Bright (Shine # 2)

Bright  (Shine # 2)
Age Range
Release Date
May 10, 2022
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The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Shine! Crazy Rich Asians meets Gossip Girl in this knockout series from Jessica Jung, K-pop legend, fashion icon, and founder of the international luxury brand, Blanc & Eclare.

Couture gowns, press parties, international travel. Rachel Kim is at the top of her game. Girls Forever is now the number-one K-pop group in the world, and her fame skyrockets after her viral airport styling attracts the attention of fashion’s biggest names. Her life’s a swirl of technicolor glamour and adoring fans. Rachel can’t imagine shining any brighter.

The only thing that’s missing is love—but Rachel’s determined to follow the rules. In her world, falling in love can cost you everything.

Enter Alex. When Rachel literally falls head over designer heels into his lap on a crowded metro, she’s tempted to give up her anti-love vows. Alex is more than just heart-stopping dimples and adorably quirky banter. He believes in Rachel’s future—both in music and in fashion.

But the higher you rise, the farther you have to fall. And when a shocking act of betrayal shatters her world, Rachel must finally listen to her heart.

Editor review

1 review
K-Pop drama and romance
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
As a K-pop novice, I didn't know what to expect before beginning this book. The world of K-pop and its behind-the-scenes drama captured my attention easily.

Jessica Jung is a former K-pop star who began a successful clothing line, much like Rachel in Bright. As I read the book, I wondered how much of what happened to Rachel happened to Jessica.

Rachel is in one of the most successful K-pop groups, but she also wants to explore other creative outlets. She is passionate about songwriting and fashion. A chance to venture out on her own in fashion leads to issues within her K-pop group. As Rachel pursues her dreams outside of the group, the girls become jealous. Rachel's songwriting notebook is damaged and the songs she wrote are ripped out. The situation becomes worse when her favorite bag is "missing" for weeks on end.

A bright spot in all of the drama is Rachel's romantic relationship with Alex. She must keep her boyfriend a secret because K-pop artists are not allowed to date. In an effort to get Rachel in trouble, Rachel's K-pop group mates leak this information to the tabloids. In addition to her career drama, Rachel now has to deal with romance drama. As a result of the drama, Rachel was able to work through her feelings about Alex and her career goals.

What I liked: It was interesting to read about the K-pop world. I was surprised by the demanding and cutthroat nature of the business. Jung did a good job of balancing the K-pop drama with the sweetness of Alex and Rachel's relationship. Their relationship was filled with silly banter, text messages, and secret dates and it was easy to see why Rachel was falling for Alex.

What left me wanting more: The book was solely told from Rachel's perspective. A glimpse into Rachel's group mates' perspectives, especially their secret meetings about her, would have been interesting. I found it difficult to understand Rachel's response to her group mates damaging her property. She was too forgiving and gave them the benefit of the doubt rather than confront them. I would have liked to see her stick up for herself more.

Final Verdict: This book was a fun read and gave insight into the pressures of the entertainment industry. Those who are fans of K-pop will find this book fascinating as it sheds light on what it takes to become a successful K-pop star.
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