Stephan Lee’s debut novel follows the journey of a 15-year-old Korean-American teen who is thrust into the gruelling K-Pop training process in the hopes of becoming an idol.

The book follows the story of Korean-American teen Candace Park, a quiet girl who keeps her dreams of stardom and her obsession with SLK, K-pop’s top boyband-to herself. That is until she secretly enters a global audition held by SLK’s music label and passes.

Convincing her strict parents to let her to go to Seoul is all is one of the easier challenges she faces. Under the strict supervision of her instructors ,Candace is required to perfect her performance skills, speak Korean fluently, and follow the hierarchy amongst her fellow trainees.

She must do all of this whilst adhering to the company’s rules, especially the no dating rule. However, this soon becomes impossible a dreamy male trainee.

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In an all-out battle to debut, Candace risks planting herself in the middle of a scandal. And is fulfilling her dream of debuting worth risking her friendships, her future and family for?

The story encourages teens to discover themselves amongst the pressure put on them, as well as finding the courage to speak out about injustices and mistreatment even in the face of having your dreams snatched away from you.

Whilst the novel comes at a time where the dark side of the industry is being exposed, it also celebrates the unique talent that only K-pop can deliver.

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22 | Nottingham-based | UKP's resident multi-stan. For enquiries, contact r.healey@unitedkpop.com