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Jessica Jung
Electric Monkey
ISBN: 9781405297387

The world of K-pop awaits in Jessica Jung's fast paced debut novel. Rachel Kim is an American-Korean girl whose family have sacrificed everything to move back to Korea so talented Rachel can train with DB entertainment.

Through the main character and that of her younger sister, Leah, we are immersed in the world of Korean pop music but all is not as shiny as it seems in this cut throat industry. Rachel finds it hard to fit in and the other trainees are jealous of her talent. Her boyfriend seems perfect but even he has his secrets. With her coach as her only ally, Rachel has to fight to get her chance to shine.

The author has written a book which will appeal to teenagers on two levels. Readers will be able to learn about K-pop culture with rich detail of make-up, hair and costume along with the day to day expectations of the strict training regime. Added to this is the 'will she won't she' storyline, where Rachel experiences bullying from other girls as she edges closer towards the spotlight. (It was written in such a realistic way that as a school librarian I had to suspend my safeguarding concerns about the treatment of the K-pop trainees).

The dynamics of teenage relationships will offer something for every reader with plenty of drama as Rachel negotiates the tricky path of training, studies, family, friendships and first love.

352 pages / Ages 13+ / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian


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