I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo


Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That's how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it's how she'll get into Stanford. But she's never had a boyfriend. In fact, she's a disaster at romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It's a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her "K Drama Steps to True Love," Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.


I was familiar with most of the student body but this was the “artsy” crowd – a group of hipster types who made me feel two inches tall for blasting Taylor Swift and reading Twilight. Not that I’ve ever done that. At the same time.

Did I enjoy this book? Well, it was quite fun plus I practically flew through it. Yes, but did I enjoy this book? Honestly, I can't say that I did like it much beyond surface level. Because, honestly, the surface level is quite off-putting. And with "surface level" I actually want to say "Desi Lee".

Urgh. At first I thought Desi was a very enjoyable character/narrator. She's quirky and nerdy and entertaining and oh-so-clumsy - what a great combination for fun! But then her fatal character flaw is revealed very quickly and my initial sympathy for her is turned upside down: she's incredibly stupid. Hear me out, I'm not saying that she's "bad at school" nor am I implying that people who aren't good at academics and stuff aren't fun, what I'm saying is that Desi Lee, frankly, is a moron. Goo describes her as this total brainiac with the best grades and involved in 100+ clubs (in all of which she is the best) but then she seriously can't see how "causing a minor car accident" might be a bad idea or how it might lead to a damaged car or even injuries or, in another instance, she can't see how "tying a boat loose and let it drift out to sea" is incredibly stupid (???? This girl, honestly, I can't even with her). (Btw how did she become best at everything? She's never shown to do anything but obsess over Luca, literally.)

Another major turn-off for me was that entire insta-love thing. Desi sees him and is immediately all "omg, we're totes perf for each other" and, although every other girl is also totes into Luca, her crush on him is actually love and therefore real and Luca is also totes into her and she can tell because he drew her that one time in class. Any other girl who shows interest in him? Nope, they're stupid, they don't get it, they don't deserve him (ironically other girls proceed to act like they are aware that Luca is into her and that Luca and Desi are obviously going to get together even though they have hardly interacted at all). However, the thing about this particular plot-point is that it is extremely K Drama-like and, well, I'm totally into those. Thus, this "major turn-off" although it bothered me, wasn't all that bad (certainly better than Desi being a freaking idiot).

Okay, you might be wondering, but what is good about this book? Huh. I don't know. I can't tell you why I flew through it, why I was practically addicted to it even though I was so incredibly annoyed by Desi; that's just how it was. I'm pretty sure it's for the same reason why I'm addicted to K Dramas, even those that I'm not particularly into. A reason I haven't figured out yet.

In conclusion: do I recommend this book? Yes: if you like fluffy, superficial, stupid teen-drama with people behaving like they're 13/14 instead of 17/18 / if you enjoy K Drama a lot. No: you already know that this doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy.

Fiona grabbed the list and quickly skimmed it. “Des, the rest of the stuff is, like, terrible. Misunderstandings and betrayal city. You’re not going to plan things going wrong, too, right?”


3 out of 5 stars. Nothing more left to say about that.


Name: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 336
Where?: Amazon


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