May 2, 2017

Wicked Review: Scandalized by Tara Frejas

Format Acquired: Paperback
Date Published: May 6, 2016
Genre: Romance

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?

The minute I found out that this was about K-Pop, I knew I have to pick it up. K-Pop is currently my life right now. I have no regrets. Hah. 

Being a K-Pop for almost a decade now, I knew that their world is as chaotic as ever. Left and right, the artists or sometimes more fondly called as 'idols' are thrust into the spotlight. The Korean music industry is really harsh. REALLY HARSH. Competition is everywhere. Scandals are sometimes a normality even. No scandal is small. But one thing's for sure. It will destroy you.

Okay, maybe destroy is too harsh. But anyways, you get the point. This story touched base on a lot of things. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's start with the good. What I love about K-Pop artists is that they're humble. They're really down to earth people. They are one of the most hardworking people I have ever seen. Some Korean artists train for ten years before they even get to debut. The length of your training doesn't guarantee you a solid career the minute you debut. Not only do the artists work hard, but it's also the people behind the scenes that fans rarely even look at like the managers, the PR people, the make up artists, the stylists, the producers, etc. They are a package deal. Without them, well, there will be no idols and vice versa.

Scandalized will show non-K-pop fans a glimpse of how this crazy world works. It's good enough to induce you know ~fangirl feels. The universe knows how much I fangirl on a daiy basis. Hah. Aside from that, readers will be treated to South Korea, the place of pretty things with pretty people. It's enough to make you want to go to South Korea and just explore all things Korean.

On to the bad. Of course, these K-pop artists experience downs. May it be downs in their careers like their new album is a flop or they didn't sell well during their tours. Or when a member of the group leaves. Worse, the group disbands. In some cases, groups leave their entertainment agencies for unfair treatment and venture out on their own. This is also a normal case. I have seen so many acts come and go. Like, the baddest girl group ever, 2NE1 or Super Junior. Being a household name, well, it has a lot of pressure. With East Genesis Project, they are a band. Bands doesn't have a big following unlike boy groups or girl groups. It's difficult to rise a rock band in a world full of synchronized dancing and showy outfits. But, take a chance. They are good. Scandalized showed the daily struggles and pressures of East Genesis Project as a band. Trying to finish an album on time while being on tour. My poor boys.~

And at last, the icing on the cake. The ugly. For Western artists, dating is fine. Well, just choose who you're gonna date or else you'll have a song or worse an entire album written about you. But in the K-pop industry, it's HARSH. REALLY HARSH.

In this book, there's this website called Dispatch, which really exists. That website is like the TMZ of Korea. It breaks the biggest news first, may it be a new collaboration between artists or the success of a tour or album sales or a male artist's military enlistment date or a wedding. Dispatch has all of it. But their creme-de-la-creme is dating rumors and scandals.

Well, okay really. Korea has such a weird outlook of the word "scandal". Or maybe I do. So, Fi and East Genesis Project's frontman, Jo Yihwan was involved in a scandal of some sort. It's not supposed to be that big of a deal, if you ask me. If the scandal was between two artists, it's easy for them to bounce back. Just call your PR team and let them deal with it. But if you're just a regular, working class citizen working behind the scenes. Beware. Danger is coming. It can cost you your career and your life even.

I love how all the characters developed so much despite such circumstances. When you're at your lowest point, how do you even come back? Fi is just so adorable here. She's gentle yet very strong. She wasn't petty about the whole "scandal". She wasn't lost. She just needed time to regroup so that she can come back strong. But she didn't do it alone. She had some help. Well, a very handsome help in the name of Gabriel Park.

Yes, Gabriel Park. Oh, Gabriel. Just when you think the boys of East Genesis Project are enough to satisfy your thirst for the ~oppa. Wait, till you meet, Gabriel Park. I swear. The romance is fluffy at best. Think rainbows and cherry blossoms and ice cream and pastel colors. Just like those fluffy Korean dramas.

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. By day, she works in project management and events, and she writes down her daydreams at night. She began publishing fiction for public consumption in 2004, posting her pieces on various online channels like fan forums and Blogspot, eventually exploring other avenues like Livejournal, Soomp!, Tumblr, and most recently, Wattpad.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a 6-month-old male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Fun fact: She's a Piscean. Go figure.

Check out her other titles:
-Paper Planes Back Home
-The Forget You Brew
-Hustle Play/Settle the Score
-Waiting in the Wings

Connect with her: Twitter