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

I Believe in a Thing Called Love
by Maurene Goo
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
Publication date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Romance

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.




Desi excels at everything. She’s on the varsity soccer team, aces all her AP classes, has mass amounts of trophies for her academic achievements, and she valedictorian. However, the one thing Desi does not excel at is boys. She’s never had a boyfriend and it has everything to do with her awkwardness when she’s around the opposite sex. So, when a new kid shows up at school, Desi decides to do a little research to win him over. She turns to her father’s beloved Korean dramas for help.

Obviously, since Desi is following a checklist from a Korean drama, her methods are a bit extreme. She does all sorts of stupid stuff to get the guys attention. She joins the art club (something she knows nothing about) in order to get close to him, she even goes as far as to set up a traffic accident so that she can play the damsel in distress. To say that Desi went a bit overboard is an understatement. I thought she’d use the K-drama as guidance but she actually made a check-list and went through the steps the heroines took when snagging their guy on the show.

While I didn’t necessarily like some of the things Desi did on her quest to snag the guy, I loved her father. Actually, I loved the relationship that the two of them had. They were very close and the father was so adorable. He would just sit in his chair, munching on pickles, getting all giddy over his K-dramas. No matter what decision Desi made, he always supported her, even when he disagreed with her. In all honesty, the father totally overshadowed the main characters in the story for me.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love was predictable but would have been an adorable read if Desi wasn’t so intense. She was like a spazzed out poodle on a mission. Some of the things she did or said had me wondering about her sanity. I don’t want to go into detail about the lengths she goes to to not only get the guy, but to keep him because a lot of it is a bit crazy. All I’ll say is, if I was Luca, I would run. I would run as fast as I could and never look back.



Favorite quote…

“Everyone’s weird, though. If you’re not even a little weird, you are truly weird. In that bad way. Not in the good way.”




8 Thoughts on “Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

  1. Yasssss! I think I said the same thing about Luca in my review. Desi crossed the line from cute K-Drama references/inspiration to dangerous and life threatening.

    And! Didn’t learn from it. Right until the bitter end she put people in danger.

    I was sad about that because otherwise this was so adorable.

    For What It’s Worth

  2. I really like that quote 😀 Weird rule

  3. LOL that sounds crazy and so does she. Your last sentence made me laugh.

  4. I kept wondering why the author’s name looked familiar, it looks like my library had her and two other YA authors out there just a few days ago!

  5. Lovely review! I’m sorry to hear that book wasn’t perfect – it sounds like the main character was a little…well, crazy and going way overboard. That’s too bad, I thought the story had a great potential. Yay for the father daughter relationship, though, I’m ALL for more of this in books, so happy there was a great one here 🙂

  6. LOL! That quote is totally on point! Hugs…

  7. Yeah, setting up a traffic accident is a bit much. hah I’m glad you liked the father/daughter relationship though!

  8. Sounds like it could have been a fun read but the heroine went a little overboard. Love the sound of her father though! Usually it’s the grandmother who is obsessed with soap operas, so this makes a nice change of pace.

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