Once Upon a K-Prom had an interesting enough premise which is why I was curious about it but for me it was a let down.
I love characters who grow. They don’t have to start out likeable, they don’t even have to end likeable. They have to grow, change, learn.
There’s not really much of that here, or at least not enough for me. Also, suspension of disbelief only goes so far.
Our couple made a promise when they were kids to go to prom together. Then Robbie moved away and they stopped talking. No communication for a while. Then he shows up on her doorstep one day, now he’s an idol, and is like “remember our promise?”
That doesn’t work for me. They didn’t talk for, what, years? And yet he still showed up and remembered? It would have been more believable to me if they still talked but not that often. Maybe a text or two a month. But they were still in communication.
Idols put themselves through the grinder, the K-pop industry is wild. But for them to just not speak at all and him to show up to keep the promise was a bit much for me. It was a peeve I guess.
What also bothered me is that Elena is a down on herself for no reason character. There are moments where she absolutely should not feel that way but she does, she does it to herself. She has moments to put what she’s learned into practice, to show some growth, and she doesn’t. Then the end of the book shows up and it’s not a smooth ending. Her change felt rushed and unbelievable.
Is it cute? Yeah, I guess. But when change is forced, as a reader it’s annoying. Because that’s not good, that’s poor growth. No one ignores every chance to grow and then in the last 30% is like “wait a minute” and does a 180 shift. I couldn’t get behind it.
I’m giving this two (2) stars for competent writing.
I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to them and the publisher.