Made in Korea | Sarah Suk


Out Now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 352 pages

Content Warnings: Underaged drinking

About the Author: “Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) is the author of the young adult novel Made in Korea. She 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. Her next book, The Space Between Here and Now, will be published in fall 2023. You can visit Sarah online at and on Twitter and Instagram @_sarahsuk.” (Bio taken from Author’s website.) 

Find Sarah Suk on the following platforms: 

“‘It’s not as simple being Korean American, either,’ I said finally. ‘What you said about not really being “from” anywhere? I kind of get that, even though I was born here and never left.’”

Valerie Kwon and her cousin, Charlie, are the proud business owners of V&C K-BEAUTY. Business is booming with the authentic K-beauty products that Charlie’s dad sends each month from Korea. Valerie strives for greatness in her business; she wants to prove to everyone that she is a real business woman and earn enough money to take her halmeoni to Paris. Well, that is until Senior year starts and new kid, Wes Jung, accidentally encroaches on their territory. Wes’s mom gives him K-pop merchandise to use to make friends with. Wes sees this as an opportunity to make money for his college dreams. This starts a competition between Valerie and Wes with their competing businesses: K-pop merchandise and K-beauty products. But as they spend more time with each other, they realize that they have more in common than they once thought, and maybe, they don’t have to be rivals. 

Sarah Suk’s debut novel, Made in Korea, is a wonderful dual POV story about Korean culture and finding one’s self. The cultural elements, such as cuisine, words in Korean, and family values, were blended very well into the story. Valerie has a one track mind until she meets Wes. He shows her the errors in her ways and teaches her that letting people in isn’t a bad thing. Wes is timid and doesn’t speak his mind until he meets Valerie. She teaches him how to be confident in his abilities and to speak up for himself even in uncomfortable situations. I loved watching these two characters become better versions of themselves. If you are a fan of the miscommunication trope and enemies to lovers, Made in Korea was made for you.


PRR Writer, Adrianna Muñoz