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An Instant New York Times Bestseller! 

What would you do if the world’s biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? This hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school.

Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged.

So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven year ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.

Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?


content warnings: discussions of parent death

cover and character art by Velinxi


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“This book is a total win-win! It has two of my all-time favorite things—K-Pop and a prom! What more can you really ask for?! Super fun and totally charming!!”—Jenny Lee, author of Anna K and Anna K Away

“Be still my K-pop loving heart, I haven’t stopped smiling since finishing this book! A love song to first love and second chances, Once Upon a K-Prom is a delightful romcom filled with adorable banter and heart-stopping moments. This book should come with a warning: prepare to swoon!” –Axie Oh, New York Times & Indie Bestselling author of XOXO and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea 

“Whether readers know about K-pop culture or not, they’ll find themselves rooting for Elena and Robbie all the way. VERDICT Rom-com and K-pop fans will enjoy this journey backstage, while those not familiar will enjoy the story and want to seek out more about the music.” — School Library Journal

“A relentlessly charming tale of finding love and finding yourself — this scrumptious blend of sweet romance and tart pop culture commentary is the perfect book-shaped treat!” –Sarah Kuhn, author of From Little Tokyo, With Love

“Once Upon a K-Prom is a fun, swoony, fresh romance. Strong, passionate Elena completely stole my heart from the first page. Readers are sure to fall in love with Elena and Robbie!” —Gloria Chao, author of American Panda and Rent a Boyfriend

“The story unfolds in alternating perspectives with an even mix of flirty and serious tones balancing a frothy premise with sympathetic lead characters who are each struggling in their own ways to define themselves. No prior K-pop knowledge is needed to enjoy the slow-burn, will-they, won’t-they storyline, though fans of the genre will appreciate a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-them allusions to real K-pop idols. Pleasantly indulgent, with a dash of realism.” — Kirkus Review




Product Details

Jacket Illustration: Xiao Tong Kong

Jacket Design: Marci Senders

Reading Age: 12-18

Grade Level: 7-12

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