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Somewhere Only We Know
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Maurene Goo's Somewhere Only We Know is a charming Roman Holiday-type of love story about Lucky, a famous Korean America K-pop star, and Jack, a Korean American tabloid photographer, who fall in love after spending a day together in Hong Kong. Readers will learn about K-pop, Korean words, and Hong Kong as well as the importance of communication and courage. The book also mentions some of the dark sides of K-pop stardom, such as unhealthy eating habits and eyelid surgery to appeal to Western beauty standards. Jack thinks that Lucky is drunk when she's actually on sleeping pills and anxiety medication. Pop culture mentions include The Later Tonight Show, Little Women, In-N-Out Burger, Netflix, Cardi B, Mariah Carey, Soundgarden, One Direction, and more. Strong language and insults include variations of "freaking," "crap," "hell," "ass," "s--t."
What's the story?
SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW tells the story of Lucky, a famous Korean American K-pop star who's just finished the last concert of her Asian tour and is about to make her American debut on The Later Tonight Show. Lucky knows how much this performance means to her label and how big this is for her career, but all she really can think about is finding a cheeseburger. Instead of falling asleep after taking her sleeping pills and anxiety medication, Lucky ventures onto the streets of Hong Kong without her manager or bodyguard knowing. Thankfully she runs into Jack, a handsome Korean American and aspiring photographer, who takes care of her that night -- without realizing she's a celebrity -- and gives her a tour of Hong Kong the next day. Lucky and Jack find themselves falling for each other as they visit various attractions and eat many delicious dishes around Hong Kong. But Lucky doesn't know that Jack's been secretly taking photos of her during their adventure for a popular tabloid magazine in the hopes of helping him start his career. Will their budding romance survive after Lucky finds out about Jack’s secret?
Is it any good?
Teens will fall in love with the swoon-worthy romance and vivid Hong Kong setting in Maurene Goo’s charming, Korean-pop-filled retelling of a classic film. Like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, Lucky and Jack have undeniable chemistry, and Goo flawlessly mixes their flirtatious banter with deep conversations about their lives. Lucky is confident, funny, and passionate about singing, but unhappy with her career. Jack is smart, sweet, and caring, but unsure if he should risk disappointing his parents to pursue his passion for photography. But as they get to know each other and unravel the lies they've been telling, readers will see how Somewhere Only We Know highlights the importance of being honest about what makes you happy and finding the courage to make your dreams a reality.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Somewhere Only We Know compares with other all-in-one-day love stories. What others have you read? What's effective about this time frame for a novel?
Does the romance portrayed seem realistic and relatable? Do young adult romance novels help readers sort out their feelings and learn how to communicate, or do they create false expectations about teen relationships?
Do you think that Jack's good qualities and intentions make it OK for him to manipulate Lucky? Is he a good role model?
Themes & Topics
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