Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.
Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…
What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.
Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.
But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.
Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. Made in Korea is her first novel. You can visit Sarah online at SarahSuk.com and on Twitter and Instagram @SarahAeliSuk.
“My favorite thing about Made in Korea is Valerie and Wes, and the journey they go on as both individuals and as a couple, facing challenges that I found deeply resonant. Valerie and Wes’s relationships with their parents are handled with such care and nuance, perfectly capturing the contradictory desire as a teen to forge your own path while also wanting to make your parents proud.”
"Narrators Raymond J. Lee and Joy Osmanski dazzle with their performances of two teens who sell competing K-beauty products at their high school. Osmanski portrays Valerie Kwon with a sharp tone, channeling her intelligence and laser focus to succeed. Her narration shines in her ability to capture Valerie's humanity and faults. Lee, on the other hand, gives Wes Jung a laid-back tone that reflects his less competitive, endearing nature. Lee's narration is especially compelling when he expresses Wes's desire for acceptance by his family. The alternating first-person narration moves the story along briskly. Scenes featuring both Valerie and Wes together are splendid as the tension mounts and sparks fly. Both narrators render convincing teenage emotions and cultural authenticity, adding richness and depth to this listening experience."
– Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine
Awards and Honors
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title