MINI-REVIEW: I Believe In A Thing Called Love *Spoiler-Free*


Title: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Author: Maurene Goo

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 170


Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life.

She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.


Y’all should know by now that within the past few months I began obsessing over K-Dramas. Well. This book was right up my alley!

Our protagonist Desi is a hardworking girl that takes multiple extracurricular activities and participates in most of the school’s clubs. She’s an overachiever in every department except for the boy section. She has a bad history with trying to get boys until she gets the brilliant idea to use the K-Drama method to score herself a boyfriend.


Such a ridiculous but honestly brilliant idea for a book! Going into this book I expected lots of wacky antics, K-Drama references, and a swoon-worthy male lead.

This book checked off every box and it made me so happy to not only see a Korean-American lead but such a wonderful relationship with her father as well. Desi has the best book dad ever! Somehow he’s adorable even though he’s her dad. I don’t know how you did it, Goo, but you did!

Desi as a character is hilarious! She could get a bit crazy (won’t give you examples cause then that’d be a bit spoiler-y) but that’s the entire point of the book! I’ve read a lot of reviews on Goodreads saying how the book was a bit too weird for them, but I don’t think those people have watched a single K-Drama in their life.

People who don’t know K-Dramas shouldn’t be allowed to read this book and give it a low rating. Right now, this book has a 3.77 star rating on Goodreads simply because the people that don’t watch K-Dramas and don’t understand the antics that go on in K-Dramas (even though they’re explained in the book) read this book and judge it for that.


That aside, Desi is so relatable! She judges her father for watching K-Dramas but then becomes addicted herself and can’t stop watching them. She’s also such an awkward potato when it comes to guys and experiences flailure after flailure (flirting failure).

I loved seeing a character – who might seem perfect on the outside – but are actually flawed if you look closer. This was shown with not only Desi, but her crush Luca as well. They both have problems of their own that have shaped who they have become now. They work well with each other and I loved seeing such a genuine love blossom between them, even if what Desi did with the entire K-Drama list was admittedly a bit extreme.

His entire story arc in Reply 1997 absolutely destroyed me

Desi’s extremeness was a downfall to this book, and I do think the ending was a bit abrupt, but besides that I fell in love with this book like Desi fell in love with K-Dramas (Luca who?)


My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Overall, this book was such a fun and hilarious contemporary read that helped me with my K-Drama withdrawals and will hopefully convince more people to start watching K-Dramas. I’m definitely looking forward to future books by this author!

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17 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEW: I Believe In A Thing Called Love *Spoiler-Free*

  1. Great review, Savannah! I had no idea this book takes such inspiration from K-dramas, and despite not being familiar (at all) with the genre, this makes me really excited to read it anyway haha. You’re right when you say that people who don’t understand the cultural elements shouldn’t be giving books such as these low ratings. Maybe I should watch a couple of shows before I read this. 😛

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you do decide to watch a drama or two before picking up this book I’d recommend Reply 1997, Descendants of the Sun, or Boys Over Flowers! They’re some of my favorites!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad to read a review from a k-drama fan! I already downloaded the book on Kindle because it sounds so fun (and I LOVE k-dramas). Now the problem is that I have other books to finish, but I hope I get to read this one soon 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this book too! It was a fun summer read 🙂 I loved the list of KDramas at the end, I definitely found some good recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved the list too! I saw a few favorites of mine as well as some I’ve been hearing some wonderful things about 😀


  4. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this! I love K-dramas so naturally I’m very excited to read this 😀 People who aren’t familiar with K-dramas should either not read this before at least watching a few or do some research instead of butchering the book’s overal rating like that :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I didn’t know you liked K-Dramas too! (or if I did, I forgot haha). Yeah, it’s really sad to see people who’ve never watched a K-Drama give this book a low rating because they’re not familiar with them.

      Liked by 1 person

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