The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee by Ellen OhPublished by Random House Children's Books on January 23, 2024
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Purchase on Amazon
When a Korean American teenage artist gets sucked into the world of her own web comic, she must find a way out with the help of a cute boy all while facing off against a villainous corporation. Inspired by the A-ha's "Take on Me" music video, this entertaining YA novel is a grounded speculative fiction adventure from a founding member of We Need Diverse Books.
Mina has become the hero of her own story. Literally.
When Mina Lee woke up on Saturday morning for SAT prep, she did NOT expect to:
1. Nearly be fried by a superhero who turned out to be a supervillain.
2. Come face to face with Jin, the handsome boy of her dreams.
3. Discover a conspiracy involving the evil corporation Merco that she created.
And it’s all happening in her fictional world. Mina is trapped in the story she created. Now it’s up to her to save everyone. Even if it means losing Jin forever.
I’m part of the book tour for The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee! Author Ellen Oh is a former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history. She loves K-pop, K-dramas, and eating good food that someone else cooks for her. She is fueled by Diet Coke and Krispy Kreme donuts are her kryptonite. Ellen is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband, three children, two dogs, and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel.
Top 5 Reasons to Read The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee
1. Artistic Main Character
Mina Lee wants to go to art school for college but her dad wants her to ace the SAT and choose a practical path. I love how supportive Mina’s friends were when it came to her pursuing art, even when they were giving her some tough love about her webcomic’s plot.
2. Intriguing World-Building
When Mina’s digital drawing tablet starts glitching, she suddenly finds herself transported into the very webcomic she’s created. Mina is inevitably confused and the reader discovers the rules of the alternate webcomic world right along with her. Although it’s based on Mina’s reality (same high school and everything—well almost), the webcomic world starts to take a life of its own and things become very different from how Mina intended things to be. Someone other than her was supposed to be the main character and no love triangles were supposed to exist.
3. Huge Cast (Some With Secret Powers!) = Lots of Conflict, Drama and Fun
Because there were characters from Mina’s real-world and webcomic world, the huge mix just added lots of elements and even relationships on the side. Ultimately, I was most invested in Mina’s struggle with her father’s disapproval of pursuing art.
4. Action-Packed Climax
Lots of events in the plots are based on story tropes, which Mina herself acknowledges as things unfold before her. The last few chapters has Mina saving the characters in her story and doing some badass fighting with powerful weapons she creates through her drawing tablet.
5. Cheesy Web Comic Romance
The romance developed pretty quickly but I think it was understandably heightened by the wild situation the characters were in. Jin as the love interest was also just really smooth (in a charming way!) and sweet. The romantic moments were definitely reminiscent of k-dramas and webcomics and the star-crossed lovers trope allowed for some emotion and yearning.
Follow the book tour for The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee!
Boys’ Mom Reads! – Review
Stay Bookish – Top 5 Reasons to Read
Betwixt the Sheets – Promotional Post