Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene GooI Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Published by Delacorte Press on May 30th, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
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Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She's for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It's a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.


K-dramas (Korean dramas) aren’t my thing. I get the gist of it: poor girl falls in love with rich guy, there’s obstacles that girl has to overcome, enter guy #2, love triangle ensues, rich guy realizes his undying love for the girl, more drama (omg a secret!), and happily ever after. Though this is more or less in the form I’ve observed while watching Taiwanese dramas. It’s pretty formulaic and the truth is while I’ve tried to bring myself to watching a K-drama, I can’t get past the constant predictable-ness (which is why I love Japanese drama more because I can never predict the ending…even if the drama is based off of the manga)  or the fact that all the actors are JUST. TOO. PRETTY. Even when the girls are supposed to be plain looking and doesn’t seem to have a bad hair day.

Anyways, sorry about the tangent… our main character, Desi is determined not to let Luca go after she feels some kind of spark between them. She has failed at flirting time and time again that even her friends coined the term flailure. So the way Desi comes up with her plan is both adorable and insane. She created these K-drama steps to follow after binge watching a series with her dad, who has been watching them for years. And of course her friends has a part in her scheme. Speaking of her friends I love the relationship she has with them. Maybe it’s just me but I haven’t read too many books with a group of friends growing up with each other (the only other book that comes to mind is Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway), so it was refreshing to see that they had their inside jokes and knew each others’ quirks. And that their parents approved of their sleepovers.

While I’m a big fan of the best friend turn romance trope I think that I enjoyed seeing Desi falling for someone outside her group, even if the guy has all these cliche personality attached. Plus, she and Luca made a pretty cute couple. He didn’t mind or seem fazed out by her nerdiness. Though the beginning when one of the guys was about to ask her out I felt so bad for her puking on his shirt even though I laughed out loud at the same time. But, back to Luca…I wasn’t sure about him at first because he seemed a bit mellow and felt like one of those broody artistic characters. I didn’t understand Desi’s initial attraction to him at first besides the fact that he was “hot.” But, as we got more into the novel I found myself cheering Desi on.

I can relate to Desi well – not only in terms of flailure, but I also found myself smiling whenever she does something basic such as taking off her shoes when she enters her house. Or her dad turns on the volume of their TV super loud without any consideration for others. It’s the little things that made me swoon over this book, you know. But, I love her relationship with her Dad. It’s adorable how she tries hard not to disappoint him or that he doesn’t yell at her when he is disappointed with her. Her dad tries to be the best parent he can be for her after her mom died, and it’s just very endearing to see both of them trying hard for one another.

I don’t watch K-dramas, but the author dropped some titles throughout the book that I recognized such as Cantabile Tomorrow (if you’re interested in the Japanese version it’s based off of Nodame Cantabile) and Boys Before Flowers (if you’re interested in the Japanese version it’s based off of Hana Yori Dango). And if you’re a K-drama fan this book kind of follows the concept of a K-drama. Overall, it’s a cute read with lots of swooning and fluff.


Author: Jackie

5 Replies to “Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo”

  1. Sounds like a cute read. I am not at all familiar with K-dramas.

  2. I really know nothing about K-dramas other than what I just learned from your review 🙂 This does sound like a fun little story. Great review!

  3. This sounds REALLY cute! I love the idea of a friend group like that (I mean, comparisons to Emmy & Oliver? Sold!) I haven;t ever seen any K-dramas, but I think I’d be fine with them in the context of the book. I definitely need to read this one soon! Great review, I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. This does indeed sound cute, and I would definitely take the tropes along with the k-dramas! Sometimes if they work, I’m totally for a good trope!

  5. I’m not super familar with K-dramas, but I’m trying to get back into anime and manga soon. I was really into it in middle school (I’m graduating high school now), but stopped because it wasn’t “cool” and I cared to much about what people thought. This plot sounds super adorable, and I keep hearing amazing things about it! I love that there are a good group of friends here! So many YA books just have a random best friend that’s only mentioned a couple times. Great review!!

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