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(Shine #1)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  3,849 ratings  ·  1,099 reviews
A Korean American teen is thrust into the competitive, technicolor world of K-pop, from Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of Girls Generation.

What would you give for a chance to live your dreams?

For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-po
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Simon Pulse
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Bytch Please
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Abril I'd say this book is more focused on the trainee experience. There's some easter eggs that fans can connect…moreI'd say this book is more focused on the trainee experience. There's some easter eggs that fans can connect(less)

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Average rating 3.50  · 
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SHINE IS PURE ESCAPIST BRAIN CANDY. Tropes galore and angst that could put a K-drama to shame: I devoured this book in a single day and honestly had fun with it.

Not to mention ALL THE TORONTO REFERENCES 💖💖💖be still my Canadiana heart!

Before I go any further, though, I want to say that parts of this book are definitely problematic. I don’t condone fatphobia, and there is a not-insignificant amount of body-shaming and calorie-counting in this book that made
Oct 10, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
bro i just hope she spills some tea about the industry
Kimberly (Deity of Books)
✨ (↠ For a more mobile-friendly reading experience ↠) Review is also posted on my blog

Before I start my review I have to address something. There’s lots of controversy surrounding this book and I’m not going to talk about it in my review so...if that’s what you’re here for—sorry. Another thing I have to say is that I am a fan of kpop, but I’m not biased.

(I think I’m finished with my disclaimers). On to the review then!

Rachel Kim, our protagonist, was born in NYC and moved to Korea 6 years ago
demi. ♡
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
❥ 3 / 5 stars

rtc (if i’m not being too lazy)

Oct. 12, 2019 : I've been a fan of Girls' Generation and K-pop groups for half of my entire life so there's no reason why I won't read this book!
Such an entertaining, drama-filled book! I appreciate Jessica Jung for giving us an insider look into the K-pop industry. As a huge BlackPink stan – or at least a stan of their music and artistry – as well as someone who consumed K-Pop throughout middle and high school, I liked having the curtain pulled back to show some of the industry’s not-so-great and downright toxic elements. In Shine, Jung writes about Rachel, a Korean American teen who has trained at DB Entertainment for six years, waitin ...more
The Artisan Geek
Oct 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
Me finding out this book exists:

Been a fan of Jessica's and SNSD's music for years! I CAN'T WAIT!!

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Monte Price
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yarc-2020
We're going to pour one out for reading a book on the same day it was purchased. Like who is she? I don't know her.

As for this book, I was pleasantly surprised at how it managed to pull me in, almost immediately. I really enjoyed reading from Rachel's perspective and following her on this journey. I think from her reactions to her dedication to her goal were all really relatable. Some of the best moments were definitely in the third act, particularly when her relationship with Mina is explored m
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing a digital ARC of Shine in exchange for an honest review.

So I'm not a Kpop fan (stan?). I firmly believe all YA book lovers are either into showtunes or Kpop and I fall firmly into the first catagory. Truthfully, I had no idea who Jessica Jung was until researching her and asking around after finishing Shine so this is my unbiased opinion as neither a fan of KPop, or this book's author.

So I don't claim to know whether or not Jessica Jung wrote every
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
First of all, Krystal Jung i love you so much you're my entire world and i knew how much you love your older sister. Alright lets talk about this book, the cover? Awful. Entire book? A massive big meh, BORING. This book screaming fan fiction so loud. Cringey, some sentences was cheesy and lame. A lot of unnecessary characters, made me as a reader feel so confused. Well maybe she wrote the number of the member nine as same as her former group but whats the point? Why put a lot of characters with ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

I keep seeing people showing off shiny ARCs of this and I'm jellier than a jellied jelly on National Jell-O Day
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
For me, SHINE's main strength was in its honesty about how gruelling the K-Pop industry is for trainees and idols, and how it laid bare the sexism and double standards rife within the industry. It's supported by Jung's experience of being a girl group member, and there are times where you can just tell she's written a scene and incorporated personal experience. Although admittedly it's a little cliched at some points in the narrative (especially around the romance), it is the fun kind of cliched ...more
monica kim
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
you can check out my reading vlog of this book (and 2 other kpop books) here: ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-recommended
This is the first k-pop romance novel that I did not enjoy at all.

I'm sure that Jessica Jung drew inspiration from her real-life experiences within the K-pop industry, and it isn't my intention to discredit or to minimize them. However, I can't overlook the mediocre writing and one-dimensional characters, including the author's self-insert Rachel Kim.

More importantly, I deeply disliked the lack of self-reflection in Shine. Throughout the book, the author seizes any and all opportunity to criti
Shine is a Young Adult contemporary read. It was written by international K-pop star Jessica Jung.

The narrator is 17 year old Rachel (1st person POV).

Rachel is a K-pop trainee at DB Entertainment. She was born and raised in New York City. But now lives in Korea.

I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to read about K-pop (which I know little about).

I also really liked the cultural aspect. Rachel was American. But the story takes place in Korea. So there were a lot of challenges.

I think tha
Get ready as Jessica Jung, K-pop legend and former lead singer of Korea’s most famous girl group, Girls Generation, takes us inside the twisted, technicolor world of K-pop.

breana / milkyboos ♡
entertaining in that “lol i wonder if this actually happened with snsd and jessica” way, but not actually entertaining in the “this book is filled with bad writing and one-dimensional characters” way
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
*e-ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Rachel Kim is a trainee at DB Entertainment, one of South's Korea's top k-pop entertainment companies. Ever since she moved from American to Seoul at 11 to train, she has been working non-stop to debut. When she meets Jason Lee, DB's hottest kpop idol, she finally meets someone who understands her, and just what she'll do to shine. But the kpop world is notoriously strict, and Rachel has to decide between her heart and her
Anusha Narasimhan
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
One image that comes to my mind is of K-pop idols being dressed in designer wear from top to toe but having no penny in their purse. The way most idols don't get paid enough but are adorned in expensive hot couture pretty much sums up their 'glamorous' lifestyle. Not to mention that they don't get to eat what they want, hang out with whom they want or express themselves without worrying about how that would reflect on their group and company's image.

Trigger Warning: body shaming, sexism, bul
Aug 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
man do I want to know the real "fictional" dirt on SM "DB Entertainment"

woof. was this the worst book I read in 2020? Quite possibly. This was a bunch of melodramatics sprinkled with korean slang and korean branded products to make it seem authentic. There's no real insight to the kpop industry that a moderately interested person wouldn't already know. There's nothing that feels truly personal to Jessica. It's all so surface level. This is a slapped together cash grab and I hate to see it.
Shine is amazing. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, because again: usually, contemporaries don’t get me. But this was such a clever combination of excellently executed elements, I couldn’t help but be in love.

Every character is complex. At first, I thought “oh no, there’s going to be some Mean Girls drama and I HAVE TO DEAL WITH A WANNABE REGINA GEORGE”. However, I quickly realized that it was I who was the fool, not the book*. Rachel, our main character, isn’t perfect. Jason,
A Lib Tech Reads
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed

Rating: 2.5/5
Note: Special thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing an e-copy for review.

This was supposed to be a fun and easy read for me. I've dived into the world of K-pop and know a number of Girls' Generation music (who doesn't nowadays?), so when I heard Jessica Jung was writing a book, I was ecstatic, and much like everyone else, I was ready for all the tea that would undoubtedly spill. I ended up not enjoying Shine as much as I thought I would and here's why.

Despite the plot promis
Katelyn Spedden
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free advanced copy of this novel from Edelweiss+ and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Shine was actually way better than I expected it to be. I did judge the book a little but thinking it was going to be something fluffy about the K-Pop world written by a K-Pop star but the book was way more than that. It didn’t show everything as bright and full of rainbows and happiness. Things are mean in that world and it just makes you wonder if this was what the author went thro
Jan 29, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020-releases
Yes I will be reading this for the drama mind your own business
Joshee Kun (조수아)
Thank you, Simon & Schuster, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If someone had told me when I was 11 years old about everything I'd have to sacrifice to get to this point, everything that would be stolen from me, I would have said they were writing a K-drama.

When I first heard of this book, the K-pop fan in me man-screamed in delight. Even though I wasn't familiar with Jessica Jung's role in Girls' Generation, I was excited to see how she would shed light on the K
Before I start my review, I would first love to say THANK YOU to the publishing company, Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for providing me a copy of Shine by Jessica Jung!
Shine is about a Korean-American teen girl named Rachel Kim. She is picked up by one of Korea’s most famous agencies hoping to debut. At the agency, she is to compete and work with nine other girls...
I didn’t expect this book to be so addicting. I’ll admit when I requested this book, I did judge the book by it’s cover...
Madison Dube
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this book really surprised me! I honestly wasn't expecting to like it so much. I don't know much or even listen to K-Pop, but I found this book so entertaining.

The drama, competitiveness, and the confidence kept me so engaged. I liked how it showed what I assumed how the industry is (not full of rainbows, love, and fluffiness). It makes me curious to know the author's experience.

Plus, I really loved them coming to Toronto and a character being from Toronto. That doesn't happen much in book
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m a fan of K-Pop. Granted I’m not as big a fan as most of my friends are.
My twitter timeline seems to be made up of 10% sports, 25% gamers, 25% demonry and, whatever else is left is K-Pop. I’m not good at math, okay? Don’t judge me.
I know about Girls Generation. Back when life was normal and we were allowed to roam freely without fear of catching the plague I would walk and dance around the park to Gee and Run Devil Run.

I’m not in the know for why Miss Jessica Jung left Girl’s Generation exact
Sarah {The Clever Reader}
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
First I want to start off by saying I know nothing about K-Pop. The cover and synopsis drew me into this one and I found to really enjoy it.

The world of K-Pop is a competitive one and Rachel Kim is ready for it, or so she thought. After spending the past six years her dreams are finally in her grasp but the closer she gets to it the more she realizes how much control the K-Pop industry has over her. She deals with bullying by some of the other girls and even by society itself when she overhears
Neil (or bleed)
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shine is a typical tropey YA story in a Kpop setting. I've read a handful of YA contemporary novels and I can say that it reads almost the same. The family drama. The teen angst. The girl-on-girl hate. Etcetera. Not that it's a bad thing but it's quite dismaying on my part as a reader. I mean my expectation for this book is not that high but I expected something new to the table especially with that Kpop theme/setting.

Anyway, I still like this book and I enjoy reading it. It's a quick read. Than
Kris Mauna
This book was a happy surprise for me. I knew very little of Jessica Jung when I first started listening to kpop, and I knew even less about her past history in the industry. I actually did some research before I began reading Shine and after reading I find it hard to not wonder if this was her own experience as a kpop trainee up until she left SM Entertainment.

First off, Jessica Jung is a GREAT writer. It's always a hit or miss when it comes to celebrities writing books, but I have to say Jessi
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Jessica Jung, known mononymously as Jessica, is an American singer, actress, and fashion designer known for her work as a former member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation.

Associated Names:
* เจสสิก้า จอง (Thai Profile)

Other books in the series

Shine (2 books)
  • Bright (Shine, #2)

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This May, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to take an opportunity to shine a light on some of the...
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“But fear can't feed your dreams. It can only feed more fear.

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