Review by Samantha
March 9, 2021
I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee is full of love, empowerment, and complexity. This novel features Skye, who is a confident and bold teenage girl, even though she doesn’t fit the mold of the thin K-pop star she sees on television shows and social media. Although she is plus-sized and isn’t quite the status quo of K-pop stardom, Skye loves K-pop and has been singing and dancing for years. Defying her mom’s wishes for her to just lose weight and stay out of the public light, Skye decides to audition for a K-pop competition show that is being cast in California where she lives. If she makes the show, Skye will be seen on television in America and Korea. However, that’s not even the most stressful part of auditioning for the show. On the day of her audition, Skye sees famous celebrity model Henry Cho is there to audition too. Dealing with Skye’s fears and insecurities is a big part of this book, but the story isn’t limited to just that. This book also explores Skye’s experience trying to be the first plus-size K-pop star, while also dealing with teenage relationships, friendships, drama, and more.
This book really did an amazing job of showing what it means to be someone who stands out in the modern world. Uniting humour, self-discovery, and romance together, the author really created a book that not only flows well, but is relatable to every single reader. Everything from the word choice, to the mood and emotion of the story, to the theme of the book just seemed to make sense, and it was overall a joy to read. My only critique would be that the book just wasn’t long enough. I loved the book, which is why I wanted more from the ending. None of the events in this book were perfect, which is why it was such a true, realistic book to read. I felt like I was left wanting those qualities in the end a little bit, but all in all it was still a great read.
I would rate this book 4.5 stars because it had well-developed characters and was relatable as well as insightful. Even though it wasn’t perfect, there were so many aspects of this book from the diversity and well-developed characters to the theme and suspense that made it stand out to me from other books that I’ve read. No matter what you are interested in and what stage you are at in your life, I can confidently say that you will find joy, comfort, and insight while reading this book. I would honestly recommend this book to everyone and I am likely to read it again soon.