Jessica Jung

K-Pop star Jessica Jung and her juicy new YA novel “Shine”

Girls’ Generation star Jessica Jung has made a comeback, not as a singer but as a novelist. Her newly released book, Shine, was out on the 29th of September and since then, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the similarities of her life and Rachel Kim’s, the novel’s protagonist.  While she refuted those claims saying, “I never wanted to write an autobiography or a tell-all story, I wanted to make good entertainment,” she mentioned the novel was indeed inspired by her own journey.


The plot revolves around idol trainee Rachel Kim, a 17-year-old Korean American vying for the opportunity to debut in a girl group. The protagonist emigrated from the U.S. to South Korea and started training to become an idol at the age of 11— sounds familiar? The 31-year-old artist’s life is quite similar as she herself has lived in San Francisco before she returned to her homeland and started her career as a trainee in SM Entertainment.

girls generation

“It’s going to be like an Easter egg hunt,” she told TIME magazine when asked about distinguishing the line between fact and fiction in the novel. That it is up to the readers who are interested to “look for clues and who’s who, what’s what, what’s true, what’s not.”

Jung signed with one of the Big 3 labels in 2000 and spent seven long years training before debuting in 2007 in the nine-member group Girls’ Generation. The group became famous for their song “Gee” which earned them the title of one of the most influential 2nd Gen K-Pop girl groups. Jessica departed from the group in 2014 and since has been a prominent soloist. She has also appeared in various movies and launched her own fashion brand called Blanc and Eclare.

Her literary debut, Shine, focuses on Rachel Kim’s time at the fictional company DB Entertainment, where strict rules like no dating and a zero-tolerance social media policy are enforced. She used this opportunity to reveal real-life experiences through the fictionalized story. The character ‘Leah’ is mentioned to be a close portrayal of her younger sister Krystal, who Jung stresses is her biggest support system and wanted to disclose the implicit closeness of their relationship to the readers. There was also some gossip cast on who the heartthrob character ‘Jason’ is, but it has been left to the readers’ assumptions.

Shine is the first of a two-part book deal, which is great news for invested readers who are curious to know more about the journey of Rachel Kim (and Jessica Jung). The story focuses on everything K-Pop added in with teenage drama and sprinkles of Korean language and a cultural learning experience.

Plans for the book to be adapted onto the big, red Netflix screen seems to be on the cards as the team behind All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is currently rumored to be developing the script. She wishes for her sister Krystal to be cast as Rachel in the upcoming on-screen adaptation.

Have you read the book? Are you excited to see how the movie will turn out? Let us know @Fuzzable.

Written by Mythili Devarakonda

21, writer, reader, music enthusiast, and more.

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