I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

Contemporary, 336 pages, published in 2020

Even though society and even her mother have told her that she can’t dance because she’s fat, Skye doesn’t let that stop her. She auditions for a K-Pop reality show based in LA in order to become the first plus-sized K-Pop star, but she has to try to stay true to herself, even when so many people are telling her she needs to change.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: fatphobia, emotional abuse

I just need to say that I freaking loved this book! I read it in one sitting and stayed up late to do so because I could not put it down. I was already really looking forward to this book because it features a fat protagonist and has to do with K-Pop, but it totally exceeded my expectations.

Skye is so unapologetically fat and I loved to see that. I am also fat and always have been, no matter how active I am, just like Skye, so it just felt so nice to see myself in her. She is definitely confident and doesn’t let the fact that she’s fat stop her from doing anything, but she does also have times were she gets a little down about it, which I think is so realistic. It was definitely a little hard at some points to read what people online and in real life were saying to Skye about her weight, especially one of the judges of the show she is competing in, because people actually say and think those things about something so insignificant like how much someone weighs or what someone’s body looks like.

Skye also has a complicated relationship with her mother because of her weight. Her mother constantly tells Skye that she’s an embarrassment and that people will think she is a bad mother because of Skye’s weight. You do discover why her mother is like this, but it does not at all excuse how she treats Skye.

If you are hesitant about this book because you aren’t into K-Pop or don’t know much about it, I still think it’s accessible! As a fan of K-Pop, there were tons of little things that felt like little easter eggs, but plot-wise, nothing depends on any previous knowledge of K-Pop because it is explained if necessary.

I loved all of the main characters in this book! Skye’s friends from the competition were all so cool and it was also quite a diverse group of people.

The love interest in this book is Henry, a popular model who is also competing in the K-Pop competition. At first, he seems very cool and professional, but as Skye gets to know him, she’s learns that he’s a huge dork. I really loved their relationship because they both are so supportive of each other and they help each other grow and work through their problems. Also, they are both bisexual, which was also explored in this book.

Even though this book deals with some tough stuff, like society’s view of fat people and the rejection of people who aren’t straight, it still manages to be such a fun time! I highly recommend this book! This is definitely a new favorite of mine.

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