Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Made in Korea” as Want to Read:
Made in Korea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Made in Korea

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most succes
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 18th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  457 ratings  ·  152 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Made in Korea
Lia Carstairs
While I didn't love Made in Korea, I didn't hate it either👀 Filled with an enemies-to-lovers romance altho its really more of Val considering Wes the enemy only, spies, sabotages, and heartwarming scenes, this was a pretty great debut. And it featured Korean-American main characters, which I've never seen in a book before, so that was fun!

“There isn't always a price tag or a black-and-white answer for why people do what they do.”

For years, Val has been in charge of her very popular a
SUCH AN ADORABLE YA ROMANCE. I will say, know going into this that Valerie's character is going to be annoying. She makes some not-so-good decisions and puts her business before a lot, including friends and family. But, don't worry, this is something she works through and has to learn about herself by the end of the book. When she first meets Wes, she only sees competition and is furious he's also selling Korean beauty products at their school. She really needs money so that she can take her hal ...more
katie ❀
3/22/21: this is truly one of the cutest and funniest books i've ever had the pleasure of reading!!

// buddy read with kpop lover


update: i have secured an arc 🤸


i actually screamed when i saw that this had korean characters (because i'm korean too) and then i saw the cover and suddenly realized that i needed this yesterday
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book was an excellent read! I don’t read from many Asian writers much (long TBR list) but when I do, it’s funny how easy it is to relate to at least one character within the story. Wes felt unhappy with his dad’s expectations for his future just makes me want to read the paragraph out loud to my husband and my son because they are in the same boat. The inherited glasses and height were funny too because they both have it. I enjoyed the enemies-to-lover trope. The Korean drinking game was fu ...more
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
honestly I would be one of the girls in this book buying k-beauty products off the heroine. sure hope this girl has tonymoly sheet masks and nature republic moisturiser and cosrx face wash in her locker stash because I’m running out
Kat Cho
My full blurb:

A delightful and heartwarming coming of age story about two lonely outsiders finding each other and butting heads before eventually recognizing a kindred soul. An adorable rival-to-lovers romcom that incorporates Korean culture seamlessly. You'll find yourself struggling with which team to root for! Pick it up for a sweet and entertaining read!
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Super cute and I really liked the writing style, it pulled me in and never let go.

If you enjoy enemies to lovers with miscommunication and a focus on women entrepreneurs, this ticks all the boxes :)

And always here for soft boys who wear glasses as love interests!

Content warning: hospitalization of a family member, toxic relationship (not between main pairing)
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review.

4 cute stars :))

This book was really sweet! The characters were charming and realistic, the romance was adorable, and it was so nice to see the Korean aspects included in a YA novel. I found the unique entrepreneur storyline really refreshing and a nice change to the usual high school YA novels, and the tangled family relationships were incredibly believable and authentic.

Made in Korea also had some re
Exactly what I want out of a YA romance, I had so much fun with this! I especially loved seeing them make actual mistakes as I feel like YA protagonists sometimes "have" to be a little too perfect for their age (or for human beings, tbh). ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Made in Korea is one of the most satisfying romantic contemporaries I've ever read; it just felt like a balm to the soul.

- Follows Valerie Kwon, a Korean-American teen who owns a Korean beauty business operating from her school locker, in the hopes to fund a trip-of-a-lifetime with her halmeoni (grandmother). When the new kid in town, Wes Jung, shows up and inadvertently starts his own K-pop merchandise business, hoping to fund his college applications, the two come head to head - and maybe fall
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There are many reasons to put this book on your TBR (if you don't already have it there). Sarah Suk's characters are full of life and vinegar, flawed and entirely human. Valerie's hi-chews and Wes's softness are some highlights but I loved Valerie's halmeoni most of all. With MADE IN KOREA, Suk reiterates that Korean culture is more than KPop and KDramas. She presents an ensemble of delightfully complex characters living young and often angry lives. You know, I really liked Taemin as well (it ma ...more
Alex (The Scribe Owl)
See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl!

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

3.5/5 stars

It's really hard to write reviews for books where there's little to nothing to say. While Made in Korea had all the elements of a good book, we didn't really connect. In this case, it's probably more of an "it's not you, it's me" situation, but while the book was basically good, it just wasn't working for me.

May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021may
Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars

This was so freakin' great; I loved it so much ! RTC
 ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅
4.5 stars!

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book via TBR and Beyond Tours and Simon & Schuster Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was everything I ever needed! Rival school businesses and K-Beauty will always be a win in my book. What makes this novel so special is that the characters make bad decisions while still remaining logical. You typically see people making bad decisions emotionally, never logically, so that was very refreshing to see. Also, I think it's worth men
ale ♡
yas, i'm here y'all ...more
Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)
Full Review: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c...

Valerie Kwon runs the best student business, V&C K-Beauty, at school along with her cousin, Charlie. Even though her family thinks V&C K-Beauty is just a hobby, it is so much more to Valerie.

Wes Jung is the new kid at school who secretly wants to pursue a career in music. His mom gives him some k-beauty products as a way to make some new friends at his new school. Turns out, everyone wants them and he soon has a business running.

Soon, the two
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, reviewed
Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This book made me realize just how long it's been since I read contemporary YA and it felt like a breath of fresh air. If the cover, title, and description don't already convince you to add this book to your tbr, then I hope this review will.

the characters:
What I really liked about the characters is that you love all of them, even the side characters. There wasn't one side character I w

Rachel Solomon
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this, and it is SO FREAKING CHARMING, oh my god. Adored every word.
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Made In Korea
Sarah Suk

This is a story of entrepreneurial Korean American Senior students competing to be the best K-beauty business at their high school.

Valerie is the brain child of the successful V&C K-BEAUTY that she has operated alongside her cousin Charlie for the past three years, where they sell out completely on release days. Her goal is to save enough money to fulfill her grandmothers’ dream of going to Paris.

Enter Wes Jung, the new student who inadvertently cashes in on the K-beauty
Brooke W
Happy book birthday to this wonderful book!!!! (May 18th)

Actual rating: 4.5/5

I saw the cover and I was sold, I read the synopsis and I went straight to NetGalley. I will truly be forever in debt to Simon and Schuster Publishing for accepting my request. The second I finish my review, I will go order a signed copy.

I think that this book has turned me into an ebook person... AND- I read a contemporary!

The concept of this book filled me up so, so much. It's about Korean-Americans finding their home
Kate (GirlReading)
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the first and only book I've read in one sitting in..... I don't know how long and I think that says a lot. This book is warm, charming, utterly adorable and the epitome of a well executed rivals-to-lovers romance. The characters were wonderful, the chemistry between Val and Wes was everything and the multiple relationship dynamics (including that of Val & Wes’s relationship with their Korean heritage) were explored brilliantly. It was easy to read in the best way and is a book I wouldn’ ...more
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk is the perfect read for those who enjoy the rivals to lovers trope. I loved the concept of rival K-beauty businesses, and the main characters are well-developed. This one also has the sweetest grandmother character, who makes the book even more special. If you’re looking for a tense yet feel-good read this spring, this is definitely one to pick up.

Young entrepreneur Valerie is the founder of a popular K-beauty business, the most
May 24, 2021 rated it liked it
This was cute although romance was little rushed Wes was adorable.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
I'm generally not a fan of YA contemporary romances but this was cute ...more
catherine ♡
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
*Thanks to the author and publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!*

Actual Rating: 4.75

The second I saw this book title, I just knew I absolutely HAD to have a review copy, and I just knew I'd love it from the cover and from the blurb alone. I was right.

This was a combination of all the things I love in this world: enemies-to-lovers, k-beauty, competition, etc. and it read like a high school kdrama, both in terms of the school competition and family themes.

Essentially, Made in
I'm All Booked Up  YA
Jun 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*

High school senior Valerie Kwon runs K&C K-BEAUTY, her school’s number one student-run business, with her cousin Charlie. Valerie’s goal is to save enough money to take her beloved halmeoni to Paris (and maybe show her mother that she’s worth as much as her successful older sister). But when Wes Jung arrives at school and begins selling K-BEAUTY products of his own, Valerie’s business is threatened. Little does she know that Wes is despera
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this one. It was a fun little YA contemporary story that is perfect for the summers and most important, summer vacation. It's got an upbeat feel to it and even the conflicts that these kids came across throughout the story weren't too overwhelming. It's light and airy with a bit of conversation about identity, but ultimately a fun treat when you need a break.

As I mentioned, the conflicts in this novel were real conflicts, but still light and fun. Making a bet to see who's K-beauty
3.5/ 5 stars

Made in Korea is a Young Adult novel that is part rom-com and part high school drama. This is the author's debut novel.

The book is set in the US Pacific Northwest. The two narrators are both Korean as are many of the supporting characters.

Made in Korea has such an amazingly cute premise. The narrators are 17 year old high school rivals Valerie and Wes (1st person POVs).

Valerie Kwon is an entrepreneur. Valerie and her cousin Charlie run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful stu
Laura♡︎ (SleepyPages)
“—𝙉𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚.“

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada, Netgalley and the author for providing me with an arc on this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

"Made in Korea" follows the coming-of-age story of both Valerie and Wes, whose paths collide through their cut-throat K-beauty business rivalry. It is a heartfelt narrative that truly encapsulates the struggles of growing up and how one must take control of their own agency and commit to making difficult
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Better Than the Movies
  • A Pho Love Story
  • Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing
  • Atoning (Darkness Rising #3.1)
  • Out of the Pocket
  • Below (North, #1)
  • The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans #1)
  • Perfect on Paper
  • You've Reached Sam
  • Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend
  • Steadfast (True North, #2)
  • Darkest Powers Bonus Pack 2 (Darkest Powers Trilogy #3.5, 3.6)
  • Dragon Pearl
  • Crying Laughing
  • Openly, Honestly (Openly Straight, #1.5)
  • The Bridge
  • Take Me Home Tonight
See similar books…
Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. You can visit her online at and on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.

Articles featuring this book

Ah, teen romance! The pining, the angst, the heady emotions! This strong class of contemporary YA romances hitting shelves this summer is proof...
148 likes · 18 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“When you choose the path of an artist, nothing is promised, but everything is possible.” 8 likes
“There isn't always a price tag or a black-and-white answer for why people do what they do.” 1 likes
More quotes…