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My Summer in Seoul #1.5

The Anti-Fan and the Idol

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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a new story in her My Summer in Seoul series…

Make it or break it…

Or maybe just break them?

Ai-Ri has been training under YK Management in Korea for two years without any results. She doesn’t fit the typical mold for a successful K-POP idol image, literally down to her blood type. She has six more months before college entrance exams which means she only has six months to make it as an idol before her dreams are crushed.

Things take a turn when two of the most famous male idols break away from their group and decide to form their own co-ed group, a rarity.

And wonder of all wonders, they need one more girl.

It would be the perfect opportunity, except she hates them.

They are arrogant, entitled, rich little snobs who want the world to worship the ground they walk on. To make matters worse, the only reason they came to her was because they are desperate, which means she needs to prove herself even more.

Tempers and personalities collide when she’s forced to either accept the position or give up on her dream.

But what happens when you suddenly go from anti-fan and enemy number one to stuck in a love triangle between two boys you were born to hate but are somehow falling in love with? And will the group survive the heartbreak that follows when she finally makes her choice?

146 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 5, 2022

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About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

178 books18k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 143 reviews
Profile Image for Dali.
1,797 reviews456 followers
July 15, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol is novella 1.5 of My Summer In Seoul series by author Rachel Van Dyken. It's a young adult romance, dual POV with a HEA.
- forced proximity
- enemies to lovers
- forbidden
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My best friend LOVES K-pop so when I got the opportunity to read this novella I snatched it right up. The Anti-Fan and the Idol is a quick read and a touching novella that can be read as a standalone. Although I knew a bit about the K-pop world through my friend I was absorbed in this interesting world and Ryan and Ah-Ri’s story.

After years of training and wanting to achieve her goal to debut as an Idol Ah-Ri has one last chance. Unfortunately it’s with her two worst enemies. It’s a risk to form a co-ed band but it’s her only choice. As she’s forced to train with Ryan, secrets are revealed and long repressed feelings surface. Will they risk everything for their blooming romance including their dreams?

This story had a great pace and packed an emotional punch and I’ll be sure to read My Summer in Seoul ASAP.

By the numbers quick review:
★ Character dev.: 👤👤👤👤
★ Plot: 📚📚📚📚
★ World building: 🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎
★ Romance: 💕💕💕
★ Sexiness: 🔥🔥
★ Overall Rating: 3.6

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/3AvNIsh

★ I was given an ARC of this title by the author. I am voluntarily reading and reviewing it.
★ Check out all my book edits over at my Bookstagram
Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,090 reviews570 followers
July 13, 2022
A quick but an enjoyable read for sure. 
ok, I admit I have no interest in Kpop except for occasionally (Ahem! Everyday!) listening to it when my niece, who IS a fan of Kpop, listens to it. But if RVD writes a Kpop influenced book, I will read them. 
The Anti-Fan and the Idol takes you into a quick journey into the glitz, the glamour, the brutal emotional and physical stress into the Kpop world.
Profile Image for Meegz Reads.
1,366 reviews104 followers
July 5, 2022
*4 Stars*

ARC kindly received for an honest review.

A great little dive back into the K-Pop world from RVD. I liked this one and whilst at first I wasn't sure that I'd like the characters (mostly Ryan), by the end I really liked how everything played out, and the stories and journey these characters took us on. Would recommend.

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Profile Image for Randi (randi_reads).
871 reviews201 followers
June 22, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol is an enjoyable companion novella to RVD's My Summer in Seoul. It can be read and enjoyed as a standalone as there is only one recurring character. I would suggest reading My Summer in Seoul first to get the most out of it and understand the world of K-POP.

This is a quick read, but so good. Once I started, I finished it in one sitting. I was immersed in the world of K-POP. It starts as an enemies to lovers story between Ah-Ri and Ryan. Ah-Ri is half Korean and bigger than the other girls. She has been having to work much harder trying to make it as a K-POP idol.

Ryan and his best friend, Haneul, were in a rising K-POP band when two of the other members decided to quit. They have a new idea to form a coed band and ask Jisoo and Ah-Ri to join. This new idea has to work or they know their chances are done.

Ah-Ri hasn't liked either Ryan or Haneul, because they were cruel to her. But, now she is pretty much forced to work with them to make her dreams come true and new feelings and truths come to light.

This flowed pretty nicely, but I did think the ending when they finally get to the Showcase was a little too abrupt and short. They've been working so hard to get there and it felt rushed. I was happy there was an epilogue, though.

Thank you to the author for my advanced reader copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Liz.
3,355 reviews56 followers
July 6, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol by Rachel Van Dyken is a My Summer in Seoul novella; however, it can be read as a standalone, though I enjoyed reading it as well and recommend it. The nice thing about the 1001 Dark Nights books is they are a great introduction to new readers or a great treat to those who read the author regularly. This was fun and quick read that was touching, emotional and charming.

Ryan and his friend Hanueal want to start a new band after theirs breaks-up. A co-ed band. Enter Ai-Ri. She is determined to make it big and believes this can be her last chance. But Ah-ri and Ryan do not like each other, right? I loved their journey and was excited to go back into this world.

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
518 reviews316 followers
July 8, 2022
Why do bad ideas always feel so good?

The Anti-Fan and the Idol was so easy to devour in one sitting. This novella had a lot packed into the story and I loved every minute of it! Enemies to lovers, music, friendship and romance were laced throughout the pages. If you're looking for a quick read that will be a lot of fun, definitely add this one to your tbr!
My fingers tremble as I stop on Fallen Angel Forever.
I send the text that will seal my destiny.
My fate.
My forever.
And type two simple words.
I’m. In.

Ah-Ri had been training to become a K-POP idol, yet she didn't exactly fit the mold. She had only six months left until her college entrance exam and walk away from her lifelong dream. When two famous male idols broke away from their group and needed one more female to form a co-ed group, they asked Ah-Ri. Yet Ah-Ri hated Hanuel and Ryan. Grudges had been created from past hurtful words and their enemies relationship was born and continued to simmer. Yet Ah-Ri would do anything to reach her goals. Even if it meant joining up with her nemeses.

I crumple to the floor and cry.
I think I know why but, really, it’s because the bully in my nightmares is the same one I want to dream with.

I loved Ah-Ri! She tried her best and put 150% into everything that she did! I desperately wanted her to catch her break, so when she told us about her past with Hanuel and Ryan, I paused. They both not only hurt her, but their words cut deep. Especially since she was already insecure with herself, since she felt and looked different than the other trainees. So I was angry at them right along with Ah-Ri. Yet, we also got chapters in Ryan's voice and oh how my outlook completely changed. I'm such a traitor lol!
I can’t date. It’s always been her.

Ryan had been secretly lusting after Ah-Ri. Hard. Yet he could be such an asshole to her. If he acted like a douche towards her, then he could push his feelings away. But the moment that they started training together, and dancing, none of that could be avoided. They both wanted their new group to make it big, so they trained hours upon hours together. Getting their vocals and dancing moves perfect. And with dancing, there was so much touching. Their moments together were intense and their lust and feelings could not be ignored. By either of them. It felt like they were going to explode at any moment!
His right hand splays across my stomach as our hips move in sync. He leans in. I see his reflection in the mirror. I’m in great shape, yet I’m out of breath.
He whispers in my ear. “Is this hard enough for you?”
Why do his words sound dirty and so exciting?
“I’ve felt harder,” I say, pulling away from him, but not before he spins me around and kisses me. He tastes like sweat and sin.

The Anti-Fan and the Idol was a mesmerizing enemies to lovers story! While this book was heavy on the emotions, dealing with suicide and struggling with eating, it also shined brightly with lighter moments of laughter, friendship and love. Plus watching them work together to reach the stars was addictive! And if you've read My Summer in Seoul, you'll be so happy to see someone! My lips are zipped who, but I squealed! While you definitely don't have to read that book first, I highly recommend it too because that story swept me away! With the Anti-Fan and the Idol, there was an epilogue that left me smiling long after I put my kindle away. I loved all of the heartache, smiles, laughter, love, jealousy and friendship in this story! It was such a quick read and exactly what I needed!
When she starts to dance, I think, I will always look back on this moment. This is where I lost myself.
To her.
To the music.
To us.
I hold my head high.
This is it.
My last chance.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

For more of my reviews, please visit:
descriptive text here
July 5, 2022
This short novella was a scrumptious treat that my K-Pop loving heart needed!!

We got to meet some new characters in the My Summer In Seoul world and we also got some glimpses of known characters.

I don’t want to start naming characters because there are some surprises and I don’t want to ruin anything!

The romance between the hero and heroine is unexpected but at the same time I couldn’t see it any other way! When they finally let their guards down they had so much in common and were the perfect match! They complimented each other in the best ways but also challenged the other to be better to be who they were supposed to be.

This story made my love grow for the world RVD has created and through her books I have found a huge love for the K-Pop world and the struggle that the talented artists go through.

This is the quintessential summer read. It’s short, it’s sweet, has a sprinkle of angst and emotion but full of so much LOVE!
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,447 reviews160 followers
June 28, 2022
3.75 stars--THE ANTI-FAN AND THE IDOL is the second instalment and novella in Rachel Van Dyken’s contemporary, new adult MY SUMMER IN SEOUL erotic, romance series, and the author’s latest addition to the multi-authored 1001 Dark Nights series. This is twenty-five year old, Korean/Canadian K-Pop star Ryan, and nineteen year old, Korean/American singer/dancer/actor Ah-Ri’s story line. THE ANTI-FAN AND THE IDOL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

NOTE: Due to the nature of the story line premise including talk of suicide, there may be triggers for more sensitive readers.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Ryan and Ah-Ri) THE ANTI-FAN AND THE IDOL focuses on the trials and tribulations of becoming the next big K-Pop star. Ah-Ri is all out of options having failed to gain a foothold in the Korean entertainment business but one final audition brings her up close and personal with her nemesis Ryan, a young man who pushes all of our heroine’s buttons but to Ah-Ri’s surprise, Ryan offers Ah-Ri a spot in his fledgling K-Pop group, a co-ed group he is hoping to take to the top. Along with Ryan’s best friend and former K-Pop star Haneul, and dancer Jisoo, the foursome must work together in an effort to prove themselves worthy of K-Pop stardom. This is Ryan’s final attempt to make it to the top, an attempt he is doing for someone else. What ensues is the acrimonious but building relationship between Ryan and Ah-Ri, and the potential fall-out if their romance becomes public knowledge.

Relationships in the K-Pop industry are frowned upon. In fact, every aspect of their lives is guided and controlled by the people behind the scenes but Ryan and Haneul have ventured off on their own, in an effort to take control of everything they lost. Ryan and Ah-Ri’s strained relationship is exacerbated by their barely veiled and palpable sexual attraction, an attraction that will not be acceptable if the fans becomes aware. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

We are introduced to Ryan’s friend and fellow K-Pop star Haneul; Jisoo, and SWT star Sookie.

THE ANTI-FAN AND THE IDOL is a story of obsession and revelations, desperation and love. The author takes the reader behind the scenes for the making of a K-Pop star, revealing some of the adversity, rules, regulations and demands for be perfect, an industry in which many do not survive. The premise is engaging and heart breaking; the romance is impassioned; the characters are energetic, broken but healing.

Profile Image for PP's Bookshelf.
2,114 reviews309 followers
July 1, 2022
Rachel Van Dyken takes us back to the glamorous and edgy world of kpop in The Anti-Fan and the Idol, a My Summer in Seoul novella. She dives into the emotional side of the fast paced and demanding musical industry with the ups and downs.

Ah-ri has been training hard to find a chance to debut but her American- Korean heritage with the unique characteristics seem to be a hindering factor. So she has to say yes when Ryan and his best friend asks her to join a co-ed group they are forming. Only one problem. These idols are rich, arrogant and her enemies so far.

I am not a big kpop fan but I find this phenomenon really fascinating. How they literally conquered the hearts of billions of people all over the world. And the author shows us the truth behind the beauty and glitz. The stars have to work hard. The training is brutal. The emotional and physical stress is intense. Ah-ri is fierce and stubborn and talented but even her willpower was slowly depleting and Ryan threw a lifeline to her. He has always been cruel and condescending to her but slowly I realised he is just hiding his true feelings. He may be an idol but he has to carry the burden of expectations and obligations. And this co ed group is a huge gamble. They will either make it or break it. It is a dream foe Ryan, not only for fame but some heartbreaking reason. And Ah-ri became his support, his friend and his war mate. It was swoony and sexy and fast paced yet emotional.

I reviewed an early copy voluntarily
188 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2022
The 1001 Dark Nights are a fantastic way of getting hooked on a great author and series. If you haven’t read My Summer in Seoul, this book will definitely make you want to!

Ah-Ri, like so many others, are trainees dreaming of an opportunity to be an idol. However, the path to success is paved with so much sacrifice and the life of an idol isn’t what fans might think. Ah-Ri feels like time is running out to make her dreams comes true. She’s out of money and frustrated by rejection because everything about her isn’t the right look.

Ryan and Haneul were part of an extremely popular group but suddenly found themselves on their own. Realizing they have one last chance, they decide to put everything on the line to take the biggest risk yet. Will it be enough?

I loved this novella and the passion of the characters and story. It also sheds light on the complexities on K-POP groups and what it takes to “make it”. A fascinating and fun read!

I am leaving this review voluntarily after being sent a free book.
Profile Image for Sandra Shipman ~ Two Book Pushers.
1,887 reviews45 followers
June 22, 2022
The Anti-Fan and The Idol is a novella spin-off to Rachel’s My Summer in Seoul standalone. I am not a big fan of K-POP but these books are amazing and a glimpse into the world phenomenon. These are all-new characters!!

This is their last chance. Haneul and Ryan are best friends and bandmates and they need this to work. A co-ed K-pop group. They only needed one more girl to accept the challenge and their last chance was a girl who wasn’t a fan. It doesn’t help that they have bullied Ah-Ri. She never backs down and that is why they want her. She is different. She is no quitter and they only have a limited time till the Showcase. It’s all or nothing at this point and when she accepts… it’s on. What they didn’t expect was to like her. To really like her and that was dangerous in their industry.

I can’t really get into the story anymore than that but I can say that I laughed, swooned, and cried. The book is short but it’s an emotional one. It definitely packs a punch and I hope RVD writes more in this world.


“Anyone ever tell you how sexy you look when you curse?” he asks. My breath hitches. The lights suddenly go off in the dance studio.
“Power outage?” I say.
“Good timing,” he replies.

“You were a bad idea from the start.”
“And you were bad from the very beginning.” I lift my chin.

“What could you possibly want?” she asks.
“A small spoon,” I answer.
“Like I said, NO ramyeon!”
Profile Image for Marina Skinner.
1,456 reviews41 followers
June 27, 2022
4.5 stars

The Anti-Fan and the Idol is a rather heartfelt story with characters that will touch your heart at what lengths they go through to become a star!
I am rather lost for words to be quite honest. Ah-Ri and Ryan have this love-hate sort of friendship?
Becoming part of a debut K-POP co-ed group, Ah-Ri has alot on her plate. She is nothing if not tenacious, however the way she is treated made me sad. Its not until you delve into the story where things make more sense. This is an emotional, but also interesting novella set after My Summer in Seoul. I enjoyed this book and hope we hear more from the characters!
422 reviews13 followers
June 24, 2022
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"She’s like a thorn on a rose that you’re afraid to touch but need to feel in order for the pain to cleanse you."

The Anti Fan and the Idol is a brand new, standalone novella in her My Summer In Seoul series and oh my God only RVD can pack so much in just a short novella. It was emotional, addictive and immersive and i was captivated throughout. The characters have my heart 😭and i absolutely loved seeing some loving old characters from My Summer In Seoul. It was phenomenonal. And the message behind this story gahhh Rach slayed me as always with her epic and powerful story telling skills.
Can't wait for more in this world 😍

"Maybe it’s through pain, bleeding, and suffering that you mourn and are finally able to look at the sunrise and smile."
Profile Image for ✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰.
2,715 reviews12 followers
July 8, 2022
ARC received for an honest review

If you have read My Summer In Seoul you will really enjoy this companion novella, however you do not have to have read it to like The Anti-Fan and the Idol.

Now, as a woman of a certain age, I don't get the obsession with K-pop, but I can see the research and interest that RVD has for it.

It took me a while to get into Ryan and Ah-Ri's story, but once I hit the groove I was there with all engines revving.

It iook a while for our lovelies to let their guards down, but once they did there was no stopping them - in any and all of their pursuits.

It was great to see a favourite character pop in for a cuppa and a chat (I really need this one to get a whoooole books about them).

Also, I know that this is fiction, but I am glad that Ms Van Dyken does not shy away from the reality of the world of K-pop and the idols, and touches on some of the things that do happen to idols in the real world.

I do hope we get more in this world in the future.
Profile Image for June.
70 reviews3 followers
June 18, 2022
Quick read but one heck of a story. From enemies to lovers, strength and courage. Self care and witty lines to ah man! Did this really have to end?! What I love the most though is outside the story itself there's something to be said about how people see celebrities, when in reality it's completely different behind closed doors. With feelings like the rest of us, heartaches, pain, laughter.... just presented differently to the public and this book showed us that. Well done RvD 👏
Profile Image for Ann (Literary Lust).
1,146 reviews19 followers
June 15, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol by Rachel Van Dyken is a great companion story for those who have already read and enjoyed My Summer in Seoul.

I did enjoy being back in the world of K-pop (which is all still relatively new to me). It took me a few chapters for this story to fully grab my attention but by the end of the narrative I found that I didn’t want my time with Ryan and Ah-Ri to end. I really like the concept of this storyline. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and witnessing their journeys unfold. I love the dedication that Ah-Ri, Ryan, Haneul and Jisoo possess with regards to making their dreams come true. There is much at stake for the group when feelings develop – especially because of the strict rules that they are expected to adhere to. These complications add a different aspect to this storyline, which I enjoyed. I must say that I especially loved the emotions that the final few chapters brought out in me.

4 stars
Profile Image for Princess Allie.
367 reviews84 followers
August 9, 2022
It was entertaining but it falls under a 2.5 possibly a 3 star just because I really like the subject matter. I LOVE K-Dramas and K-pop, and this was my first adult/mature book about the K-pop industry. It is only 112 pages and wish it was a novel, so I think it hurts that with this novella we get the fast-food version of these characters. My biggest issue is the transition of the relationship of the characters. It's really awkward and it didn't make sense. I did appreciate the author sharing the dark side of K- pop and that it's not all glitz and glamour.
Profile Image for Alison.
571 reviews22 followers
June 15, 2022
Ahhh I loved being in this world again! I will recommend reading My Summer in Seoul first so you can understand everything better, but it was so great!
I loved the whole premise behind the group!

TW- suicide
Profile Image for The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha).
1,865 reviews306 followers
July 5, 2022

The Anti Fan and the Idol is an enemies to lovers story set in the world of K pop! Its possible I am like the only person who isn't really into K pop (I couldn't tell you a single K pop band beyond BTS and I couldn't name a single one of their songs), but I still found the story enjoyable! Ah-Ri has been trying to be an idol for years and hasn't gotten anywhere. Then, she joins a coed group with two guys she hates.

The description hints a love triangle trope here which I also don't typically like. I'm still mad about every Molly McAdams book ever. I have trust issues thanks to her books. But, I love RVD books and went with it anyway. So far, I have only told you reasons this book is seemingly not for me. I do that so you understand that even if you think this book has no appeal for you (a love triangle hating, non K pop fan), don't judge a book by its trope! Honestly, I don't really see this as a love triangle. Its all Ryan for Ah-Ri. He is a douche canoe though. But, the K pop industry has very strict rules about relationships so Ryan and Ah-Ri have to keep things quiet. This adds a bit of a taboo vibe!

I did not expect this book to have such deep emotions! Ah-Ri has been beaten down by this industry, Ryan has struggled with accepting happiness due to his own family struggles. Both of them have baggage and then you add the immense pressure of trying to become K pop idols?! All of this is packed into a novella too!


  POV: dual 1st
  Tears: a few
  Trope: enemies to lovers, 
  Series/Standalone: standalone with some connections to My Summer in Seoul

The Wreckage of Us by Brittainy Cherry, Idol by Kristen Callihan, Lies and Lullabies by Sarina Bowen...then you will probably like The Anti Fan and the Idol!


The Anti Fan and the Idol

See full review on The Book Disciple
Profile Image for Resch Reads.
1,066 reviews33 followers
July 4, 2022
*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

Disclaimer, there is nothing remotely love triangle-y about this story. As someone who actively avoids love triangles, the synopsis is incorrect. Also while you don't have to have read My Summer in Seoul to enjoy this story, there is a little character overlap and band overlap. 

Now into the review, I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. I think the challenge here was the novella tries to tackle some really heavy topics and the short story length makes it difficult to do those topics justice. There is suicide, eating disorders, and depression but they are all lightly mentioned as just struggles and challenges that the characters have to navigate through or around. It might have been easier to pick one of these topics and then dive into it to give the gravity of the situation the attention it deserves.

In terms of romance, as I mentioned, no love triangle here and thank goodness for that. Ah-Ri and Ryan have some tension between them. While it does give enemies-to-lovers vibes, it feels mostly one sided. As in, Ah-Ri is jealous that Ryan and Haneul are financially well off and successful while she can't even afford shoes and has been a trainee for years. After she gets over the jealousy, there is definitely some undeniable chemistry between the two. The romance flowed pretty fast from there with the chaos of the Showcase, it lacked the depth and substance but that isn't surprising given the fact it's a novella.

The ending felt a little rushed and that Rachel was trying to get in everything, but I did enjoy all the Sookie appearances. I think this story would be best for those who aren't into k-pop (which is the majority of Rachel's fanbase). Or if you are a fan of k-pop (like me), just remember its fictional because the probably of a co-ed group ever existing to BTS levels of success is slim to none. Overall, it was just a nice dip back into this world.
Profile Image for Anastasia.
305 reviews
June 21, 2022
Back at it again with another K-pop book from Rachel and what a little treat it was. It left me wanting more. And desperate for Sookie’s story! The glimpses we got of him drove me crazy, wanting to know more about him and his life.

Ah-Ri has always had the dream to be an Idol. And to everyone else, she was to tall, to big, to ugly. She could never be perfect looking. She had the talent and the voice, but they could not look past the looks. She would give this one last chance, before giving up and going to university like her parents wanted. She knew that there would be no more chances after this, she was getting to old. So when her two enemies Ryan and Haneul approached her to create a co-ed group, she knew even though they hated each other that it was her last chance, so she took it.

Ryan knew Ah-Ri was it for him, but in the world they were living in, he could not act on those feelings. It would destroy everything he and Ah-Ri had worked for. So he pushed her away and made her think he hated her. Made her think she wasn’t his type. Everything was going wrong in Ryan’s life and he knew that this co-ed group would be his last chance to make their dreams come true. So he would support Ah-Ri and help her from a distance. He can work with her but not act on his feelings, right?

Ryan stole my heart from his first POV chapter and OMG the chemistry between Ah-Ri and him was unbelievable. There was no way they would be able to fight those feelings. I suggest reading My Summer in Seoul first than this book. Both were amazing and like I said, I want more. LOVE RACHEL and her writing!
Profile Image for ReadingTilTheBreakOfDawn.
1,308 reviews51 followers
July 6, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol may be a novella, but it packed a punch for the length of the book.
This novella is a spinoff of My Summer in Seoul, but can be read as a complete standalone as there's only one character that makes brief appearances and doesn't spoil anything from their book. If you're a Kpop fan, you're going to want to read this one, and if you're not, it's still an amazing book with characters that will draw you in from the beginning.

Ai-Ri is a young woman that has been trying to make it as a K-Pop idol, but she keeps getting looked over. She has the talent and she has the moves, but her size, which is healthy and normal does not appeal to the people that set up these bands. Ryan and his friend Haneul have recently broken from their band and want to start a co-ed group. They really want to ask Ai-Ri to join, but they've been sort of enemies for too long. Would she even want to join in with 2 Kpop stars that don't even like her??

I really enjoyed seeing this enemies to lovers grow into something more over time and over the time constraints they gave themselves. You get to see a glimpse into how tough the Kpop world is and how it wears on the mental and physical health of these potential idols, but you also see how they are trying to break from it. I wish when it came down to it, that we got more of the ending and the showcase, but overall I really liked the characters and the way they complimented one another. Ai-Ri and Ryan's storyline flowed well from beginning to end. I only wish we got a little bit more.
I hope Rachel Van Dyken keeps writing in this world because I really like seeing glimpses into the Kpop world although I'm not a fan and don't follow it. She just writes it that well and makes it all very relatable and believable.
Profile Image for Meryl Markowitz.
554 reviews5 followers
June 22, 2022
Welcome back to the world of K-Pop, in this short novella.
Ah-Ri considers herself Korean, but she's also half American and has spent some time in the States. She works super hard at idol training, but for some reason, is always judged not enough , and can't seem to take the next step.
One day while she's practicing, her "nemesis" approaches her. Why is he her nemesis? They once tried out to work together at the same gig and he publicly humiliated her. Now he he wants to talk to her? He's already has a huge career at the label! He offers a a position in a new band that he and his partner are secretly forming. It will be a co-ed band. If it doesn't work, it's the last chance for them all!.
Hanuel and Ryan already had their break and are very successful. When their band breaks up, they tell no-one and tell the label they are going to try to create a new co-ed band. They offer the position to two girls, who are talented, but may be hard to work with. Especially Ah-Ri. She's someone who has a porcupine exterior. Will they be able to make it work?
There are feelings to get past and walls to break down. Also there are complications and secrets. There are perceptions that have to be shown to the outside world. Will they be able to climb all the hurdles? What will they do with the new feelings they have for each other? Why do things have to be so darn complicated?
With some cameos from the previous book, in the series, and some serious issues explored, this novella packs a powerful punch!
Thank you to Rachel Van Dyken for the advanced copy.
Profile Image for Heather Miller.
1,099 reviews32 followers
June 29, 2022
This is a short novella. 

We got to meet some new characters in the My Summer In Seoul world and we also got some glimpses of known characters. So much love for the K-Pop world!

Ryan and Ah-Ri are the main characters. Ah-Ri knows this is her last year to get into one of the bands / groups. She has been trying for years to get her shot. 
Ryan talks Ah-Ri into a co-ed group - at first Ah-Ri isn't interested, but, then, she realizes that she needs this for herself. Ryan loves Ah-Ri voices, she can match any music he throws at her. Ryan is so hard on her when they are learning the new dances. Ah-Ri isn't sure if he - Ryan just hates her for no reason, or if being around him for the past few years has finally rubbed off on him. 

Ryan likes Ah-Ri, but, with his past loss of his sister, he doesn't want to let happiness in. He doesn't want to love, but being around Ah-Ri is making his outer shell crack. 

Will Ryan give into what his heart wants? 
I did receive a free ARC copy of this book. I am freely leaving an honest review. 
Profile Image for Farah.
605 reviews55 followers
June 25, 2022
As someone who's been obsessed with K-Pop for almost a year I love seeing Rachel use her extensive knowledge about the industry to create this new world.

It can be read standalone from My Summer in Seoul, but we do get a mention of SWT and see Sookie which was so much fun to revisit!

This novella focuses on Ah-Ri. She's not been able to debut into a group for a while, since she always seems to be lacking something.

When two guys she is not very fond of come with an offer she can't refuse her life starts to flip for the better.

Not only does she get to claw towards a debut but also find love somehow, and realise that light can be found through all the piles of hardwork.

It was a fun short read and gave lots of insight into how hard trainees must work to reach these unobtainable expectations. However when given the chance to break out for the norm they can shine just as, or if not brighter for being different.

Amazing funny charming writing! So easy to jump in. I could praise for days! Nerve stop writing Rachel, your stories always give me joy!

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Angie.
717 reviews24 followers
July 5, 2022
I'm loving the K-Pop series from Rachel. I'm really hoping that there will be more full-length novels in this series even though there is going to be a TV show. This book takes place at the same time as My Summer in Seoul and we even get to see cameos from Sookie as he is friends with both Ryan and Ah-Ri. I'm hoping he gets a book next now that we learned just a little bit more about him in this novella. This story starts off as a typical enemies to lovers trope because Ryan was awful to Ah-Ri when they first met due to his crush on her. His best friend didn't help as he was awful to her too. Then they needed her to do something that no idol has really done before and that was to create a co-ed group. It is Ah-Ri's last chance to debut as an idol and it's Ryan's last chance to make his sister proud. The two of them really grow through their forced proximity to the point that they don't fight their feelings for each other anymore. Which makes for some interesting and awkward scenes throughout the novella. I did not want to put this book down. The ups and downs that the couple had with each other, the group, and the industry were so gripping. And there were even some tears for what they had to go through. I cannot wait to read more about these and other idols.
*I received an ARC for an honest review*
Profile Image for Heather.
1,291 reviews22 followers
July 5, 2022
The Anti-Fan and the Idol is a great companion novella to RVD's full length My Summer in Seoul novel. I do feel reading My Summer in Seoul will help you enjoy this novel a bit more.

Best friends and bandmates Ryan and Hanuel have one more change to make it or their K-pop dreams are over. A co-ed group is their Hail Mary so to speak and they need one more female to round out the quartet. The girl they want, Ah-Ri, isn't their biggest fan because they've bullied her in the past, so getting her to agree could be difficult. Ah-Ri knows this could be her last shot as well, so she agrees and once she does, they have such limited time before the Showcase that they are all spread thin and doing everything to make this work. The surprise in all of this is that Ryan and Hanuel find they genuinely like Ah-Ri and in the world of K-pop, that can be very, very dangerous. Will the group be able to make it work and launch the careers they've always dreamed of?

While this may have been a novella, it still packed in so much emotion, some laughs and plenty of swooning as well. I enjoy spending time in this world that RVD has created for us!

**I voluntarily read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
9,123 reviews55 followers
July 5, 2022
Ah-Ri has been trying to fulfill her dream of becoming a K-Pop star however she doesn’t fit the image that industry is accustomed to, and her parents are losing patience and she is running out of money. Being approached to be part of a co-ed group would be a dream come true if it wasn’t for the other members of the group.

Ryan and Hanuel were part of a successful group until they disbanded. Due to an incident in the past they want to change the world of K-Pop by creating a co-ed group while will either make or break their careers. The last thing that either Ryan or Ah-Ri needs is to be distracted the other.

This novella had it all between an emotional pull, great chemistry and endearing romance and a group of characters who draw you in and have you invested in them and their story.
Profile Image for Justmyfantasyworld.
627 reviews14 followers
July 17, 2022
• 𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝑹𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘 •

𝗧𝗶𝘁𝗹𝗲: The Anti-Fan and the Idol
𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀: My Summer in Seoul #1.5
𝗔𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿: Rachel Van Dyken
𝗥𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴: ☆☆☆☆☆ 5/5

This was AMAZING. The perfect novella you can easily read in a day (or like a couple of hours if you are a fast reader like me). I was afraid since it was advertised as somewhat of a love triangle (those are a hit or miss for me). I feel like it wasn’t a relevant part of the story at all, so it was prefect and thus done in a way I like. What is relevant is how amazing this story is. It has to do with idols and thus K-pop, dreams and following them.. and not only that, but also serious topics like suicide. It is a short story, but Rachel van Dyken knows how to make it into something special, no matter how long or short the story is. Told in dual POV these characters came to life and learn that the line between love and hate can be non-existent and communication is key. Even if you don’t know what K-pop is, I think you will still love this book.

A lot of my reviews are also available with photo at my Bookstagram: @justmyfantasyworld
Profile Image for Michelle Quintana.
1,665 reviews8 followers
July 7, 2022
Love this new series

Even though this is just a novella, it seemed like a regular book. The storyline didn't feel rushed and the characters had depth. Ah-Ri has been trying to get into a girl group for the past couple of years but has been constantly overlooked due to her being too tall or not skinny enough. She's at her wits end when she is invited to be part of something new - a mixed group. Only problem is, the two guys have been bullies to her. She gives it a go, not realizing that something would develop between her and Ryan. The group's timeline to debut keeps getting cut, causing more stress and pressure on the members. Secrets come out but they only strengthen the group. I loved the ending to this book because I felt it tied up the book perfectly.
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