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K-Pop Revolution

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She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only Candace's company judging her—it’s the entire world. How will she find the courage to stand by her beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence her... In the sequel to K-Pop Confidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only Candace's company judging her—it’s the entire world. How will she find the courage to stand by her beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence her... In the sequel to K-Pop Confidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly filled with the fans, cameras, and glamor of stardom: She and her boyfriend, YoungBae, are a K-Pop power couple; she’s a walking icon at Brandt Foreign School; and her new girl group, known simply as THE GIRLS, is poised to break records across the industry. With her status as the industry’s K-Pop Warrior, she has all the clout at her disposal to make waves. Right? Her label, S.A.Y., promises to help make the sweeping changes for the industry to become a more humane and compassionate place for artists. But what will happen when the road to a record-breaking debut isn’t as smooth as they’d planned? When a rival girl group emerges to steal the spotlight, carrying the message of change better than Candace ever could, she’ll have to decide what it’ll cost her and her bandmates to stand up for their beliefs. And as the world turns against her, with online bullies scrutinizing her every word, there’s only so much that one person can take. From the top of the world to the brink of disaster, Candace is going to have to figure out why the world is out to get her. And she’s not going to be able to do it alone. How far does one girl need to be pushed to start a K-Pop Revolution?


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She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only Candace's company judging her—it’s the entire world. How will she find the courage to stand by her beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence her... In the sequel to K-Pop Confidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only Candace's company judging her—it’s the entire world. How will she find the courage to stand by her beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence her... In the sequel to K-Pop Confidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly filled with the fans, cameras, and glamor of stardom: She and her boyfriend, YoungBae, are a K-Pop power couple; she’s a walking icon at Brandt Foreign School; and her new girl group, known simply as THE GIRLS, is poised to break records across the industry. With her status as the industry’s K-Pop Warrior, she has all the clout at her disposal to make waves. Right? Her label, S.A.Y., promises to help make the sweeping changes for the industry to become a more humane and compassionate place for artists. But what will happen when the road to a record-breaking debut isn’t as smooth as they’d planned? When a rival girl group emerges to steal the spotlight, carrying the message of change better than Candace ever could, she’ll have to decide what it’ll cost her and her bandmates to stand up for their beliefs. And as the world turns against her, with online bullies scrutinizing her every word, there’s only so much that one person can take. From the top of the world to the brink of disaster, Candace is going to have to figure out why the world is out to get her. And she’s not going to be able to do it alone. How far does one girl need to be pushed to start a K-Pop Revolution?

30 review for K-Pop Revolution

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephan Lee

    Using this space to share the parts of my Acknowledgements that show my gratitude to readers, the YA community, and the most important reader of all! Thank you, and I hope this book ends up meaning something to you!!! <3 My world has opened up so much more since the first time I wrote one of these Acknowledgements, thanks to the incredible YA community. I can’t believe how many wonderful friendships grew from a simple DM. I’m deeply indebted to Jessica Goodman, Emma Lord, Debbie Rigaud, Suzanne P Using this space to share the parts of my Acknowledgements that show my gratitude to readers, the YA community, and the most important reader of all! Thank you, and I hope this book ends up meaning something to you!!! <3 My world has opened up so much more since the first time I wrote one of these Acknowledgements, thanks to the incredible YA community. I can’t believe how many wonderful friendships grew from a simple DM. I’m deeply indebted to Jessica Goodman, Emma Lord, Debbie Rigaud, Suzanne Park, Debbi Michiko Florence, Zachary Sergi, Katie Zhao, Jason June, Lyla Lee, Axie Oh, and Kat Cho for your writer-friendship. It’s easy as a writer to doubt whether your work is making an impact or reaching the people you hoped it would. That’s why we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bookstagrammers, bloggers, and readers who give so much to the reading community without getting the thanks they deserve. A few special book lovers who make my job worth doing: Whitney (@whitney_mouse), Kat (@bookstagramrepresent), Michelle (@nursebookie), Nicole Barbosa, Lisa (@remarkablylisa), Latesha (@bookishgirlmagic), and so many more. To Umma—in light of anti-Asian hate, the daily indignities of being a marginalized person in America, and the act of racist violence that I was the victim of four years ago, you’ve said that you sometimes feel guilty about bringing me and my brother into this difficult world. I want you to rest assured that you’ve given me a most precious, joyful life, one that I would never trade for anyone else’s. When a reader tells me how much they love the Umma character, I know in my heart that the love you’ve raised me with is beyond anything I can hope to capture in fiction. Regardless of the outer circumstances of my life, the force field of your love and prayers has guarded my inner spirit from harm. Because of what you’ve given me every day since the moment I was born, you can be at peace for eternity knowing I am well in every way that matters. What a gift. Saranghae.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Era ➴

    [trigger warnings: mentions of disordered eating and body image, cyberbullying, manipulation.] Um HOLY SHIT??? Guys. Yes. This is the K-Pop Revolution and I am fucking here for it. This book was everything I came for and more. K-Pop Confidential was my first introduction to the small but growing world of K-Pop books, and it was perfection, but this book went above and beyond every expectation. First of all, the character development from Candace was so perfect. I loved how from the beginning of the [trigger warnings: mentions of disordered eating and body image, cyberbullying, manipulation.] Um HOLY SHIT??? Guys. Yes. This is the K-Pop Revolution and I am fucking here for it. This book was everything I came for and more. K-Pop Confidential was my first introduction to the small but growing world of K-Pop books, and it was perfection, but this book went above and beyond every expectation. First of all, the character development from Candace was so perfect. I loved how from the beginning of the book to the end, her narration was consistent, but you could tell so clearly how much she had grown and fallen. This plot was so twisty and fast-paced, I couldn’t make myself stop reading. I wanted to know what else would happen to THE GIRLS and YoungBae and NEVERIDOL. I wanted to know more about the characters and what else could possibly happen before Candace debuted. “If I really think about it, it’s kind of nuts how far I’ll go to avoid having a slightly awkward conversation. I’m so quick to try to smooth things over, pretend I’m easy-breezy.” Also, the setting was amazing. The only exposure I have to Korean culture is knowing things about the food and being obsessed with K-Pop and K-dramas, but reading this made me feel like I literally was in Seoul. It was vivid and blended perfectly with the rest of the book, especially with all the idol details thrown in. That brings me to the greatest part and the part that the entire rest of my review will be dedicated to: the way it talked about K-Pop. This book carefully and beautifully balanced the two sides of K-Pop: the glittery, glamorous side that we see of idols and their talents, and the dark, toxic side that is all over social media and in the agency companies. There was this natural allure to being an idol that came from Candace’s love of music and her determination to succeed. You could tell that she was dedicated to debuting and she really loved what she did. There were the fans and the excitement levels and the general glitz that everyone loves to dream about, no exception within the book. Then there was everything else. The lies spread on social media and the hordes of haters. The lack of privacy, the manipulative agencies, the hours and hours of inhumane training and dieting girls go through just so they can look good on camera. What people see is the makeup, not understanding that it’s layered on over scars and bruises from the terrible treatment that idols get. It’s literally so sick and disgusting that female trainees are forced to eat less than a toddler’s caloric needs and then dance for hours. It’s insane. They have to be skinny and beautiful, and if they’re not, then they need surgery. Their schedules are literally so unbelievable. There’s no way a human being can last on two hours of sleep a night while performing or preparing to perform every single day. Add to that the haters who know virtually nothing about the idols except what their companies see fit to release to the public. So many trolls and bullies online make assumptions or false accusations about idols based on things that might not even be true. The amount of shit that idols have to deal with from antis is genuinely scary. Death threats, stalking cameras and speakers, and cyberbullying are literally common with anti-fans. And then the idol companies. I am convinced that there are maybe two actually decent K-Pop agencies. The rest of them force their idols into horrible lifestyles, to the point that a manager can literally control every second of someone’s day - every calorie they take in, every move they make, every person they see. The pressure idols are put under should not be that awful, and the fact that it actually happens is genuinely horrifying. I might be an enormous K-Pop fan, but I would be more than willing to abandon the whole genre if it meant defeating the system. We need a group like NEVERIDOL in real life to confront the reality. “No one ever tells you how much scarier it is to win than to lose.” Overall, I am genuinely amazed at how much I loved this book? It was so much fun to read, and yet a serious wake-up call. I didn’t realize how hilarious and lighthearted it was until I contrasted that to how absolutely gritty and painful it was. It addressed so much about K-Pop and stardom, while maintaining a fun romcom vibe with Candace’s sass and perspective. YoungBae grins his crooked grin. “I guess you’re right. You know, I have this philosophy—true genius is knowing what you’re passionate about and being brave enough to not let anyone waste your time on everything else.” I think about that for a second. I’m kind of blown away by how profound it is. But then I elbow him and joke, “Which ancient philosopher did you get that from?” He laughs. “I think it was Confucius. Or Aristotle. Or Drake’s TikTok.” Honestly, everything about this book was iconic. Candace, Helena, YoungBae, NEVERIDOL, the writing style, the cover, the way it faces up to everything about K-Pop…pure, bold perfection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma Lord

    WELP. stephan went and DID IT AGAIN. honestly stories this good are irresponsible because my brain simply refuses to accept that candace isn't a real person and that the events of this book aren't like, canon to real life. everything i adored about k-pop confidential was dialed up to eleven in this. so groundbreaking, so original, every bit as heartfelt and revolutionary and hilarious as the first book and then some. just a *k-pop's kiss* satisfying read from start to finish. i won't go into det WELP. stephan went and DID IT AGAIN. honestly stories this good are irresponsible because my brain simply refuses to accept that candace isn't a real person and that the events of this book aren't like, canon to real life. everything i adored about k-pop confidential was dialed up to eleven in this. so groundbreaking, so original, every bit as heartfelt and revolutionary and hilarious as the first book and then some. just a *k-pop's kiss* satisfying read from start to finish. i won't go into details because spoilers but just know that you are in for a fast-paced, glittering, gripping RIDE and i'm deeply impatient for this book to come out so i can yell about it with everyone. brb, laying down my life for candace and all her friends. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Axie Oh

    My bias is Candace Park

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    This one took forever for me to finish but ultimately it was a me thing. I just wasn't in a mood for a celebrity romance but I enjoyed this one yet again! I just think the scandal and major drama was a bit too much in my opinion and that's why I knocked off a star. This one took forever for me to finish but ultimately it was a me thing. I just wasn't in a mood for a celebrity romance but I enjoyed this one yet again! I just think the scandal and major drama was a bit too much in my opinion and that's why I knocked off a star.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookevin

    Eep, I expected the drama and I wasn't ready for it! -- WE HAVE A COVER AND IT'S STUNNING!!!! Eep, I expected the drama and I wasn't ready for it! -- WE HAVE A COVER AND IT'S STUNNING!!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    2022? Oh please, please, PLEASE let it come out earlier than that! 🤞🏾

  8. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    Big thanks to Edelweiss for making my dream come true! Quick note: I own two copies of K-Pop Confidential and one of them is signed and I will flex that until the day I die. Ok, reasons to read: this doesn't suffer from the sophomore slump. At. All. Also, idols, MVs to die for and an ending that will have you screaming Personal rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, this book is definitely an 11! (that's an IVE reference btw. ;) Candance is feeling the repercussions of her tea spilling at the end of book one Big thanks to Edelweiss for making my dream come true! Quick note: I own two copies of K-Pop Confidential and one of them is signed and I will flex that until the day I die. Ok, reasons to read: this doesn't suffer from the sophomore slump. At. All. Also, idols, MVs to die for and an ending that will have you screaming Personal rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, this book is definitely an 11! (that's an IVE reference btw. ;) Candance is feeling the repercussions of her tea spilling at the end of book one, but things start to look up when SAY decides to use her popularity to debut her after all. They say they're trying to change the way things are done in the industry. Que in the real hard work. On top of school, Candance has to balance dance practice, friendships, and making sure she stays true to herself. The stakes have been raised. THE GIRLS have become one of the most anticipated K-pop groups of all time. My favorite thing about these books is that the author keeps us in a state of fantasy while dripping into some sad facts of reality in the K-pop industry, but it was the state of the girl's feet that truly shocked me. I reminded me of an interview I read a while back about a K-pop star who talked about how deformed her feet became after becoming an idol. Those long hours of practicing and touring and fan meets etc must be Hell. It continues to surprise me how determined K-pop trainees are and how long they train for that tiny chance of debuting someday while some never get a chance in the spotlight. Never mind the strict diets, dating bans, and the fact that the industry sucks the life of these groups. But there is always room for change and I feel like some of the things Candance fought for could become a reality in K-pop nowadays. I went off on a tangent and I am NOT editing that bit because my fingers are cramping bahaha Overall, I devoured this book. I have some predictions for book three (there is going to be one, right?) and I hope it goes the way I see it going, but knowing the author, he's going to blow it out of the park. Fans of the first book are going to LOVE this one. :D Bookstagram

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jazmin

    I was given a copy of K-POP Revolution in exchange for a review on behalf of The Honey POP. WOW! I really loved this book. I already was so invested in K-POP Confidential and K-POP Revolution just pushed me further down the rabbit hole of the life of Candace Park. The ending of the first book had me filled with so many questions and I feel like K-POP Revolution did a great job at answering them. K-POP Revolution delves straight into the aftermath of the turmoil we were left in following the debu I was given a copy of K-POP Revolution in exchange for a review on behalf of The Honey POP. WOW! I really loved this book. I already was so invested in K-POP Confidential and K-POP Revolution just pushed me further down the rabbit hole of the life of Candace Park. The ending of the first book had me filled with so many questions and I feel like K-POP Revolution did a great job at answering them. K-POP Revolution delves straight into the aftermath of the turmoil we were left in following the debut of S.A.Y Entertainment’s brand new girl group. I wasn't too sure how far into the future we'd be taken but I really like how the timeline pretty much stays the same give or take a few days to process the OMG moment of the year. Much like the first book, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions, but I loved every moment of it. There’s a great balance of realism and entertainment values that remind you that events throughout the story aren’t too far from reality but aren’t necessarily a retelling of any specific event. K-POP is continuing to grow in global success and popularity, with many people seeing the content we receive and thinking idols have perfect lives that we should strive for when in actual fact, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Given the title's name its no secret that there are strong themes of rebellion, protest and fight for change and I feel like K-POP Revolution was a glimpse of what could be a reality someday. I also really enjoyed getting to know the characters more. I loved seeing Candace navigate her way through new situations, seeing a different side to Helena, and seeing characters who didn't have much of a role in the first book step into the spotlight. I'm so emotionally attached to them all that I did feel sad when I finished the book. I don't know if we can expect another book in this series but I would read it in a heartbeat, or even a spinoff following another character's story (tbh I'd pay good money to read a story about YoungBae or One.J, hint hint!) I loved this book as much as, if not more than, K-POP Confidential, and I think any stan would benefit from reading from it. You can read my full review over on The Honey POP

  10. 4 out of 5

    Devin

    I was able to obtain an advanced copy and absolutely loved it. There is added complexity and richness to this sequel as the author explores Seoul and introduces several new characters as SAY responds to the events of the first novel (won't spoil too much here). But the story, at its heart, is about Candace's development as an artist and the questions she must ask herself: Can she develop a unique voice in a hyper-corporate, structured environment? Is being a musician worth carrying the burden th I was able to obtain an advanced copy and absolutely loved it. There is added complexity and richness to this sequel as the author explores Seoul and introduces several new characters as SAY responds to the events of the first novel (won't spoil too much here). But the story, at its heart, is about Candace's development as an artist and the questions she must ask herself: Can she develop a unique voice in a hyper-corporate, structured environment? Is being a musician worth carrying the burden that fame brings? And will she need to "choose" a culture as she straddles life as a Korean idol while dreaming of her friends and college in America. As with the first novel, the author blends sharp insights with incredible wit and humor.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Đức Nhật

    At least 11 months until I can touch this? You gotta be kidding me. But I will happily wait (in desperation) 22/05/2022: 4 stars. This took me a while but it was worth it. I had a few issues with how the author portraying the K-pop scene. But overall, enjoyable. I realized that since I'm a huge K-pop fan, my taste for K-pop fiction was much more limited since I had a narrow view of the K-pop world in reality. Maybe that's why I didn't really enjoy this book as much as the first one. At least 11 months until I can touch this? You gotta be kidding me. But I will happily wait (in desperation) 22/05/2022: 4 stars. This took me a while but it was worth it. I had a few issues with how the author portraying the K-pop scene. But overall, enjoyable. I realized that since I'm a huge K-pop fan, my taste for K-pop fiction was much more limited since I had a narrow view of the K-pop world in reality. Maybe that's why I didn't really enjoy this book as much as the first one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hailey

    Reread update 5/17/22: STILL CRIED. CANDACE IS MY ULTIMATE BIAS 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 *screaming* This book was everything. Candace Park is the type of girl you want to know. You want her to like you and you want to root for her. I kept wanting to watch the MV they make and listen to their single....then had to remind myself that it's ✨fictional✨ lol Her journey in this story is a rollercoaster, just like in book 1! She wants to make some positive changes in the kpop community and the fans are rooting for her to Reread update 5/17/22: STILL CRIED. CANDACE IS MY ULTIMATE BIAS 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 *screaming* This book was everything. Candace Park is the type of girl you want to know. You want her to like you and you want to root for her. I kept wanting to watch the MV they make and listen to their single....then had to remind myself that it's ✨fictional✨ lol Her journey in this story is a rollercoaster, just like in book 1! She wants to make some positive changes in the kpop community and the fans are rooting for her to make them. Seriously. Candace is just A STAR 😍 She goes through so much crap this time around and the ending definitely made me cry a few times. We meet some new diverse characters in this book, as well as some appearances from our faves from the first book like Helena, Umma, YoungBae, and Binna!! (Huge Binna stan!!) I absolutely loved this book. Thank you Stephan for a signed ARC to review!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Review to come

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review. I pretty much curled up all week (or at least what I could of the week) reading K-Pop Confidential and then diving right into K-Pop Revolution immediately not because I'm a serial reading procrastinator (I am), but they were just that good. K-Pop Revolution immediately jumps right in from the end of the A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review. I pretty much curled up all week (or at least what I could of the week) reading K-Pop Confidential and then diving right into K-Pop Revolution immediately not because I'm a serial reading procrastinator (I am), but they were just that good. K-Pop Revolution immediately jumps right in from the end of the first book, when Candace Park is facing the aftermath of what she just did on live television: exposing the problematic issues in the K-Pop industry after she's been announced as a member of S.A.Y.'s new girl group, THE GIRLS. Quite frankly, she lit up the industry like dynamite and maybe her career, too, as her label S.A.Y. threatens a lawsuit over her actions. But with massive online support right behind Candace, her label quickly realizes maybe they should debut the girl group after all, especially with all the clout she now has after being dubbed as a K-Pop Warrior. They're promising to help make the changes she's wanting as a leading company in the industry, but are they really? After all, they're one of the largest corporations behind the most popular boy band, SLK. If K-Pop Confidential was Candace's journey as a trainee to debut, K-Pop Revolution is her journey now that she's closed the chapter as a trainee and opened the next part: being a rookie idol. It's an exciting time for her because she's aware so few trainees make it to debut (and have seen so many get cut from the program), but it's also a stressful time. Not only is she dealing with all the pressures normal high school students face, but she, along with the rest of her group members, are also preparing for their highly anticipated debut that's set to break records. She's constantly in the spotlight as the world watches what she'll do next as she faces off a large corporation (and a whole system) and questions if she really can push for the changes she wanted. Like the first book, Lee provided insightful information about the K-Pop industry, being critical of the issues idols face on a regular basis but also recognizing the amount of work they put in. That being said, while there's plenty of humor, there's also a good amount of serious moments. Perhaps the biggest one is all the negativity Candace faces as a new rival girl group no one expects to be successful makes a splash in the industry. Unlike THE GIRLS, they're actually pushing for the exact changes she wanted, and the ones who once supported her begin to criticize her and it begins to affect her mental health. Candace was charming as the main character and I loved seeing her develop even more throughout the sequel; there are so many points in the book where I want to reach in and hug her while also crying over everything she's going through. I also loved that while Candace is the star of the story, the rest of the characters aren't cast aside either. They also grow along with the protagonist and have their chance to shine, even if they have only a few moments or are briefly mentioned. Although I loved seeing her relationship with the rest of her groupmates, I especially enjoyed her bond with Helena and the interactions they have together. Now that they're no longer competing for a spot in the group, we really got the chance to see another side of Helena that only briefly appeared in the first book because the two of them have pretty much adopted each other as family (though perhaps, that might be thanks to Candace's umma wishing for them to stick together). The ending did feel rushed with wrapping up plot points quickly and there were some that just felt thrown in there -- honestly, I think I was enjoying everything about the book and kind of got pushed headfirst into the ending. Being that this is fiction, K-Pop Revolution is definitely unrealistic and dramatized, as much as I would love to see the K-Pop industry truly change for the better. But this honestly didn't eliminate the fun I had reading this book and the overall satisfaction as Candace's story comes to a close. This review was originally posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Seo-Hyung

    First. ONE.J🫡😭 Second. Unbelievable✨ Being a K-pop Idol might seem easy from the outside. But in the inside, it’s way different. What looks amazing and wonderful on the stage hides hours of training, hours of pain, hours of sleep missed and hours of starving. But, it does look nice on stage, right? It’s true that the K-pop idols look stunning in the MVs? Is it true that they’re gods on screen, isnt’t it? It’s hard to admit it. I know that. It’s hard to admit that what we see is just the beautiful First. ONE.J🫡😭 Second. Unbelievable✨ Being a K-pop Idol might seem easy from the outside. But in the inside, it’s way different. What looks amazing and wonderful on the stage hides hours of training, hours of pain, hours of sleep missed and hours of starving. But, it does look nice on stage, right? It’s true that the K-pop idols look stunning in the MVs? Is it true that they’re gods on screen, isnt’t it? It’s hard to admit it. I know that. It’s hard to admit that what we see is just the beautiful face of K-pop. Stephan Lee made me see inside of the outside. K-pop Revolution made me understand that everything we see on the stage is the beautiful part, a part they worked for a lot! Candace fought for the rights of K-pop Idols. She fought for a better K-pop era, for a better life for the idols. With her help, K-pop became something different, something for everyone. No matter your race, your body type, your sexuality, you were openly welcomed in the K-pop industry. Thing which is amazing, cuz everyone has the right to be happy! I don’t really know what else to say about this book, about this masterpiece. Stephan Lee you’re an amazing man, who wrote two amazing books, two books which opened my eyes toward the real K-pop industry! I want to thank you honestly for everything you showed and taught me with the help of these two books, K-pop Confidential and K-pop Revolution. I can’t wait for new amazing books from you, new books to open my eyes!🤍✨

  16. 5 out of 5

    GG_Reads

    This hurts my soul to give only three stars. I just know that this author was trying to do something good. They showed how hard it is to make change, that fans extent of love and hate can be unbearable and just how intense that life is. The thing is…it took so long to do that. And ohmigosh, again- trying to show something good, Candace was an egomaniac. Yeah, I get it, I get it, it was trying to show something but I was just really annoyed. There were so many different angles this book could hav This hurts my soul to give only three stars. I just know that this author was trying to do something good. They showed how hard it is to make change, that fans extent of love and hate can be unbearable and just how intense that life is. The thing is…it took so long to do that. And ohmigosh, again- trying to show something good, Candace was an egomaniac. Yeah, I get it, I get it, it was trying to show something but I was just really annoyed. There were so many different angles this book could have dealt more deeply with, but Candace just didn’t care enough to do anything about it. Or, as she mentioned A LOT in this book, she was just doing so much work she didn’t have time for anything else. Incase you forget, there are helpful reminders about her busy schedule in every chapter. But the angle this book did take…huh? Secret identities, evil masterminds, hate on the rich that was just soooo off topic. I think, eventually, this book got to a good point. It sent it’s message and ended on what felt like a positive note? We don’t really know where any of the characters are now, but none of them were fleshed out enough to care. Honestly so sad I didn’t love this, because k-pop books are IT. Feel like it says something bad about me that I only want to enjoy the books and not deal with the hard hitting reality…but books are for escapism people!

  17. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Brianna Raquel ✨

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was a slow start for me, but when the conspiracy started, I was hooooked.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy

    (+) The best Black representation in a K-pop book I've read thus far (+) Better queer representation this time around. (Though the bar was really low.) (+) The horror section in the third act was the most exciting part of the book (+) Super easy to read. Finished it in a few hours. (+) The annoying Korean/K-pop terms in bold were now changed to italics. Footnotes or a glossary still would've been better than stopping the narrative to explain things, in my opinion. (+/-) Still had to suspend my disbe (+) The best Black representation in a K-pop book I've read thus far (+) Better queer representation this time around. (Though the bar was really low.) (+) The horror section in the third act was the most exciting part of the book (+) Super easy to read. Finished it in a few hours. (+) The annoying Korean/K-pop terms in bold were now changed to italics. Footnotes or a glossary still would've been better than stopping the narrative to explain things, in my opinion. (+/-) Still had to suspend my disbelief in some places. I don't think NEVERIDOL would be such an immediate success in Korea and win their first music show. But they'd blow up internationally and become a cultural phenomenon with lots of dedicated fanbases outside of Korea. Sort of like KARD. (+/-) You know what?? That would be a much more compelling narrative than the one we got here. STEPHEN LEE, MAKE IT HAPPEN. NEVERIDOL SPINOFF, BABY. (-) Why is the cover marketing this as a love triangle, when it's not? At all? (-) Tonally all over the place (-) I clocked the twist villain right away. (-) A rushed climax in the final act. (-) Finished the book without really caring about anyone. It's a story driven narrative. (-) Weird mix of real world people/things and fictional people/things. I.E. The fact that Lee wrote a scene with a K-pop group going on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and proceeding to write dialogue under Colbert was kind of uncomfy for me. Why couldn't it have just been a made up talk show?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    THE GIRLS, I now realize, look an awful lot like a typical group from a top label. Sure, we're technically not on diets, I had creative input on a couple of lines of our debut Title Track and some of the B sides, and there's no dating ban. But at the end of the day, we're five thin, fair-skinned girls of East Asian descent who are terrified to put a toe out of line. There's nothing revolutionary about that. (225) I'd recommend reading this not long after K-pop Confidential, if possible—I read boo THE GIRLS, I now realize, look an awful lot like a typical group from a top label. Sure, we're technically not on diets, I had creative input on a couple of lines of our debut Title Track and some of the B sides, and there's no dating ban. But at the end of the day, we're five thin, fair-skinned girls of East Asian descent who are terrified to put a toe out of line. There's nothing revolutionary about that. (225) I'd recommend reading this not long after K-pop Confidential, if possible—I read book 1 in 2020, I remember nary a thing, and although K-Pop Revolution does a good job of summing up the important parts without sounding repetitive, I'm sure I would have gotten more out of this had it not taken me a while to figure out what was going on in the first place. Altogether enjoyable, but if I'm honest: when NEVERIDOL comes on the scene, they're the ones whose story I want to read. Not the story they get here: (view spoiler)[blazing onto the scene and being an immediate success. I'm interested in an alternate story where they're in the K-Pop scene but not in the limelight, where they have a small but loyal fanbase and we get to know the individual members (hide spoiler)] . Based on the ending, which I'll discuss behind a spoiler tag, I think this might be the end of this particular series, though I guess you never know. But the ending: (view spoiler)[The book ends with Candace's application essay to Harvard, and I assume it's one that's going to get her in...not least because, as she tells it in the essay, she's by then world-famous as an idol and as a songwriter, etc. etc. etc. Fame likes fame, after all. But if I were reading this essay, I'd have serious reservations: first, Candace saying openly 'I don't need you, and I don't really care if I go to Harvard or end up doing something else'; second, Candace saying openly 'I cheated on all my junior year classes (but don't worry I've atoned)'. The first might be true—but it doesn't read well. And the second is important to address...but not without, ah, quite a bit more detail than 'I don't do that anymore don't worry'. But also: Why Harvard? What does Candace want to do with a Harvard degree when she's already taken over the K-Pop world? There's no indication anywhere in the rest of the book that she's interested in higher education in general, or in Harvard specifically. Did she consider schools with stronger music programmes? What about schools in other locations? I get that Harvard is shorthand for 'successful' or 'best' or something like that, but in this case I don't really get it. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    This one was such a fun read! I binged the first one in a day, and even though I had a few minor problems with it, I was super excited to start this one. And this one delivered. It was so much better than the first one! I really love Candace as a character. Shes not perfect, in fact, she's incredibly flawed. But that's part of her charm. She feels real. She makes mistakes, her relationships with people aren't always the healthiest, and she struggles. Every bit of this made her relatable. Every b This one was such a fun read! I binged the first one in a day, and even though I had a few minor problems with it, I was super excited to start this one. And this one delivered. It was so much better than the first one! I really love Candace as a character. Shes not perfect, in fact, she's incredibly flawed. But that's part of her charm. She feels real. She makes mistakes, her relationships with people aren't always the healthiest, and she struggles. Every bit of this made her relatable. Every bit of this made me love her. I also really loved the relationship between Umma and Helena. It was incredibly touching, and even more adorable. It's the found family we want in books, and it made this book even better than it was. The only bad thing about this one was that cliffhanger... There better be a 3rd book coming. Because sure, it's semi-resolved, but I need conclusion. I need to know what was happening, and what's next. Although I've never even listened to K-pop (oops) I've read several K-pop focused books now, and I've really enjoyed them! Guess I'm finding a new subgenre I enjoy... Thanks to Colored Page Book Tours for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoya⁷

    WE HAVE A COVER AND IT'S GORGEOUS AND THE SYNOPSIS IS AMAZINGGG WE HAVE A COVER AND IT'S GORGEOUS AND THE SYNOPSIS IS AMAZINGGG

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brennan Klein

    An anemic sequel that pointlessly resurrects an old love triangle without putting much effort into it. I really dig the final quarter when it becomes a ‘70s paranoid thriller though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    So grateful and big thanks to @stepephan , @scholasticinc , @coloredpagesblogtours for this wonderful ARC and the first book leading up to this book Review: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2️ 🌈 Dang, this book was SO GOOD and satisfied my K-POP FIX! I adore anything Korean and K-pop is such a huge part of it. I added every single 'real' song mentioned into my playlist and was playing it on repeat while reading this book. This story begins where Candace is feeling the after effects spilling the beans on SAY. After so So grateful and big thanks to @stepephan , @scholasticinc , @coloredpagesblogtours for this wonderful ARC and the first book leading up to this book Review: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2️ 🌈 Dang, this book was SO GOOD and satisfied my K-POP FIX! I adore anything Korean and K-pop is such a huge part of it. I added every single 'real' song mentioned into my playlist and was playing it on repeat while reading this book. This story begins where Candace is feeling the after effects spilling the beans on SAY. After some help, SAY decided to change their tune and use her fame to debut her and her members. They also decided with the consequences that their industry needs to be changed and the girls are treated. Candace also has to balance school, friendships and her relationships on top of debuting. I could also see how she struggles to stay true to herself with so many distractions in play. I love Candace and her character growth in this novel. She is a very relatable character and it makes her all the more lovable. I also enjoyed how some of her relationships with her teammates grew. I love how the author keeps it as authentic to Korea as he can, the food, the culture and the sad reality of the K-pop industry makes this a great book to read. 🦄 Overall, an awesome YA read for anyone who needs a K-pop fix! 🦄

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bel

    This is one of my most anticipated books this year because I read K-Pop Confidential last year and it was one of my favorite books of 2021. This time Candace is back and and trying to navigate the treacherous waters as a rookie idol along with her newly debuting group, The Girls. The focus is more on the "harsh realities" of making it as an idol and Candace finding the balance between being herself and following the rules. I miss that there is less of the romance aspect but there are new charact This is one of my most anticipated books this year because I read K-Pop Confidential last year and it was one of my favorite books of 2021. This time Candace is back and and trying to navigate the treacherous waters as a rookie idol along with her newly debuting group, The Girls. The focus is more on the "harsh realities" of making it as an idol and Candace finding the balance between being herself and following the rules. I miss that there is less of the romance aspect but there are new characters who added more to the story that I enjoyed. Overall I still liked the first book more, but book 2 did not disappoint and was a worthy sequel that wrapped up the series in a satisfying way. I also had to add that Stephan Lee is such a great writer. I loved the writing, it never felt that the story was overly slow or dragging. The sass and humour sparkles on each page. Each of the characters brought something to the story. I can't wait to read more from him.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    2 Stars 11th Book of 2022 I knew this was going to be unrealistic, but dang, was it actually. What I thought was a rushed ending in the initial book kind of exploded all over this sequel, devolving into underhanded plots with blockbuster-level reveals, a love triangle where one of the guys involved was never really an option, and another bombastic ending that wrapped things up with an oversized bow. Not going to lie, I still had fun reading this one. I love the concept. But I couldn't help rolling 2 Stars 11th Book of 2022 I knew this was going to be unrealistic, but dang, was it actually. What I thought was a rushed ending in the initial book kind of exploded all over this sequel, devolving into underhanded plots with blockbuster-level reveals, a love triangle where one of the guys involved was never really an option, and another bombastic ending that wrapped things up with an oversized bow. Not going to lie, I still had fun reading this one. I love the concept. But I couldn't help rolling my eyes a bit, couldn't help but wonder - what happened? I'm sure I'm not the target audience, but even then, it was a bit too silly for my taste.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Asha

    This young adult contemporary novel explores mental health, bravery, being true to yourself, and k-pop idol stardom. Overall, I enjoyed this one as much as the last book! I’m really glad I was able to binge these two books in a matter of days. The writing style kept me engaged throughout the story. I liked the character development that the author had for each of the characters. Definitely recommend reading this if you liked the first one! FYI I would recommend reading the first book before read This young adult contemporary novel explores mental health, bravery, being true to yourself, and k-pop idol stardom. Overall, I enjoyed this one as much as the last book! I’m really glad I was able to binge these two books in a matter of days. The writing style kept me engaged throughout the story. I liked the character development that the author had for each of the characters. Definitely recommend reading this if you liked the first one! FYI I would recommend reading the first book before reading this one so you can really understand Candace’s journey.

  27. 5 out of 5

    A_Stylish_Bookworm

    This book picks up right where K Pop Confidential leaves odd. Though it could be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the first book to get a better understanding to Candace as well as the other characters. I liked how this book dealt with mental health and being true to yourself. The narrator did an amazing portraying a teenager and I love all the fun songs and felt the energy of being in a band.

  28. 5 out of 5

    A nerdy book addict

    after loving the first book so much, I couldn't wait to read the sequel, but unfortunately in didn't enjoy this one quite as much. all of the drama felt a bit too forced, candace was quick to assumptions (which honestly, from experience - normal teenage behavior, but still frustrating from the outside), and it felt like some of the characters were acting out of character for the sake of moving the plot. that being said, the book was still fun, over the top (in an entertaining way) and a quick enjoy after loving the first book so much, I couldn't wait to read the sequel, but unfortunately in didn't enjoy this one quite as much. all of the drama felt a bit too forced, candace was quick to assumptions (which honestly, from experience - normal teenage behavior, but still frustrating from the outside), and it felt like some of the characters were acting out of character for the sake of moving the plot. that being said, the book was still fun, over the top (in an entertaining way) and a quick enjoyable read. 3.5 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

    This 5-star is for enjoyment, not quality. I’m still baffled this was written by a man. As a definite Stan of anything Kpop, I can say this is a very devastating but accurate portrayal of what happens in Kpop EVERY DAY. Incredible message, relatable characters, and a page-turning plot line. I loved this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trish Caragan

    THE WAY THIS BOOK JUST PERFECTLY ENDED! I AM EMOTIONAL 💜💝💜💝 Full review to come bc I have so many feelings and I am losing it in all the best ways 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

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