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I'll Be the One

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,891 ratings  ·  1,438 reviews
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally tele
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Lyla Lee Hi! The main character (she's bisexual) as well as most of the supporting cast are queer (one is bi, two are lesbian). Thanks!…moreHi! The main character (she's bisexual) as well as most of the supporting cast are queer (one is bi, two are lesbian). Thanks!(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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[Book #5 for my grad school YA class: our own choice of realistic fiction book!]
This was such a delight to read! I honestly couldn't put it down and had a smile on my face for most of it. Totally recommend it if you are looking for a fluffier contemporary that still has a great message and representation!
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

this was so cute. rtc! <3

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Buddy read with Maëlys & Lea! ❤
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, korea
Hands down the best book about Kpop I’ve read so far. It was so worth the wait 💛

“I’m fat. People think it means I should hate myself, and when I don’t, it makes them uncomfortable. But this is just another part of who I am, and I’m happy with who I am.”

I’ve read a couple of books about Kpop in the last years but they were written by white writers, and guess what? They weren’t great.
This book is what I wanted from the beginning. An ownvoices Korean rep makes a huge freaking difference. Take n
monica kim
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
ok, so i went into this book really worried about if i’d like it or not. i heard that it was a cute contemporary about a fat korean girl doing a kpop competition show and feared it’d gloss over the really extreme fatphobia in korean culture. but this book did not do that at all - it faced that head on without ever being condescending or reductive. i also loved all the queer rep in this book and that it touches on the taboo of being out in the kpop industry. and again, it felt honest in how it po ...more
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
UM. HI. THIS WAS LIKE THE BEST THING EVER?! This was the sweetest, most fun I've had with a book in a while! I LOVED our main girl Skye and how unapologetically herself she is. Skye is plus-size and bisexual and she lives her life the way she wants (and deserves!) to live it. The love interest was equally squishy and sweet and I just wanted the best for all the of side characters as well. Overall, a WONDERFUL contemporary with great diversity and compelling writing 😍HIGHLY RECOMMEND. ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
"bisexual Korean-American teen girl"... "first plus-sized K-pop star"... *weeps in anticipation*

Plus this author's MG series is SO CUTE so I have super high hopes for this?!

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
R.F. Kuang
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every bit as adorable, funny, sweet, and inclusive as ya'll are hoping it'll be. Loved it :) ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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DNF @ 24%

This is a tough review to write because I love what the book was trying to do. I just wasn't keen on the execution. I'LL BE THE ONE is about a heroine named Skye who wants to be a K-Pop star. The only problem is, she's plus-size and she knows that it's an industry that pretty ruthlessly regulates the appearances of its stars and is very unforgiving to girls (and boys) with bigger bodies. Despite that, she enters a singing compet
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
oh man, i REALLY really REALLY really wanted to love this one.

what it really boils down to is: this book is one of those projects where i think the importance of its existence is so astronomical, but the execution of it was disappointingly lackluster.

positives: korean american rep, bi rep, fat rep, incredible tackling of so many salient issues all at once in a way that makes you wanna cheer the author on

negatives: kind of everything else? i found the writing style to be so poor. characters we
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
I cannot express enough how fun, uplifting and inspiring this book was! Not only was there a plus-sized heroine, there was also so much great queer rep too? And the romance was so freaking soft? I was literally here tearing up at the end out of joy and the sheer level of cuteness.

I'm going to start with the queer rep, but the heroine Skye is on-page bisexual, and guess what? SO IS HER LOVE INTEREST HENRY CHO. I didn't know this before reading, so I was out here squealing when it was revealed. B
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
I had so much fun with this book! This story is just so bright in Skye's personality, the endless references to K-Pop, the friendships made along the way, and the romance that blossomed as the story progressed. This story also does a wonderful exploration into the toxic beauty standards that come along with being a K-Pop star, and I'm just so proud of Skye for standing out, standing up for herself, and not being afraid to try new things.

This is a wonderful book that I'd recommend for summery da
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
bi fat korean-american MC in a k-pop survival show... i'm going to need you guys to get on this ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review

CW: fatphobia, talk of queerphobia and non-accepting families, parental emotional abuse.


Okay, I must admit that, at first, I had a bit of a hard time getting into the writing. The author chose to lay down all the conflicts in the first couple chapters and that just...does not work for me. I like when it's gradual and implicit instead of being told "this this and this is what the MC is going to face in th
I have to preface this by admitting I know nothing about K-Pop. That didn't prevent me from falling hard for this book though!

This was such a delight to listen to. It was an incredibly fun read and I really loved the romance - Henry is a love interest you can't help but love.

I loved the discussions on what it means to be fat in a fatphobic industry, and while it was hard to hear all the fatphobia, I loved how it was addressed every single time and how brave the main character was in standing up
rachel ☾
Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: Skye (mc) is fat, bi & Korean; Henry (li) is bi & Korean; Tiffany & Lana (scs) are East Asian & lesbian; Black,
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Katherine Tegen Books for the gifted review copy!

How can I write a coherent review for this glorious book? I mean I knew I would really enjoy it but I fell in love with it so much more than I even expected. The book was so inspiring and played with my heart strings. I honestly felt hooked from the first chapter. I really enjoyed how easy it was to read. The writing was something I got lost in easily and before I knew it I had already read several chapters.

Skye is possibly one of my mos
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I loved this sweet, warm, empowering read. Skye is an amazing character and I loved her from the first page, when she was 5 and telling her mom she’d prove her wrong. I loved that this one tackled so many complex issues, like fat phobia and cultural ideals head on. I was so engrossed in this story, I finished it in one sitting.

I highly recommend this one when you’re in the mood for a book with a lot of heart and a character who doesn’t back down.

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: releases-2020
Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars !

Okay literally... I don’t even know how to rate this because this book, while it has some great reps, and some pretty heavy topics (bullying, fat shaming, emotional abuse).... it somehow all manages to feel like you’re eating... idk fluffy marshmallows.

The premise is: Skye Shin wants to be the world’s first female plus-sized K-Pop Star. She tries out for a K-Pop talent competition originating from Seoul, Korea, that this year sets up shop in LA— You’re My Shining Star
Lea (drumsofautumn)
my bookstagram picture of the cover on ipad

I'll be the One is a stand-out novel when it comes to the representation and portrayal of being a fat Korean girl trying to make it in the K-Pop industry but sadly doesn't deliver a compelling storyline or relationships.

“I'm fat. People think it means I should hate myself and when I don't, it makes them uncomfortable. But this is just another part of who I am, and I'm happy with who I am.”

Now before I start this review, I wanna say that I am not and never have been fat, I am white an
Fun and cute.

“I’m fat. People think it means I should hate myself, and when I don’t, it makes them uncomfortable. But this is just another part of who I am, and I’m happy with who I am.”
[...] “You’re living your best life,” he says. “They’re not.”

Cheesy? Corny? Too straightforward? Yes. But. I. DON'T. CARE :D

Haneul "Skye" Shin is a 16-year-old Korean-American bisexual plus size girl with a big dream: to be a K-pop star. So when she knows there will be a talent competition for K-
THIS WAS SO FREAKING CUTE AND I COULD NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK. If you are looking for body positivity, you NEEEEEEED to pick up this book. Sky is fat and she's spent her whole life hearing her mom talk down to her and beg her to lose weight. But now, Sky is happy with her body and loves who she is. So when she tries out for a singing and dancing Kpop show, she is ready to show everyone what she has. She definitely meets adversity along the way because of her size, but she never lets that stop ...more
Kate (GirlReading)
This book left my heart and soul brimming with pure joy.

- Skye was such a wonderful character with a wonderfully unique and strong voice. I adored and admired her her wit, strength, heart and refusal to change herself for anyone from the first page. Skye is the kind of character I wish I'd seen in books and the media growing up. Her attitude towards not only her body but how other perceived it was so incredibly empowering and made it all the more obvious how much we need more truly body positiv
Jan 29, 2019 marked it as tbr-owned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-lgbt
This is literally all I've ever wanted
✨ Cute diverse YA romcom
✨ A bisexual, fat, Korean-American protagonist
✨ Skye is comfortable with her weight
✨ Gettin' enemies to lovers vibes and we all know I fuck with that
✨ The love interest is also bi
✨ The bi and Korean-American rep is #ownvoices
✨ It's going to show the good and bad of the K-Pop industry
✨ Read this thread the author made bc I got hella emotional/hyped reading it
Tiffany (Read By Tiffany)
This cover makes me happy 🥺💛

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Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
Kat Cho
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Super excited about this one!
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm calling it, this is the feel-good book of the year 🙌🏻 ...more
Miss Naseweis
I wanted to really love this. I wanted all the body positivity and girl power. But I ended up being annoyed.

First of all, I would’ve liked to know how Skye became so self-confident and how she came to accept and love her body. She’s 16 and simply owns her weight and I’m 26 and still think about those boys in 7th grade who asked me if I was pregnant, even though I felt really cute in that new shirt. Coming to love your body even though you have to hear so many hurtful remarks isn’t simple, but th
Rida Quraishi
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
*4.5 stars

This was such a good book! It mainly talks about body positivity and this book handled it so beautifully!

Skye, our lead female, is on the plus side because of which she has been bullied a lot throughout her life. This has also tainted her relationship with her mother, and the reading their interactions surely is painful. But Skye stands strong, loves her body and the way she is and does not let the people get her down. Add to that a great queer representation and soft romance ❤️

She par
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
So much about I'll Be the One made me absolutely giddy while reading it. It was the most perfect form of escapism I could have asked for. Skye Shin is an amazing and inspirational person. She's confident, effervescent, dedicated, and an all around happy-inducing person. I devoured this book- I could not put it down. The competition was fast paced and frustrating at times, while Skye has to deal with awful fatphobia. But she never let another person's opinions define her and I respect the hell ou ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Queer Be Dragons: i’ll be the one 8 20 May 26, 2021 04:10PM  
Simply K-Pop: About 1 2 May 20, 2021 09:46AM  
Underrated + Dive...: I’ll Be the One 1 2 Apr 06, 2021 01:09AM  
Challenge Corner: I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee --> Starting February 7th, 2021 3 7 Feb 24, 2021 01:31PM  

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Lyla Lee is the author of the Mindy Kim series as well as the YA novel, I’ll Be The One. Although she was born in a small town in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various parts of the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working v ...more

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