Gilded by Christina Farley

Gilded

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

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Ani’s Review

I really enjoyed this story. It was fun to read about Korea through the eyes of Jea Hwa. I have a couple of Korean-American friends and kept wondering how they would enjoy hearing about Seoul and how Jae Hwa felt to be there. Plus, I wanted to have them translate but then I found the glossary (the one downside to reading on a kindle – unless you look for it before you stat reading, you miss the little details like glossaries and maps). Anyhoo…The story kept pretty good pace but I was a bit annoyed with Jae for some of her questionable decisions. I chalk it up to being a teen as in all YA books where questionable reasoning easily applies. I really liked the Korean mythological creatures – it seemed very new to me and I love all things mythology. However, I didn’t love her father’s denial when most of his family is on the same page about this “myth”. I felt it put Jae in a very dangerous situation but maybe also kept him safer and was probably easier for the author to just keep him out of the main storyline. I also did not like his attitude towards Marc (being white) even at the very end when Marc had just obviously helped his daughter. This is a series but reads well as a stand alone. Appropriate for all ages. Get it!

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