance between a K-pop idol and a non-celebrity individual. Elena and Robbie have a lot of memories together as children and with his sudden shot to stardom, their friendship has slowly withered away. His return into Elena's life prompts her to realize her own inhibitions towards her relationships with those around her as she has to figure out what her feelings for Robbie entail.

Their reuniting also gives Elena insight into the world of the Korean entertainment industry which admittedly was portrayed in a very stereotypical manner that has become popular over the years. While I do wish we could have delved more into the injustices of idol life, Kat Cho managed to maintain a perfect balance of glamour with reality without jeopardizing the main rom-com plot through Robbie's POVs and it allowed readers to understand both characters' motivations without being too over the top.

childhood loves
This book also made me realize how fun it can be to read a diaspora Asian story where the main character is sure of her identity. Many times, diaspora stories are made to feel like they need to focus on self-discovery and cultural balance which are themes that I adore, but it's also comforting to see Elena navigate her world as Korean American being comfortable with who she is beyond her ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This allows for the novel to be that lighthearted rom-com that we all fantasize about, but this time with Asian American leads. 

By taking this route, Kat Cho was able to explore more about the relationships between each of the characters from Robbie and Elena's budding romance to Elena's friendship with Josie to her strained relationship with her twin brother. It gave the characters space to grow amidst the bigger plot point of childhood friends to lovers, allowing the story to be easily relatable while playing into every fangirl's dreams. 

thank you to Rock Star Book Tours, Disney Hyperion, and Kat Cho for the opportunity to participate on this tour! be sure to click the banner above for the full tour schedule and click here for more information on Rock Star Book Tours!

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