DRUNK REVIEW: Fireworks by Alice Lin

Fireworks by Alice Lin

What I drank prior: Boat par-tay! Under but close to 10 glasses of wine between there and the home afterparty.

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Lulu Li has her last summer before college all planned out. But her plans go awry when she learns that Kite Xu, her old next-door neighbor and childhood friend, will be returning home from South Korea.

Lulu hasn’t seen Kite since eighth grade, after he left the country to pursue a career in K-pop, eventually debuting in the boy group Karnival. When Karnival announces that Kite will be taking a break from K-pop activities for mysterious reasons, the opportunity to rekindle their friendship arises.

Star-struck and nostalgic, Lulu tries to reconnect with Kite. As they continue to bond and reminisce over the past, Kite’s sister, Connie, warns Lulu not to get too close to her brother. The harder Lulu tries to deny her feelings, the stronger they get. But how could a K-pop star ever fall for a nobody from home? And even if he did, is there any way for their relationship to end but badly?

Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

My Summary: Lulu Li is a happy-go-lucky teen with some pretty great friends and a lot going from her this summer after graduating from high school. She’s got everything planned. Only wrench? Turns out her growing-up-BFF-turned-K-pop-star heartthrob Kai is back in town and on an indefinite hiatus from his career as a member of the K-pop band Karnival. Once they reconnect, things get pretty crazy and Lulu definitely isn’t getting the summer she expected. But could she get so much more?

Spoiler-free Thoughts: Ok fan fic-y can be cute! I think we can agree. This read is total that. I literally couldn’t tell you what K-pop is if I were to listen to it, but I don’t have to! It’s a total high school vibe and if you were in high school and had an unattainable crush, you’ll totally get it. Super adorbs take on the girl-meets-boy-next-door trope.

Characters: Main character and POV is Lulu Li, a recent high school graduate. She has a good sense of herself and her friends, which I appreciated. Her best friends—Stephanie and Ester—were also cool, if that latter got a bit tedious with her outrageous fandom at points. I sort of wish Kai Xu, the love interest, got more time to be fleshed out, but it’s fan fic so ya know fine. But didn’t get too much of a sense for his personality except for being an overall pretty good guy. One thing that bugged me a lot though is everyone insisting on calling him by his stage name, Kite, as opposed to his real name, but that might just be me. Karnival (and fans) are also a pretty big main character—it’s Kai’s K-pop group. The guys seem… fine? Obvi crazy famous.

Plot: It’s a pretty quick read, even in audio. We start off at the beginning of Lulu’s summer. She’s SO excited for typical teen sh*T before leaving her friends and going to college. Karnival is inrotrucared pretty early with excepted and Ester being a HIGE fan. Once Kai returns, he’s trying to lay low but wants to reconnect with Lulu and get to know her new friends and catch up on family stuff. You can categorize this as aggressively slow burn.

World Building: Based in our reality, but did a good job of demonstrating fan culture. It’s, uh, pretty toxic overall.

Writing Style: POV from Lulu’s perspective with Karnival excerpts at the beginning of each chapter.

Drink Pairing: Something easy drinking that you’d drink at 21, like a sex on the beach or an amaretto sour

Rating: 3.5/5 shots

xxxo Minda

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