Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love is delightful. I’ve been anticipating this book ever since the cover reveal back in September. I just barely missed Maurene’s signing at Yallwest but I was happy to see so many other readers buzzing about her book.
I read this mostly on a plane and it was a perfect travel book. It was funny, romantic, charming, and relatable. Maurene created a dynamic story that made me root and cringe for Desi. I really wanted Desi’s “K Drama Rules for True Love” to work out even when they were ridiculous. Desi reminded me so much of Jenny Han’s Lara Jean. She’s knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to put herself out there.
Desi is not only determined to land her first boyfriend but she’s also dedicated to her studies, getting into Stanford, soccer, and various clubs at school. Desi is just plain nice and by the end of the book I was just wishing I could be friends with her.
Desi is also unapologetic for her devotion and love for her dad. Not every character or person has great parents, but Desi has a fantastic dad and she openly loves and reveres him. She starts watching K-dramas because her dad is obsessed with them. Cooking dinner and watching K-dramas together becomes their nightly ritual when Desi is researching for her plan. Desi’s dad, a Korean immigrant, is just as fiercely loyal to Desi and definitely gets the book parent of the year award.
I also loved that Desi was a late bloomer. She’s close to graduating high school and concocts this K-drama plan to get her first boyfriend. Lots of people bloom “late” and feel embarrassed because they haven’t done the things they think they should by a certain age. Desi owns her status as a girl who’s never had a boyfriend. Her friends, and later her crush, never make fun of her for that. They poke fun at her clumsiness and antics but never make her feel bad for having her own timeline.
This ended up being an adorable, own voices romance. If you need another reason to pick up the book just look at the cover. The eye-catching cover of a book about a Korean girl features an actual Korean girl on the cover! And it has a hot pink title. Enough said.