I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee Review is here. This YA novel centers around Shin Hanuel, better known as Skye. She is a sixteen-year-old girl who’s trying out for the reality competition called You’re My Shining Star. It’s for singers and dancers who aspire to be K-pop stars in Korea. Being plus size not only makes everyone doubt Skye’s ability as a performer but makes them not like her being there period due to her size.
Skye, however, is determined to prove she belongs there not only because they think she can’t do it. But because her mom doubts, she can do it either. When Skye takes the stage, though, everyone is left speechless, including Henry Choo. He is basically a Kardashian Korean celebrity who’s a year older than Skye. Henry is trying out for the dance part of the show, while Skye is trying out for both and gets accepted for both.
It becomes clear out of the judges Mr. Park, Gary, and Bora that Bora dislikes Skye due to her size. A revelation Skye decides will only push her harder. Along the way, Skye meets Lana and Tiffany. They are a couple who aren’t outwardly ‘out’ as a couple due to the Korean culture being against their relationship. Skye, however, is bi and is more than happy to accept who they are.
Throughout each challenge within the competition, Skye gets paired with Henry to do a dance routine. They become close, and soon Skye sees that Henry is just a regular guy. He struggles, like her, with who he is and what he’s doing. Will their friendship turn into more? After all, Henry can have any girl he wants. Is it too much for Skye to think he wants her out of every skinny girl?
This novel was a delight to read. It truly encompasses everything in this feel-good book. We get diversity in sexuality as well as body types. Skye really is ‘Queen Skye.’ She isn’t afraid to be who is she is and to stand in front of everyone and say I’m not changing who I am for anyone, not even her mom. It’s a novel that allows Skye to stand strong on her own two feet and come to terms with the outside world. Yes, it can be cruel, but she must determine if that will make or break her.
Aside from the characters in this novel, the plot was fantastic. I love the backdrop of Skye, trying out to be a K-pop star. Hearing how she dances and sings made this novel a 5/5. It was so unlike any other books and was an unexpected gem. I want this book to be a movie where K-pop is brought onto the screen. The Henry and Skye connection was the cherry on top. Overall, I say if you haven’t read this novel, you definitely should. It’s a fast, fun read that will have you wanting to be a K-pop star and meet Skye herself! I’ll Be the One proves you just have to be yourself to accomplish your dreams!