I received an eARC for the Deluxe edition in exchange for an honest review.
The JSLP Deluxe Version comprises of three components: The Original JSLP book, the complementary short chapter stories called B-list as well as a new short story exclusive only to the Deluxe- Joy’s beach mix. So for this review, I am going to put all three components together.
1. The book was able to seamlessly feature music into the narrative so well. I also loved the way that the music chosen more or less fits the chapter vibes and the character’s mood.
2. How wholesome this book is- how all the characters are so well fleshed out and deep down good.
3. Carson. I wouldn’t say Carson is my favourite character but I really liked how he was given redemption and what many problematic male characters in books don’t get- therapy. Yes pls feature more therapy in fiction. Normally in other works, the Carson-type character will normally continue to go down a dark path and has a dark fate befall him as everyone would have chosen to give up on him. Thankfully this wasn’t the case.
4. Joy. A sweet but pushover girl finds the braves to stand up for herself and chase her dreams in the end. Who doesn’t love a story like that?
5. I like how the characters at some point of the story screw up, suffer but still get back up on their feet.
6. Jin. For once, the love interest is Asian. For once, he is not controlling, obsessive or violent. A fresh breath of air, really. One rare instance where the male love interest is that wholesome . I hope genuinely good men like Jin become more of a norm.
Included in the Deluxe version is a set of added chapters called JSLP: B-List, a bunch of side stories to complement the main JSLP book.
My thoughts on B-Sides?
I liked how B-Side fleshed out more about Joy’s world and the people around her- namely the other core 4- Lena, Cale, Jin and Carson. I had a lot of fun reading about the other core characters and their POV. This B-sides complements JSLP very well and if you go back to the OG after you read B-sides, I guarantee you that you will enjoy it even more.
I want to talk about Jin, in the main JSLP story he seemed like the picture-perfect K-Pop Oppa, but in B-sides, we see a pretty dark time in Jin’s life that gives him more depth and dimension. And by dark, I mean, REALLY dark. (JSLP can get quite dark at some points, but don’t worry, it’s still a lovely sweet story)
Now, on Joy’s Beach mix, the short story exclusive only to the Deluxe version. This story is set a year later. At this point of time, more things has happened- more “real life” type of problems started to come in.
It went from 0 to 100 real quick from the start of this story if I am keeping this review spoiler free.
Overall, my favourite part about this book is how it shows that even with the struggles (which is very true to life by the way) that come with growing up, working through with trauma, falling in love along with family relationships and ultimately, chasing your happiness, there is always happiness around the corner not matter what curveball hits you. Through the lens of Joy narrating this, it shows her strength of character and how far she has come.
The author also gives a very wise viewpoint on the topic of love through Joy’s experience and narration. It was something that comes from a place of genuinity.
About the author: You can find Piper Bee on Instagram as @piper.bee, her twitter @piperbee_author and her website https://piperbeeauthor.com/
Her books are available at her webpage, https://piperbeeauthor.com/books/