Author: Tara Frejas
Release Date: May 5, 2016
Source: ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Fi Legaspi is living the dream working in Seoul as a road manager for one of South Korea’s hottest bands, East Genesis Project.
Until she isn’t.
When she finds herself in the middle of a scandal and a hostile fangirl witch hunt, Fi seeks the comfort of home, and to her surprise, not the person she had been pining for for years. All too suddenly it’s no longer her career on the line, but also her heart.
Will she walk away from everything that matters to her or fight to keep her dream alive?
If you’re wondering why I read and reviewed something like this, like… you know—band stuff, music-related genre when I don’t even know a single K-Pop band much less listen to any of their songs IRL, we’ll you’re not alone. Haha! I suprise myself sometimes, too. And you know what? This book isn’t just a welcome one. It is freaking golden.
I haven’t read anything from Tara Frejas yet but it seemed like Scandalized is all I’ve been waiting for.
Fi Legaspi is having the time of her life being the road manager of East Genesis Project. Straight out of college when she landed the job, hasn’t been home for five years to make sure everything’s going smoothly and nicely for her band. Until the two things she held dearly went out of hand all at once with just a scandal that turned out to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride: her job and her heart.
Scandalized is different in a way because our main character Fi isn’t a member of the band, East Genesis Project. And the-MC-and-LI-belonging-to-one-same-band-and-falling-in-love-for-each-other-but-has-issues trope is kind of a hit or miss for me. Doesn’t mean though that she doesn’t have the hots for a band member because well, she does. And he doesn’t know that because he’s got his eyes trained on someone else so there goes the unrequited love that I seem to have a thing for in the books I read. (So. Weird.)
While I’m really not a K-Pop person or anything near that and I had trouble connecting with the story the first few pages, I recovered from it and can totally say that I enjoyed the flow of it. Tara just made everything so beautiful—from the narration to the characters’ own personalities and voices, from the out-of-this-world fans (there’s a harsh reality in that and it happens A LOT) to the crazy industry of music, from taking me places to the comforts of my home country and even down to the glossary—I was very impressed! And can I just say that I loooove the characters so much?
Personally, Fi gets my I-want-to-be-her-best-friend-IRL approval because of her strong attitude and loyalty to the band even when she’s under the scrutiny of all people. She turned into this person who was suddenly so lost and just accepted anything thrown in her way without giving it a fight to this woman who knew how to work around her weaknesses and make it her starting point to somehow begin again. It’s very easy to connect with her and I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do. Then there’s Gabe who I wanted to keep for myself because he was like this guy who’s just in the background but knew all the things to say, when to say it and when to act on it. Of course there’s the three men of the band I never knew I’d love because of their concern for Fi. They grew so much because of that hit from the scandal but they got back up and became stronger than they were before. And OMG Haera, I hated her so much in the beginning but Tara made sure she got her covered as well so that left me hating no one in the book. I love that. Fi’s mom, Diana, got a medal, too, for being the typical, caring Filipina mother. As for the other heartless temporary CEO, suck up dude.
While the book’s not that romance-y at all, it still got the kilig feels that made up almost 30% of the plot. It gave me the warmth that I love in a story especially the scenes with Fi and Gabe and the adoration of the boys when they visited Fi at home when it’s freaking flooding outside!
With that said (not too much romance), I guess I’m expecting more of our MC and (the-not-expected) LI to know more about them in the romance department. It’s like Tara made me taste something good and then… nothing! Ugh! So I guess this is something she should really work on next.
But overall, I would say Scandalized was pretty amazing because of the near-poetic words and the story that held me captive and the hopeful, meaningful and strong message it delivered clearly that I wasn’t expecting. Like I said—golden! Must-read!