Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.
11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.
12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.
This was such a cute story. I loved The Way You Make Me Feel a bit more, but Somewhere Only We Know was really good. I love how Maurene Goo always has so much food in her books! I get hungry while reading them.
This book takes place over a weekend, but most of the story is told in one full day. Lucky is in Hong Kong, just finishing her tour. She’s a K-pop star who is always on a strict schedule. She can’t eat what she wants and can’t get in any trouble or her label will drop her. K-pop stars must be darn near perfect. Lucky takes Ativan for anxiety, but doesn’t really tell anyone. It’s the stigma of needing to take medication. She also takes sleep pills. On her last night, she isn’t really happy and decides she needs a hamburger. She already took her meds, but decided to sneak out instead.
Jack snuck up to the penthouse to take a scandalous photo of two stars having an affair. While he’s interning with his dad at a bank during his gap year, he’s also secretly working for a tabloid. He runs into a cute girl wearing slippers when he’s leaving. Jack asks her if she wants to come with him and she agrees. She tells him that her name is Fern and he thinks she’s really drunk. Jack takes her home to sleep it off and realizes that he has Lucky in his apartment. He automatically tells his boss and plans out something to do to get photos of her. Maybe this will get him a real job for the tabloid.
Jack and Fern decide to spend the day together. She wants to escape and see everything in Hong Kong. Jack takes her to different places throughout the day, and a lot of that involved eating. During this time, they both start to open up about themselves. They are both lying about some things, but it’s easier telling someone you won’t see again some of your secrets. Jack doesn’t really want to go to college and is afraid to tell his family that he wants to take photos. Fern/Lucky realizes that she’s lost that true passion for music somewhere along the way. She wants to feel it again. And to make up her mind on certain things in her life. She’s never even kissed a boy.
Jack and Lucky both realize that they’re having feelings for each other. Something different than ever before. Lucky feels safe and protected with Jack. He listens to her and they have fun. Jack starts to see the strength and passion in Lucky. How she gets so excited over everything. She’s making him see everything differently, too.
Some people have star quality. They radiate something otherworldly. It’s not only that they’re attractive, there’s a magnetism and a presence. And Lucky had it.
She was perfect, though. Not because she was Lucky, the music video goddess, wearing heels that could kill a man. But because she was so excited by the world around her. Because she was making me see Hong Kong through her eyes–a city that, while cool, had felt foreign to me for the past year. She added this warmth to every spot we visited, a wash of golden light. Everything tasted better because of watching her eat it. Everything looked beautiful because she walked through it.
But their perfect time was doomed. Lucky found out about the photos Jack had been taking of her. She left and planned to never see him again. She was heartbroken after never having these feelings for someone before. She goes to LA and goes on with her life.
Yes, this is a story about falling in love in just one day. But I found it more of a story that every person we encounter can mean something in our lives. It can be a just a chance meeting or someone you’ve known for years. Certain people help us open up and see who we are and who we could be.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars. Quotes are taken from an arc and may change before final publication. Thank you to FierceReads/Macmillan for sending me a copy for review.
Have you read any books by Maurene Goo? Is this one on your TBR?