Review: Flip the Script by Lyla Lee

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

Have you guys heard of 'self insert' fanfiction? It's Fanfiction written with the intent of the reader being able to insert themselves into the story as the main female lead. It's a biiiiiiig thing in the K-Pop fanfic community - a community that I was part of for a few years of my life. Anyway, I have to admit that for the first 10-15% of this book I honestly thought that this book read like a self insert fanfic, it even had all of the typical tropes (K-Pop pretty boys, fake dating) and I was thinking 'ugh, not this!'.

Thankfully, the book did take a different turn and I really appreciated it. I expected Hana and Bryan to be the endgame couple so I definitely enjoyed the turn that this book took from that. I have to give kudos for that much, this book was not as tropey and cringey as I expected when I first started it. That being said, it was still pretty tropey and cringey.

Look, I am a big K-pop fan. I watch the dramas and follow the groups and read the news. I don't claim to be Korean or an expert on the Korean entertainment industry, but this book very much did read like a very shallow view on it. First there was the constant exposition at the start, explaining the filming schedule and and the airing schedule, which was the epitome of telling not showing. Then, there was the ending which just did not read as realistic, which is fine but it just didn't sit with me.

I didn't really care for a lot of the characters. Sure, Hana was nice, but I'd have liked to see a little more of her complicated feelings, which in theory make up a part of the plot but didn't really come through. Bryan was a golden boy, but he was so uninteresting. The best character by far was Minjee who did come across a little more complicated and there was some slightly deeper personality traits. Still, these three make up the core characters and they just didn't do enough for me.

There's not a lot to say about the writing. It was youthful, the dialogue came across as superficial sometimes but it did keep me reading.

Overall, I did enjoy Flip the Script but I found it super shallow. For a book tackling homosexuality in one of the worlds most judgemental entertainment industries it didn't really tackle it so well, and everything was so easily wrapped up. A quick breezy read, but not one I'll think about past finishing it.  

Book released 31st May 2022 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review