The Name Drop by Susan Lee follows Jessica Lee and Elijah Ri as they spend their summer working at Haneul Corporation’s New York City office. For Jessica, this means interning with the company, while Elijah’s going to be working as a VIP, getting experience for when he takes over the company for his father.
However, neither Jessica nor Elijah’s summer goes to plan. At the airport, they are mistaken for the other person due to the fact they have the same Korean name. Jessica is given the VIP treatment, and Elijah is lumped in with the rest of the interns.
Once they figure out the mistake, Jessica and Elijah decide not to correct anyone. Instead, she gets to overachieve in a position where people are more likely to listen to her, and Elijah can relax and figure out what he wants out of life without being pressured by his father.
It’s the summer they both want, and, along the way, sparks start to fly between the two of them.
The Name Drop is a quick, enjoyable read. However, the more you think about it, the more things don’t quite work. If you are in the mood for something a bit lighter, this is a solid choice.
As someone who loves K-dramas such as Business Proposal, King The Land, and What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, I was excited to dive into this book. It has a lot of tropes I enjoy, just on a more YA level.
The romance itself is fine. There are not enough sparks or swoon-worthy moments leading up to Elijah and Jessica admitting their feelings for my taste, but the two of them are cute together.
However, Elijah and Jessica’s romance could have used a bit more attention. Once they get together, the narrative shifts to quickly bringing in Elijah’s sister and progressing the hackathon plot, so Elijah’s dad can show up and wreck everything.
Essentially, Elijah and Jessica are swept to the side until there’s a moment when one of them needs to stand up for the other, and then their relationship is briefly back in focus again. There could have been a better balance struck between plot points and the relationship development. The two storylines should’ve been developing side by side, instead of the spotlight only being on one of them.
Jessica’s naivety is one of the most frustrating aspects of the book.
For someone so bright, she has no idea how the real world works. Considering her age, it’s understandable that she is idealistic, but being young isn’t enough to justify her mindset when Elijah’s dad crashes the hackathon.
Jessica has two people, who she is very close to, explaining things about Haneul Corporation to her, and she acts as if they are just stubborn and can’t see what is going on. Because she is the one who knows best in this situation, not the two people who have countless examples of how the organization operates.
Elijah and her dad know exactly what Haneul Corporation is like and how it operates. Elijah has a slightly different perspective than Jessica’s dad, which should help Jessica see the big picture, but she ignores all their warnings.
You can’t help but roll your eyes every time Jessica dismisses either one of them. When she learns her lesson, the urge to say, “They told you so,” is on the tip of your tongue. But, as with most K-dramas, everything works out in the end for everyone.
The rating for this book fluctuated between 2.5 and 3 stars. The beginning of the book is what earns the 3-star rating, while the last 20% or so causes the rating to drop.
It’s not a bad book, but multiple aspects need a bit more attention and development. Whether it’s the romance, various traits of the characters, or a well-used K-drama complication, The Name Drop has some good ideas, but the execution is lacking.
The Name Drop by Susan Lee is available now.