Hey everyone! First post and review in 2024 has to start on a high, right?
I’ve been looking forward to ASAP by Axie Oh since it was announced, because I adored XOXO and couldn’t wait for another adorable story from Axie! This ended up being the last book I finished in 2023 and I’m glad because it was an easy 5-star favourite read, with k-drama vibes and a lot of exceedingly cute moments!♥
Full review below!
About the Book
Series: Standalone / Companion to XOXO
Author: Axie Oh
Release Date: February 15th 2024
Source: Proof copy won from a giveaway run by the publisher (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased)
New York Times bestselling author Axie Oh’s ASAP is the much anticipated companion novel to beloved romance XOXO, following fan favorites Sori, the wealthy daughter of a K-pop company owner, and Nathaniel, her K-pop star ex-boyfriend, in a swoon-worthy second chance love story.
Sori has worked her whole life to become a K-pop idol, until she realizes she doesn’t want a life forever in the spotlight. But that’s not actually up to Sori—she’s caught between her exacting mother’s entertainment company and her father’s presidential aspirations. And as the pressure to keep her flawless public image grows, the last person she should be thinking about is her ex-boyfriend.
Nathaniel is off limits—she knows this. A member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world and forbidden from dating, he isn’t any more of an option now than he was two years ago. Still, she can’t forget that their whirlwind romance was the last time she remembers being really happy. Or that his family welcomed her into their home when she needed it most. . . .
So when Nathaniel finds himself rocked by scandal, Sori offers him a hideaway with her. And back in close quarters, it’s hard to deny their old feelings. But when Sori gets an opportunity to break free from her parent’s expectations, she will have to decide: Is her future worth sacrificing for a second chance at love?
ASAP starts off with Sori, the main character of this story, heading for a reunion with Jenny, who was the main character of XOXO. I absolutely adored this beginning, it was a beautiful reminder of the friendship they gained in XOXO, whilst the setting of New York for this part is great because it allows Sori to be a little more chilled out and carefree. (Only a little, our girl is far too much of a pragmatist to do anything too crazy!)
And of course, we have a run in with XOXO, as in the boy band that Jenny’s current boyfriend is in and… Nathaniel, Sori’s ex-boyfriend, is also in the group. Queue a slightly awkward run-in, with a little added mini-drama thrown in, and suddenly Sori can’t help but start thinking of Nathaniel more.
The title, ASAP, is the name of a girl group that Sori’s mother is debuting in a short time-period, due to some financial problems that the company is facing. But Sori isn’t too sure of her former path as an idol anymore, so she ends up taking on a role of aiding a girl within the group.
Whereas XOXO has a school setting, ASAP is a story set following school and, as a result of that, the content within is slightly more adult but still includes all of the endearing elements of XOXO. The book is fairly fast-paced, and we see so many things happen within! Radio, award, variety shows and more make appearances within, and overall one of the things that was my favourite is the amount of love and appreciation that Axie shows towards her culture.
Sori and Nathaniel’s care for one another most definitely took first place when it came to things I loved about the book, their chemistry throughout is perfect and my heart broke alongside Sori’s at times, whilst she’s struggling between following her heart and doing what she thinks is best for her mother.
Which leads me to the second thing I loved, Sori’s relationship with her mother. We don’t see too much of this, but the love between the two of them is so clear to see, and I 100% cried my eyes out a couple of times at their interactions.
I think you could definitely read this book without reading XOXO first, but reading XOXO before first definitely helps to understand the characters a little more (they’re all angels and deserve the best though, in terms of the kids, young adults and most of the adults anyway).
Well and truly a MinLee fan, and will not complain if we get another companion novel after this!
Have you preordered this yet?
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