Made in Korea by Sarah Suk | ARC Review

We’re just going to ignore that this ARC review is totally not late or anything and that it came out almost a month ago whoops

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 successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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 and successful K-pop beauty business with her cousin Charlie. She has her goal in mind and nobody will get in her way being the only K-pop beauty business at her school. All is going well… until new student Wes comes in and starts up his own K-pop beauty business.

Of course Val doesn’t take this well and soon they both make a bet—whoever makes the most money by the end of the school year gets to take all of the loser’s money. It’s an all or nothing…and thus, the competition begins.

Val annoyed me a lot in the beginning. The audacity of this girl. She acted like it was a personal offence that Wes started his own business—like no, he can have his own reasons to start a business too?? The way she treated him too-😶 uhh yeah, I definitely didn’t like her, and though Val did learn/get better towards the end, it didn’t change my feelings towards her.

Now Wes is just so sweet. He’s too nice honestly, like I really don’t understand how he liked Val but okay ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Wes deserved better, imo.

Also, his passion for music-🥺🥺 and the way he was trying to save up money for the fees required to go to music school because he knew his parents wouldn’t pay for him omg it was so sad 😦 Wes had a better reason for his business than Val did ngl.

Part of me probably wouldve enjoyed this book more if it weren’t for how much Val annoyed me, but also if I wasn’t bored. There were a lot of scenes that just dragged on for me, where I’d just be counting down the number of pages I had left until I finished so I could be free. Still, I wasn’t bored to the point that I hated it at least.

All in all, this was a all right debut by the author and I can see lots of potential for her future books! There were lots of K-pop references that I think K-pop fans would appreciate and love. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read with characters who will do anything to beat the other~

~Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!! <33

11 thoughts on “Made in Korea by Sarah Suk | ARC Review

  1. ah i have heard so much love about this one glad that you enjoyed it somewhat? i love the competition trope here and i’m sorry one of the mcs has a passion for music and that deserves better? 🥺 great review lia and i love the new graphics (or at least new to me hehe i’ve been off WP for a while!!) ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review! I’m sorry you didn’t like Val at first! On a side note: I love K-Pop (but not boy bands). I really related to Valerie in the jerkish over achiever sister drama :’)

    Liked by 1 person

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