Title: 1: The Intern (Sins 07: Lust)
Author: Jess C. Scott
Suzie Quinn, smart kid and closet dance enthusiast, travels with a classmate to a world-class city for an internship program. She finds herself undeniably attracted to the suave hip-hop instructor, Jo.Zee, who recruits her into a fitness DVD he is producing. When Suzie sees (or thinks she sees) the real Jo.Zee, she has to decide if she will trust him…or her instincts.
Suzie is a girl who always likes to be on the "safe side" of things. She's your typical good girl who follows her parents and studies hard, she's a very relatable character. Gradually, she realizes she has been missing out on a lot of things, and eventually turned towards one of the things she loved the most, dancing. Suzie was in for an adventure as a whole new world opens up to her.
I love Chester. He was the best friend type, the one who'd always be there for Suzie no matter what. The one everyone expects to end up with her and yet they're not doing anything about it.
Josh (I prefer to call him Josh by the way, I know some B-boys in Korea liked to change their names, but I think Josh is way better than Jo.Zee) is a very lovable character. I guess Suzie was drawn to him because she sees in him everything she's missing out. He lives his life freely, the way he wants to, and in a very exciting way. But let's just say sometimes you have to trust your instincts when it comes to guys who seem to have too much of everything (charisma, talent and looks).
What made this a very enjoyable read for me, is how much I can relate to it. As a huge fan of Korean pop music, the references to a lot of Korean artists made me really proud, as this is the first book that had mentioned a lot of the most talented and most loved Korean artists I know. And it wasn't just mentioned in passing, it was an important part of the story, as Jo. Zee, being half-Eurasian and half Korean, draws out most of his influences on them.
I do think that the Korean pop audience would like to read this book as well, knowing how much they'll be able to relate to its characters (some of which are Asians).
The story reminds me a bit of Step Up!, with dancing as one of the main elements in the book, and of course, Suzie's brief two-week journey through internship and discovering the first sin, Lust.
The concept of writing about Lust is very interesting in my opinion. A friend of mine was asking if this book would have parts about sex, but it surprised me how it was delivered in a way that there was no need to write an actual, blatant, sex scene and yet you'll eventually understand what "Lust" is in this book.
One of my concerns when using foreign phrases in a novel is that authors tend to use them and expect the readers to get the meaning without having to explain it. I had to admit its also one of my concerns seeing that there are parts where Korean, Spanish and French phrases were used, but Jess C Scott not only managed to explain their meaning, the phrases added a tinge of uniqueness to the book and was able to integrate it well in the conversations without confusing the readers.
Also, I am very much fascinated with the way Jess was able to write the dance scenes. It was filled with such detail you'd imagine it easily as if you were watching it happen right before your eyes. Dancing is a very energetic and lively endeavor and I'm glad the book had the same energetic and lively feeling to it.
Rating: ★★★★☆ : FANTASTIC! - This is a really nice book. I love it!
* Book summary and images taken from Jess C Scott's website for Sins07.