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Delicious gossip squares off with genuine heart in this inside look at a K-pop academy.
Every Friday after school, seventeen-year-old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong to sing karaoke. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, her only musical outlet is vamping it up in a private karaoke booth to an audience of one: her loyal sister. Then a scout for Top10 Entertainment, one of the biggest K-pop companies, hears her and offers her a spot at their Star Academy. Can Alice navigate the culture clashes, egos, and extreme training practices of K-pop to lead her group onstage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans—and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way . . .
This debut novel is about standing out and fitting in, dreaming big and staying true. It will speak to fans of K-pop and to anyone who is trying to take their talents to the next level.
About the Author
Alexandra Leigh Young currently produces the New York Times podcast The Daily. She produced tours for pop bands for three years before moving to South Korea as a freelance journalist. An assignment on K-pop for NPR’s Radiolab became the basis for Idol Gossip, her first novel for young adults. She lives in New York City.
This is a fast-paced, captivating inside look at what lies behind the glitz of the K-pop industry. Alice’s road to fame highlights cultural differences, self-discovery, sisterhood, and empathy. The narrative is laced with blog posts that help move the story forward and give background information. . . . An entertaining read unveiling the people behind K-pop glam.
Young aptly conveys Alice’s difficulties as the group’s youngest member, navigating life away from her family and deciphering the implicit rules of the K-pop world. . . . readers interested in the inner workings of idol groups will enjoy this entertaining inside look.
An entertaining romp through the world of K-pop. . . . K-pop and YA fans alike will find much to enjoy in this deep dive into fan culture and the music industry. . . . A fun glimpse into what happens when your dreams of fame come true, great for fans of Maurene Goo, Anna Carey, and Jessica Jung.
—School Library Journal
This compelling and unique story is perfect for K-pop fans or for those who are interested in the music industry and the price of fame. Interspersed between chapters readers get a chance to read the blog of a media influencer named “V” and get a first-hand look at how they use the blog to spread gossip. This title would work well as a literature circle fiction choice to support informational text readings on the price of fame or K-pop culture.
—School Library Connection
I absolutely loved this story about a Chinese American girl taking the K-pop world by storm! Watching Alice break boundaries and chase after her dreams with fun and flair makes for an energetic, thoroughly entertaining read.
—Axie Oh, author of XOXO and the New Visions Award winner Rebel Seoul
A fun, insidery look at the fascinating world of K-pop stardom.
—Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life
A smart and sassy K-pop rabbit hole. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Each page thrums with stage fright, scandal, and a healthy dose of sweetness and joy.
—Jad Abumrad, host and producer of WNYC’s Radiolab
In Idol Gossip, Alexandra Leigh Young delivers a thrilling behind-the-scenes journey into the heart of K-pop and a poignant story of self-discovery. It’s a tale of nail-biting auditions, unforgiving instructors, improbable friendships, and, above all, the transcendent power of music.
—Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times podcast The Daily