15 May 2016

REVIEW: Scandalized by Tara Frejas

Woot! So happy to have read this book!
Tara Frejas' Scandalized is the first of last year's #SparkNA stories to be released. Congratulations, Tara!

Loved all the effort that Tara put into this book---from the promotional cards she distributed during #AprilFeelsDay, to the review signup sheets, and emails----everything looked so professional.

And that cover. I cannot say it enough times. That cover is simply gorgeous! Don't you agree?

Fi Legaspi is living the dream working in Seoul as a road manager for one of South Korea's hottest bands, East Genesis Project. Until she isn't.
When she finds herself in the middle of a scandal and a hostile fangirl witch hunt, Fi seeks the comfort of home, and to her surprise, not the person she had been pining for for years. All too suddenly it's no longer her career on the line, but also her heart. Will she walk away from everything that matters to her or fight to keep her dream alive?


This is something you'll really enjoy, even if you don't know anything about K-pop (I don't. Well, didn't---until this book). This made me realize the similarities and differences between the J-pop and K-pop fandoms.

But seriously, this book is more than just handsome K-pop stars and hunky PR guys (though those help too!). Because this is a book with so much heart. This is a book that just isn't about romance, it deals with the dark side of the entertainment industry and how stories are seeming manufactured from the flimsiest of evidences. This book deals with the shameful habit of (cyber)bullying, and how a few careless words and a picture or two can distort reality and ruin someone's life.

Super loved the band East Genesis, not only because they were totes adorable, but because of how much they loved Fi---how they all banded together (Hee. Pardon the pun) to help her out.

And Fi. I admired how strong she was the whole time. How she wanted the best for her band. She wanted to stay with them, yet she walked away and let them find their way without her support. How she found something worth doing.

And Carlos. Potres. Tawang-tawa ako sa kanya.

The feels were very real. And the prose was beautifully written. Grabe. As in. To illustrate, here are some of my fave quotes:

"See that's the thing. 
I never wanted to be a refrain in your head . . . 
I wanted to be the song."
- Fi  to Yihwan

- - -

"You are all my songs . . . 
But you were the one who decided 
I should stop singing."
- Yihwan to Haera

- - -

. . . Fi is Gabriel's sun, 
and right now he needs to protect her light 
before it gets snuffed out for good.

But perhaps what I loved most about the book was how real the characters felt. There were bits of IG / Twitter / IG / newsfeed posts interspersed throughout the book. And the comments---the comments helped ground the narrative. Very well done!

And OMG, so much culture packed into this one! So Pinoy, and yet so Korean. The settings, the mannerisms, the dialogue, and the food were all on point :-)

My only beef here is I wanted more of Gabe. Hahaha! 

But in the end, everything was just . . . Golden. Just right.

About Tara Frejas 

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she's not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.
Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes. Scandalized is her second novel after Paper Planes Back Home.
Fun fact: She's a Piscean. Go figure.
Want to know more about East Genesis? (They live!)