K-Pop Confidential

Stephan Lee. Point, $9.99 paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-338-63993-3
Candace Park, 15, is a top student at New Jersey’s Fort Lee Magnet, a secret K-pop fan, and a terrible viola player who desperately wants to sing, like her older brother Tommy. But their Korean-born parents, who met at a prestigious music school in Korea but now run a convenience store, “won’t budge.” Encouraged by best friends Imani and Ethan, Candace secretly auditions for a new girl group being created by the entertainment company behind an internationally popular K-pop boy band. Getting in is only the start of Candace’s challenges, however: she must persuade her protective parents to let her visit Seoul for intensive training, live in a dormitory with 49 other competitive young women, and navigate culture shock, training, and the competition. Debut author Lee captures the fun of K-pop music while exploring a factory where young women are scrutinized and subject to extreme dietary and physical expectations. This wish-fulfillment story twines “Cinderella” moments with intersectional issues—class, racism, sexism—but it’s Candace’s sense of self-worth that will get readers to cheer. 12–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, the Book Group. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/09/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Children's
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