Title: Made in Korea
Author: Sarah Suk
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Ebook, Paperback arc
Release Date: May 18, 2021
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.
Valerie Kwon has a business with her cousin at school where they sell Korean beauty products. Valerie is saving her money to take her grandmother on a trip to Paris in the summer before she starts college. In their senior year, Wes Jung moves to town. His mother works for a company that manages a popular K-Pop band. When Wes’s mother gives him some K-Pop cosmetics to bring to school to give to his friends, he learns what a lucrative business it could be to sell them. Wes wants to save money to pursue music studies in college, which his parents don’t approve of. Wes becomes major competition for Valerie’s business. Their competition gets intense, leading them to make an all or nothing bet. What they don’t count on is falling for each other, but only one business can win in the end.
The idea of student run businesses in high schools has pros and cons. It’s a great way for young people to learn about how to run a business and manage money. There were a couple of other student businesses, other than Valerie’s and Wes’s, but those were the two cosmetic ones so they were direct competitors. There were a few opportunities throughout the years for the businesses to sell their products and earn awards.
There were also consequences to these kinds of businesses that were addressed in the story. The students were earning real money with these businesses. That made the stakes much higher since Valerie and Wes had big plans for their potential earnings. This also made them take chances with their businesses that had moral and legal consequences. Valerie and Wes had to deal with the consequences of breaking the rules with their businesses. This story accurately represented what could go wrong with a student run business.
Made in Korea is a great young adult novel!
Thank you Simon and Schuster for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen
From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn
About the author:
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 on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.
Sarah is represented by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency.
Where to buy:
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-in-korea-sarah-suk/1137941907
One winner will receive a finished copy of Made in Korea. The giveaway will end on May 24th.
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59531/
Have you read Made in Korea? What did you think of it?