I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo | Book Review

January 9, 2018

Can I say that I bought the book primarily because of the "K Drama Steps to True Love"? Haha it is like the author has analysed the Korean dramas very well to use them in this young adult novel. And obviously all the steps are true and really being used in dramas. 

This book is very easy going and light, I finish reading it within an evening. Guess, it is funny and silly as well. Romantic too (especially when I imagine the characters in it).

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

: I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Pages: 325
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 2017

Synopsis :

Basically, it is about Desi Lee, a Korean American who is excellent in everything except relationships. In fact, she's never had a boyfriend and always encounter flailure (flirt + failure). Till one fine weekend, she dissolves herself into Korean drama after a pathetic incident happened between her and her crush. She manages to come out with her "K Drama Steps to True Love" which are absolutely helpful to get her boy, Luca Drakos. 

In the middle of the mission, she decides not to refer to the list and it is when she finds out real love is more than just drama that she's analysed. The relationship faces challenges when Desi needs to sacrifice an interview into Stanford for a medical school and towards one point when Luca feels being played to find out about the list. 

What will happen to the relationship?
And what exactly the list is all about?

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Back side of the book


As I mentioned earlier, the crucial part that I am looking forward is the list. Haha. I have been watching K dramas since Winter Sonata - I guess it is the very first drama shown on the television that time. I went on hiatus for K drama for quite a number of years and moved to the OST (I am still loving OST!)

Till 2015 when Kill Me, Heal Me was released. I was totally into its Hallucinations OST (it was piano instrumental that I was listening to actually). So, right now I watch dramas on and off.

1. The K Drama Steps to True Love

Let me share the points here.

  1. You are the living embodiment of all that is pure and good.
  2. Have a sad-sack family story.
  3. Meet the world's most unattainable guy.
  4. Let the guy get to you whether it's from annoyance / obsession.
  5. Have a secret dream that brings you closer to the guy.
  6. Doggedly pursue your dream, no matter the cost is your well-being.
  7. Mystery surrounds the guy but find out more.
  8. Be caught in an obviously lopsided love triangle.
  9. Get into a predicament that forces both the guy and you into an intimate bonding moment.
  10. Find out the guy's big secret, preferably through excruciatingly repetitive flashbacks.
  11. Prove that you are different from all other women - in the entire world.
  12. Life threatening event make him/you realise how real your love is.
  13. Reveal your vulnerabilities in a heartbreaking manner.
  14. Lock that baby in with a kiss! Finally.
  15. Fall deeply into cringe-inducing mushy love.
  16. Pick your very own love ballad to blast jarringly over and over again.
  17. Worlds have to collide for some comic relief.
  18. Meet his family and win them over.
  19. You must make the ultimate sacrifice to prove your love.
  20. You are not allowed to be happy until the very last possible minute
  21. Betrayal time - one of you kinda-not-really betrays the other.
  22. At your lowest point, your life is only made up of flashback montages of good times.
  23. Take drastic measures for your happy ending.
  24. Get your happy ending. 

Wow, am I exposing too much?

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
The handwriting is a bit hard to read, well Desi is a medical student to be. Haha
These are roughly the scenes (for the plot) in most romantic comedy dramas - the one Desi Lee watched over the weekend.

2. Persistence.

"I believed, and still believe, that you can build your dreams brick by brick. That you can accomplish anything with persistence. Even falling in love." - page 7

That is what Desi Lee has done. She uses all skills that she previously has used for her education into something that she has never excel before.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
"You cannot control who you love, Desi, but you can always control how hard you fight, okay?" - Appa

A bit of confession here - I think somehow I am being biased between this book and the previous one that I've read (Suamiku Dajjal). I support Desi's persistence to get the boy she likes but I have bad feeling for Safia when she attempts to get Encik Kopiah. T__T Is it because of the ethnic / culture / religion backgrounds portrayed by the characters? :(

2. K dramas fans.

"The dramas I watched were all of the romantic comedy variety, because that was clearly the genre that best fit my current life scenario. I hadn't left my house, showered, or seen another human aside from my dad in that entire time. I had ignored texts from Fiona and Wes." - page 41

Korean Dramas Marathon.

Can you relate yourselves to this?
Angkat tangan senyap-senyap okay.

3. Boys doing the move or vice versa?

"You know what, Wes? That's sexist crap. When a guy goes through obstacles to get a girl, it's considered 'romantic'. Think climbing through a girl's window unannounced to watch her sleep. However, when it's a girl making dramatic gestures for a guy, it's creepy. Double standard bullshit!" - page 75
Maybe anyone with experiences can share anything related to this?

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
"It was a drawing of me, ...." - Desi - the moment she finds out Luca has something into her.

4. Real love: It was all about risk and having faith. There were no guarantees.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
"But in the end, they were about people sticking together through thick and thin, not knowing if it would work out."

Are you willing to take the risks to pursue your love?
Do you have the faith that this may turn out good if you keep the efforts?
No guarantees.
And yes, no guarantees that you will end up for each other, or end up together till the end.

5. The Ultimate K Drama Starter Guide

Especially for those who have no idea where to start with K Dramas!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Brought by Dramabeans too!
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
They list lots of good dramas though. 
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Different categories though. But I think I can't see any medical drama?

My rating: ★★★★☆

Get yourselves a copy! :)
SS, Perak, Malaysia

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