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I'll Be the One

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,691 ratings  ·  1,157 reviews
The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

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
Hardcover, 328 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)
cait I honestly got the vibe that there would be a book two in which she goes to Korea to be a trainee. But I read a lot of Kpop books, so I may be mixing …moreI honestly got the vibe that there would be a book two in which she goes to Korea to be a trainee. But I read a lot of Kpop books, so I may be mixing it up with another story.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Nov 27, 2020 added it
[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: korea, contemporary
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
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
monica kim
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
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
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
Every bit as adorable, funny, sweet, and inclusive as ya'll are hoping it'll be. Loved it :) ...more
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
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
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
bi fat Korean-American MC in a K-pop survival show . . . I'm going to need you guys to GET ON THIS

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

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
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
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
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-
Jan 29, 2019 marked it as tbr-owned
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)
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
Rida Quraishi
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one was such a precious book! It talked a lot about fatphobia, a poor relationship with your mother, the Kpop industry, and being bi-sexual in a community that may not support you. It made me tear up at how raw and realistic the situations characters get into. It's great.

Real rating: 4.5 stars

Thank you Harper Collins Canada for the ARC!
I loved this so much! It was super cute and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Some of the many things I loved:
- the absolutely delightful Korean-American, fat, and bisexual MC
- body positivity + self-confidence
- positive female friendships
- almost entirely queer cast
- no stereotypical YA relationship drama
- learning more about K-Pop

Content warning: multiple HP references, fatphobia (challenged), biphobia (also challenged)
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtqiap
This was such a sweet book! Skye Shin enters a kpop survival show, wanting to prove that as a fat girl she can sing and dance with the best of them. Along the way she makes some friends, begins a romance, deals with fatphobia from her mom and people involved with the show, and shows how she doesn’t have to change herself to be happy and successful.

I appreciated how queer this book is. It’s not totally apparent from the synopsis, but Skye and her love interest Henry are both bi and the two frien
This book is a total delight. Skye is a fat, bisexual Korean-American girl trying out for the opportunity to become the next K-Pop star. And then she meets Henry -- a model with a huge Instagram following and finds herself falling for him deeply.

There's a lot here about body image, and specifically, abut body image and Korean cultural norms. Lee notes in her acknowledgements she isn't and never has been fat, but it's clear she's done work here and makes Skye real and relatable. She rings very tr
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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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