PUBLICATION DATE: April 26th, 2022
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Thank you to the amazing people at Penguin Random House Canada for reaching out to me about this novel and for gifting me a physical copy of the book to read and share my review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When the Seoul police inform Min that his girlfriend Yu-jin has committed suicide, he’s sure it can’t be true. She was successful, ambitious, happy, just on the cusp of graduating from university and claiming the future she’d always dreamed of.
Min, on the other hand, born to an American father and Korean mother, has never felt quite the same certainty as Yu-jin about his life’s path. After growing up in California, where he always felt “too Korean” to fit in, he’s moved to Seoul in the hope that exploring his Korean heritage will help him find a sense of purpose. And when he meets Yu-jin, little does he know that their carefree relationship will set off a chain of events with tragic consequences for them both.
Devastated by Yu-jin’s death, Min throws himself into finding out why she could have secretly wanted to die. Or did she? With a controlling and powerful government official father, and a fraught friendship with her alluring and destructive roommate So-ra, Yu-jin’s life was much more complex than she chose to reveal to Min. And the more he learns about her, the more he begins to doubt he ever really knew her at all.
As Yu-jin’s story–a fraught exploration of selfhood, coming-of-age, and family expectations–collides with Min’s, the result is an engrossing page-turner that poses powerful, urgent questions about cultural identity, family bonds, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.
Powerful, moving, and immersive. Three words that I would use to describe this book. I love how this story is written in dual POV’s. Some chapters are told from Min’s POV and other chapters are told from Yu-jin’s POV. It added to the character development and helped us as the reader to identify with the characters and understand who they were as people.
A story of self-discovery and personal growth. Born to an American father and a Korean mother, Min hasn’t always felt as though he “fit in”. He felt too Korean, or not Korean enough, and when he moves to Korea he meets Yu-jin. After her sudden death, he tries to uncover what happened and why she would take her own life. Secrets are exposed, discoveries are made, and the storyline will have you fully immersed and hooked as you flip through the pages until the very end.
A book that I would highly recommend that you read. This was a fantastic debut novel and I am looking forward to reading more books by this author in the future.
MY RATING: 5/5 stars