Back in 2020, Jessica, formerly of Girls’ Generation, released a book called Shine. The book told the story of a Korean American teen that moves to South Korea to pursue her dreams of becoming a K-Pop star.
It caught the attention of fans after many noticed the similarities to Jessica’s career after the protagonist, Rachel Kim is thrust into a debut group of nine girls under one of South Korea’s largest entertainment agencies.
Recently, Jessica released the sequel to the book, and it’s called Bright. According to the synopsis of the book, Rachel’s group Girls Forever is the biggest K-pop group in the world, and her fame skyrockets after her viral airport styling attracts the attention of fashion’s biggest names.
Yet, with the rising fame and appearance of a mysterious designer who Rachel falls in love with, the idol had to battle with her head and heart, making sacrifices.
When the first book was released, netizens noticed links or connections to Girls’ Generation, whether it was the Thai version having a lightstick that looks similar to the iconic heart lightstick SONEs have.
When it comes to Bright, netizens have raised concerns that the book might not be as fictional as promoted, noting distinct similarities to Jessica’s career in Girls’ Generation.
In particular, one excerpt has gone viral where one of the group members criticizes Rachel for her lack of commitment to the group. The manager explains to Rachel that the members refused to share a stage with her, leading the company to get rid of her.
CHINESE SONES WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG HOLY SHIT "WE WONT GO IF YOU DO" pic.twitter.com/NUX4v80c3E
— morgan 🌹 (@cvrvldvnvvrs) May 10, 2022
Although there was no confirmation whether it was the members’ fault that Jessica was “kicked out” of Girls’ Generation, the idol shared a statement on her Weibo after it happened. In the post, she explained how “shocking” it was to be told she wasn’t in the group.
I was excited about our upcoming fan events, only to shockingly be informed by my company and eight others that as of today, I’m no longer a member. I’m devastated – my priority and love is to serve as a member of GG, but for no justifiable reason, I am being forced out…
Even when it came to the aftermath of leaving Girls’ Generation, it seemed to be indirectly mentioned in the book. According to sources, the reason for Jessica leaving was due to conflicts of schedules of the group and her own business activities, which included her fashion brand Blanc & Eclare.
In Bright, it seemed to be a similar issue for Rachel as the book explained that the agency released a statement saying that the reason for her leaving the group was to focus on fashion rather than her idol career.
— 🍑💛💖 #readBRIGHT (@_arieam) May 10, 2022
Yet, there were also rumors that Jessica had asked several times for her release from the group.
The book then shares the emotions Rachel went through after leaving the group with the line, “It’s strange to think there won’t ever be a photo with the nine of us in it ever again.” Although Jessica never openly shared her reaction to what happened but instead focused on her shock, many think it might be her way of showcasing emotions.
Suddenly the line “snsd lost 1 sister but jessica lost 8” hitting me right through the guts pic.twitter.com/96NzfDW1WI
— ᴍᴀᴊᴏ (@beyoongc) May 10, 2022
When the excerpts were shared, netizens shared their reactions to the book. Many pointed out that this is a work of fiction and might not mirror anything that happened surrounding Jessica’s exit, while others pointed out that the similarities seemed uncanny. Some also pointed out that there are always two sides to the story and to take the book with a pinch of salt.
As a fan of snsd for 10 years now and Jessica biased. I know there's 2 sides of the coin. The 8 members might've done something wrong and J might've done something wrong too. I still love these 9 girls no matter what.
— rnrn (@bponlyyy) May 10, 2022
About Jessica’s Bright: the book only tells her side of the story. It’s important that we know how she felt, but that doesn’t mean that the way she told things happened it’s a 100% truth. We never heard the SNSD side of the story. And even their side wouldn’t be 100% true.
— Ana Taddei (@ana_taddei) May 10, 2022
Bright is a work of fiction and Jessica has not confirmed whether there is any inspiration from her real life. Netizens have speculated that there might be links but there is no confirmation from Jessica, SM Entertainment, or the members of Girls’ Generation.
You can read more about the initial reaction to Jessica’s first book below.