Monday, April 24, 2023

Book Review: Twelve Hours in Manhattan by Mean Gabriel


Two worlds. One heart. Twelve hours.

Bianca Maria Curtis is at the brink of losing it all when she meets Eric at a bar in Manhattan. Eric, as it turns out, is the famous Korean drama celebrity Park Hyun Min, and he’s in town for one night to escape the pressures of fame. From walking along Fifth Avenue to eating ice cream at Serendipity to sharing tender moments on top of the Empire State building, sparks fly as Bianca and Eric spend twelve magical hours far away from their respective lives. In that time, they talk about the big stuff: love, life, and happiness, and the freedom they both seek to fully exist and not merely survive.

But real life is more than just a few exhilarating stolen moments in time.

As the clock strikes the twelfth hour, Bianca returns back to the life she detests to face a tragedy that will test her strength and resolve—and the only thing she has to keep going is the memory of a man she loves in secret from a world away.

Twelve Hours in Manhattan promises to be the perfect love story for anyone who enjoys kdramas but unfortunately, it falls short, a few times, feeling much more like a fanfic you might come across online instead. 

Honestly, I wanted to like this book. I enjoy kdramas and love that more books are starting to feature more material that showcases them! Unfortunately, this felt more like someone just decided to write something they thought would be liked because it was “in.” 

I’m an avid fan and reader of fan fiction so it’s not necessarily a negative to be compared to it, I’ve read some amazing fanfics, but this felt more on the side of messy, disorganized, and kind of forced. 

Plots kept piling up in the story that just didn’t need to be there, almost as if they needed to be thrown in to reach a certain word count. 

Beyond the story itself, the characters lacked as well. Sometimes I can read a story and think, “I don’t like this plot but I love this character,” but I never once felt that way with Bianca. 

Bianca just wasn’t likable. Everyone who watches Kdramas knows that the main character is always kind of frustrating and you’re wondering HOW are they the “IT girl” in the story but eventually, they have redeeming qualities and you fall in love with them, swearing to protect them always. Never happened with Bianca for me. The only thing that Bianca left me with was exhaustion. She cries about everything and anything. There were times I couldn’t even remember what it was she was crying about because I was just so tired of her. 

Eric was a perfect cookie-cutter kdrama boy but much like Bianca missed the mark because there wasn’t much substance to him. 

Honestly, the secondary characters were more of a fresh breath of air, which is common in kdramas but even there, there wasn’t enough. 

The book itself is a fine read, especially if maybe you are a bit younger and don’t need more from a book. This story could have made a fine one-shot on a fanfic site or even a hilarious social on Twitter but it just did not need to be an almost 300-page book. 


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