Book Review: I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

Book: I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

Published June 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

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.

I really liked I’ll Be The Only One!  It’s cute and heartwarming and Skye is just awesome.

I loved Skye and thought she was a great character.  I really felt for her, and people are terrible, particularly one of the judges in the competition.  She clearly has a lot of talent, but it’s like that’s not important because of her looks.  Some people on social media are terrible, of course, but there’s a lot of support for her, and she’s determined to make it.  Not just for herself but for the people who feel like they’re not good enough.

Her mom was so frustrating!  I get why she acts that way, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay to treat Skye the way she does.  Skye does talk to her about it, and hopefully, her mom will realize that Skye is wonderful just the way she is.  And be more supportive.  I just want them to have a more healthy relationship, if her mom is willing and able to change her behavior, and if that’s what Skye wants.  It just goes to show how fraught mother/daughter relationships can be, especially in a world where Skye wants to be a K-pop star.

At least her friends and dad are great.  I wish we saw more of her dad, but he was really supportive, and tried to explain why her mom acted the way she did.  Her friends were great too, both her friends from school, and the friends she made along the way.  I loved the support she had, and she has a great group of people around her.  She’s going to need it!

The competition was cutthroat, but not as much as I thought it would be.  Then again, it’s a book, so there’s only so much you can see on page.  I’d love to see this as a movie or t.v. show, because it would work really, really well on screen.  One can only hope!

Also, I wouldn’t mind a sequel.  Just to see how she’s doing in Korea, as a trainee.  And to see how things go with her mom and with Henry.  It’s not often I want a sequel, but Skye was amazing, and I want to follow her on her K-pop journey.

4 stars.  Skye was awesome and I loved how she accepted herself, and was determined to go for what she wants.

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