In 2013, Girls’ Generation became the first K-pop group to reach 100 million views on YouTube with the hit song “Gee.” So Jessica Jung—singer, actress, author, fashion designer, and former member of Girls' Generation—had a lot of experience to draw on as she wrote about Rachel Kim, a 17-year-old Korean American competing for a spot in a girl group, in her new book Shine. Inspired by Jung's own experiences, fans will have fun trying to decipher fact from fiction. Amazon editor Seira Wilson says of Shine: "There is cattiness and gossip, double standards and long hours, but Rachel is a funny, delightful character with grit and heart. A fast-paced rom-com powered by big dreams and music, perfect for fans of Jenny Han."
If events in her own life inspired her as a writer, we wondered what kind of books inspired Jessica as a reader: "My favorite kind of book is one that hits where it hurts, but leaves me inspired to be more present to everything around me. These books have a kind of “afterglow” that lasts for days or even years. In this turbulent time, I’ve been returning to some of my all-time favorites."
This is a classic rumination on how to live your best life, as if each day could be your last. It feels important now more than ever to remember that happiness doesn’t come from your circumstances, but your spirit. It’s a reminder to shut out the noise and be in the moment, whenever you can.
PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
I’m a sucker for emotional romance and this one has all the feels. It’s a truly beautiful love story and shows a strong woman adjusting to her new normal. I had seen the movie but had to come back and find the book this year in anticipation of the sequel!
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
For me, this is another bittersweet seize-the-day story about the preciousness and fleetingness of all the beauty around us. And it’s a heart stopping, heartbreaking romance, rolled into one. I just love the way Jojo Moyes creates such compelling, emotionally layered characters.
The Client by John Grisham
Thrillers are the best airplane reads and this one is an all-time fave when I need a little escape from reality. I am personally addicted to stories about people who will go wild lengths to get what they want.
Jessica Jung tells us about her favorites reads of 2020, the books that "have a kind of 'afterglow' that lasts for days or even years.