Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous

Sourcebooks/Fire. Jun. 2021. 352p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728209425.
Gr 9 Up–This is an #OwnVoices story about Sunny Song, a Korean American rising high school senior living in Los Angeles. Sunny had been known as Goggle Girl thanks to a video that her mother, who used to be a mommy blogger, posted of Sunny dancing in swim goggles and a bathrobe. Now Sunny has a YouTube channel with nearly 100,000 followers, but when her clumsiness results in her accidentally removing her top while baking during a livestream, the incident becomes known as #BrowniePorn. Sunny’s parents send her to Sunshine Heritage Farms in Iowa for a digital detox session. Along with other teens there, all of whom are supposed to keep their online identities a secret, Sunny will have no access to the internet or electronic devices. Sunny’s best friend Maya, who is Black, sees a contest to join Starhouse, “a collective of content creators,” and volunteers to admin Sunny’s channel while she’s gone. Readers will chuckle as Sunny encounters rivalry and romance with the camp owner’s son, all while sneakily trying to film her contest entry. With a diverse cast, the main characters are vivid and Sunny’s arc is particularly satisfying. Throughout the story, Sunny navigates her Korean American identity and her online persona, as well as her relationship with her family. Park addresses casual racism when Sunny is taken off historical reenactment duty because the camp director believes having a Korean American pioneer confuses children. The subplots ultimately tie together in an ending that feels almost too neatly resolved. Brief drug and alcohol use make this story a better fit for older readers.
VERDICT For collections looking to add a humorous romance.

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