I meant to post this last year but a lot of things got in the way…and I felt like I had the spoons to tackle and finish this draft so, here you go!
So, an eternity ago, former Girls’ Generation member Jessica Jung said she was going to release a book called ‘Shine.’ People ate it up, thinking that there was gonna be tea, THE TEA, in a fictional universe so people could figure out what happened that got her kicked out of Girls’ Generation. I didn’t preorder the book, but I did have some extra money to indulge myself with something else to read(aside from the backlog of books that I have.)
I uh…wish I’d gotten something different instead.
I honestly tried to give the book a chance. For a moment I thought I was being too hard on it because I didn’t see any negative reviews on Amazon at first glance. I checked it recently again and what a relief it was to see that I wasn’t the only one who had problems with the book.
User Talvi on Amazon put it in amazing words. ‘…main character Rachel was a dud…’ Rachel Kim felt like a bland protagonist. She’s this incredibly talented singer but then she can’t even seem to do that properly when the light shines on her. I understand trying to make your protagonists relatable, but her panic attacks and cold feet feel more like plot devices than anything else.
The surrounding cast all feels like a revolving door. Everyone comes in to sprinkle a little bit of something to move the plot forward and then walk the heck back out. Akari, her ‘best friend’ disappears halfway through the book. Rachel will randomly remember her and try to prioritize her but then time magically passes by before she’s ever mentioned again. I can only guess this could be a way for Jessica to add some *flavor text* about her trainee days, but it went absolutely nowhere.
Don’t even get me started on the love interest. DB Entertainment’s ‘Golden Boy’ could do no wrong. While some of the moments felt genuine, others fell short. He doesn’t see the difference between male and female trainees’ treatment, gets dumped, and magically he’s been ‘enlightened’ sometime later after she gives him the cold shoulder.
There are way too many fanfictions out there with way more substance than that. Heck, I’ve written fanfics with way more substance than that.
The way the book ended, it left all the makings of a sequel. To then find out that it was the case. Jessica is releasing a sequel to Shine…called…wait for it…
The book is full of outdated tropes, and the only real thing of value is how the antagonist is humanized and vulnerable at times. This adds depth to her, which definitely adds more to the point that Rachel has no redeeming qualities. She’s selfish, out to debut just as much as her rival, and yet she magically gets her way. As main characters do.
The sequel, which was due out in 2021, was postponed to May of next year. I am not looking forward to it. The first book I almost did not finish multiple times. I kept getting frustrated at how everything built up to predictably go wrong…consistently.
While the second book looks like it’ll deliver more ‘tea,’ I’m not in the mood to even touch it when it comes out. my TBR list is too long to even think about touching this book.
I’ll stick to New Adult for the most part, thanks.