XOXO – Book Review

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Jillian DeMaio, Staff Editor

XOXO by Axie Oh is perfect for anyone looking for a heartwarming read. The novel follows Jenny, a teenager from LA, after she meets Jaewoo in her uncle’s karaoke business. After learning that Jaewoo lives in Seoul, Korea and is to return there soon, Jenny accepts that their paths will never cross again. However, when she returns home her mother reveals that the two of them are moving to Korea in order to take care of a sick relative. When she arrives in Seoul, a trip on the subway reveals a startling revelation: Jaewoo is a member of the biggest K-pop group in the world. Jenny has to come to terms with living in a new country, expanding her skills as a cellist, and navigating her relationship with Jaewoo. 

XOXO explores themes such as toxic fan culture, celebrity privacy, differences in culture, and sacrifice. On the other hand, it also has strong themes of family, friendship, and love. There are many relationships that are explored throughout the novel: family relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships all develop before the final page. The characters are addicting and each have their own distinct characteristics which make for an even more interesting read. 

In short, Oh uses XOXO to comment on the entertainment industry but also to develop a cast of lovable characters and fast-paced events which result in a novel that a reader can finish in a few hours. It’s not going to go down in history as a life-changing book but it is a fun read for anyone looking for romance.