ARC Review: XOXO by Axie Oh

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically trained cellist without choosing practice over fun. That is, until the night she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, handsome, and just a little bit tormented, Jaewoo is exactly the kind of distraction Jenny would normally avoid. And yet, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable evening wandering Los Angeles with him on the night before his flight home to South Korea.
With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what could have been. But when Jenny and her mother move to Seoul to take care of her ailing grandmother, who does she meet at the elite arts academy she’s just been accepted to? Jaewoo.
Finding the dreamy stranger who swept you off your feet in your homeroom is one thing, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Turns out, Jaewoo is a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world. And like most K-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from dating anyone.
When a relationship means not only jeopardizing her place at her dream music school but also endangering everything Jaewoo’s worked for, Jenny has to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love. 

Thank you to Harper 360 for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I thought I would enjoy this book, but I didn’t expect to love it quite as much as I did. I loved the characters, the setting, everything. I completely fell in love with this book and it really surprised me. This one followed Jenny and Jaewoo, who have a chance meeting at the start of this book. After months of no contact, Jenny ends up attending the same music school in South Korea, where she finds out the boy she met was actually a K-pop idol.

I love South Asian inspired books, but I didn’t realise just how much until reading this one. I adored the setting, I found the writing really vivid and I could picture the city really well and all of the surroundings. I was so happy that this one was set in South Korea and it had such a lovely atmosphere that felt really authentic and taught me a lot about Korean food and culture.

The characters were a joy, and their relationships and friendships felt natural. The side characters were also lovely and the friendship group Jenny ended up in was so cute. I really liked her friendship with her roommate and how it progressed throughout the book too! The relationship between Jenny and Jaewoo was defnitely my favourite aspect of this book, and I ended up rooting for them so much I had tears in my eyes for the last 20ish pages of the book.

This book also offered an honest and open discussion of idol life in Korea and mental health, which felt like a really important part of this book and I was so glad to see it included. Although this book was very cute and fluffy, I appreciate how it didn’t shy away from important topics.

Overall, this was such a cute romcom with lovely characters and I couldn’t put it down. It was just what I needed and I would highly recommend it!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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