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Jenny’s never had much time for boys, K-pop, or really anything besides her dream of being a professional cellist. But when she finds herself falling for a K-pop idol, she has to decide whether their love is worth the risk. A modern forbidden romance wrapped in the glamorous and exclusive world of K-pop, XOXO is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Maurene Goo.
Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically trained cellist without choosing practice over fun. That is, until the night she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, handsome, and just a little bit tormented, Jaewoo is exactly the kind of distraction Jenny would normally avoid. And yet, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable evening wandering Los Angeles with him on the night before his flight home to South Korea.
With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what could have been. But when Jenny and her mother move to Seoul to take care of her ailing grandmother, who does she meet at the elite arts academy she’s just been accepted to? Jaewoo.
Finding the dreamy stranger who swept you off your feet in your homeroom is one thing, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Turns out, Jaewoo is a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world. And like most K-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from dating anyone.
When a relationship means not only jeopardizing her place at her dream music school but also endangering everything Jaewoo’s worked for, Jenny has to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love. XOXO is a new romance that proves chasing your dreams doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your heart, from acclaimed author Axie Oh.
Indigo Best Teen Books of 2021
Axie Oh is a first-generation Korean American born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California San Diego and holds an MFA in writing for young people from Lesley University. Her passions include K-pop, anime, stationery supplies, and milk tea. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, with her puppy, Toro. Visit her online at www.axieoh.com.
“A dreamy dose of K-pop idols and secret romances.”
— Maurene Goo, author of Somewhere Only We Know
“With fun K-drama vibes, XOXO delivers a lot of heart and warmth in its protagonist who stays true to herself to the very end.” — Lyla Lee, author of I’ll Be the One
“When it was over, I immediately wanted to read it for the first time again.” — Kasie West, author of The Fill-In Boyfriend
“Simply put, this book made me happy. I guess you could say . . . I’m just a big fan.” — Emery Lord, author of The Map from Here to There
“A handwritten letter to falling in love and opening yourself up to the world. A delicious treat!” — Aminah Mae Safi, author of Tell Me How You Really Feel
“A feel-good, page-turning, swoony read!” — Gloria Chao, author of American Panda and Rent a Boyfriend
“A sparkling story of self-discovery—I was utterly charmed.” — Sarah Kuhn, author of I Love You So Mochi
“An utterly delightful love song dedicated to the intersection between dreams and romance."
— Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running with Lions
“Immensely fun, funny, and romantic.” — Emma Mills, author of Lucky Caller and First & Then
"K-pop helps a cellist develop musically and emotionally in this novel filled with humor and theatrics. Themes of responsibility, regret, and reconciliation weave through the intergenerational dynamics in Jenny’s family, adding dimension and depth." — Kirkus Reviews
"Oh’s narrative reaches an enjoyable clip that is both accessible to readers unfamiliar with K-pop and pleasing for fans of K-dramas as well as anyone who enjoys a breezy contemporary romance." — Publishers Weekly
"This book was pure joy to read. If you're looking for a lighthearted, fresh, and fun romance, Oh's latest is absolutely for you" — Buzzfeed
"Jenny's journey is never defined by her love story but instead pushed forward by stolen moments that will make romance fans swoon. At its core, this is a beautifully written coming-of-age story that will remind readers love for a friend, family, your art, and a partner can all find space in your heart." — Booklist
"Narrator Greta Jung creates a world of voices that easily draws readers in and makes them feel each character’s uniqueness. A must-buy on audio to recommend to K-pop fans and also to readers who enjoy a bit of drama in their love stories." — School Library Journal (starred review)