• The Anti-Fan and the Idol

  • A My Summer in Seoul Novella (1001 Dark Nights)
  • By: Rachel Van Dyken
  • Narrated by: Intae Kim, Graciela Jones
  • Length: 3 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a story in her My Summer in Seoul series…

Make it or break it...

Or maybe just break them?

Ai-Ri has been training under YK Management in Korea for two years without any results. She doesn’t fit the typical mold for a successful K-POP idol image, literally down to her blood type. She has six more months before college entrance exams which means she only has six months to make it as an idol before her dreams are crushed.

Things take a turn when two of the most famous male idols break away from their group and decide to form their own co-ed group, a rarity.

And wonder of all wonders, they need one more girl.

It would be the perfect opportunity, except she hates them.

They are arrogant, entitled, rich little snobs who want the world to worship the ground they walk on. To make matters worse, the only reason they came to her was because they are desperate, which means she needs to prove herself even more.

Tempers and personalities collide when she’s forced to either accept the position or give up on her dream.

But what happens when you suddenly go from anti-fan and enemy number one to stuck in a love triangle between two boys you were born to hate but are somehow falling in love with? And will the group survive the heartbreak that follows when she finally makes her choice?

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

©2022 Rachel Van Dyken (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Foreword © 2014 by M. J. Rose.

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Wow! A Darling Little K-Pop Romance ...

Wow! Ryan & Ah-Ri's Story About Success & Survival In The K-Pop World Builds To A Heartwarming HFN Ending. This Darling Little Romance Is Sure To Please K-Pop Fans. There Are Some Difficult Issues Tackled Here Despite The Length Of The Story.


THE MY SUMMER IN SEOUL SERIES:

This novella takes place in the My Summer in Seoul world, a full-length novel about the leader of K-Pop band SWT and a summer intern for Korea’s top record label. SWT has been the biggest K-Pop group around and they are working on a comeback. But behind the scenes of the music and popularity is an ugly world filled with plenty of drama – threats, wild fans, jealousy, poverty, and eating disorders. Suicide watch is a fact of life as a result of the tremendous pressure behind the scenes. Staying on top is a constant challenge.

This novella is a quick read with just 146 pages.

Thus far the series includes:
1. My Summer in Seoul
1.5 The Anti-Fan and the Idol (Ryan & Ah-Ri's story)

IN THIS BOOK:

Ah-Ri, nineteen, is going on her seventh audition and has yet to land one of the few coveted spots offered by her label. She has wanted this since age five and has endured years of grueling idol training – voice, dance, etc. – just to get to this point. She lives in the trainee dorm and pushes herself toward perfection. But despite her talent, she hears the whispers, and the fact that she is a little different seems to be dooming all her hopes. Her American mother and the six years of her youth she spent in the U.S. left her Korean with a slight accent and sticking out from the crowd when the executives are really looking for someone to blend in. She is bigger than the other girls, too, so she starves herself to improve her chances. At her age, she needs to land something sooner rather than later, or it might just be time to give up on her K-Pop dreams. Her family has little money, and she can barely afford to eat the little food she permits herself. The situation cannot continue indefinitely. Her friend Sookie recently joined the K-Pop sensation SWT and is decidedly not going along with management’s expectations, so maybe there is hope yet that Ah-Ri's differences won’t be seen as an obstacle to her success.

Ryan, twenty-five, has been in the business a while now. He enjoyed a solo career before the higher-ups placed him in a newly-formed supergroup two years ago. He and his best friend Haneul, along with two others, formed a boy group that became wildly successful. Rumors are circulating, however, that they have disbanded, and the rumors aren’t wrong. It just isn’t public knowledge yet. With the other two leaving the group, Ryan and Haneul are now scrambling to salvage their careers. They both come from wealthy families so they don’t have that same desperation some others in the business have, but making a career as an idol is a choice and takes hard work regardless.

The industry follows a lot of rules and norms, but Ryan and Haneul want to make a splash with their next project. They have a vision. Co-ed groups are the exception to the norm – there is just one to date – but the label has agreed to give them a chance. They have one month to find two girls and put together a Showcase – six songs and a music video. It is sink or swim, and they are largely on their own to pull it off. The girls they approach don’t want to take a risk on such a project and doom their own careers. They finally get shy Jisoo on board, and it is with reluctance that Ryan and his friend finally approach Ah-Ri, a girl whose attitude and lack of success to date haven’t escaped them.

It will be a miracle if Ryan, Haneul, Jisoo, and Ah-Ri are able to put everything together in the time allotted, but they throw themselves into the project full force, determined to give it their all. Ah-Ri had been reluctant to accept the invitation – both Ryan and Haneul had become her enemies over time. Ryan is like a dark angel, sad and silent with a touch of mystery, while Haneul is known for his smiles and charismatic charm. Jisoo has a timid demeanor but she knows how to deliver, which is what counts. As the four work desperately at a last shot to achieve their dreams, they are faced with the pressures of the industry as well as their own ghosts. The story has a sobering storyline involving suicide, and there is a tear or two along their journey. The couple finds a happy for now ending.

Wow! This darling little romance is sure to please K-Pop fans. There are some difficult issues tackled here despite the length of the story. The four members are all unique and entertaining. Their story takes place almost entirely behind the scenes as Ryan and Ah-Ri bond with one another and with their new group. There is much at risk when their chemistry explodes because relationships can ruin a career in K-Pop.

Ryan and Ah-Ri's story about success and survival in the K-Pop world builds to a heartwarming HEA. The story is well-written. The plot is fairly simple. The characters are nicely defined given the length. The story is told in first person. The POV alternates between Ryan and Ah-Ri. I rate this book 4.5 stars.

As for the Audio: it is nicely performed and consistent with the book.

I received an advance copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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