Made in Korea

S. & S. May 2021. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534474376.
Gr 8 Up–In this enemies-turned-lovers #OwnVoices romance, two students will compete to rule the Korean beauty products scene in their school. Senior Valerie Kwon and her cousin Charlie rule the school business field with their K-beauty products sold out of Val’s locker. All is well until new student Wes Jung poses a threat by selling merchandise and products from the hottest K-pop band. Both are desperate for money, as Val hopes to take her rapidly ailing grandmother to Paris, and Wes needs registration funds to apply to his dream music school, although his parents know nothing of this. Competition is fierce, and neither business is above spying and sabotage. As they get to know each other more deeply, feelings arise on both sides, but much is at stake to cave into something as inconvenient as love. Suk keeps the story moving fast with alternating narrators, and the dialogue and circumstances are believable. Readers will relate to each main character as they both struggle with parents, friends, school, and dreams.
VERDICT A great romance that depicts Asian American and international identities.

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