HarperTeen. Jul. 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063024991.
Gr 8 Up–High school junior Jenny Go is a technically perfect cello player whose life is dedicated to her craft. When a competition judge criticizes her performance, stating that she has no “spark,” she doubts herself and her ability. Soon after, she meets a mysterious guy her age while working at her uncle’s karaoke bar in Los Angeles. Jenny and Jaewoo spend several hours together, but at the end of the night, he disappears. Months later, Jenny and her mother move to Seoul temporarily to help her sick grandmother. Jenny starts at a boarding school, makes new friends, and discovers that the mystery guy is enrolled in her school and is a star in a famous K-pop band. She and Jaewoo, at first cautious, fall into a relationship, and she begins to find that “spark” that she was missing. However, as Jenny’s time in South Korea ends, she worries that being tied to her could jeopardize Jaewoo’s future. This novel includes common YA themes: finding yourself, making adult decisions, understanding your family, finding a soulmate. It is well written, and the characters are likable, relatable, and distinct.
VERDICT A layered love story many readers will enjoy.

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