Tuesday, October 13, 2015

REVIEW: Gilded by Christina Farley

Gilded (Gilded, #1)
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 in to 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. 

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review

This was an enjoyable book. I didn't really have any problems with it, but it's not a new favorite. Still, it had a very unique premise and I liked it.

Jae's father recently moved the two of them from LA and now she has to deal with living in a new country, go to a new school, and a grandfather who may hate turns. Well, things get worse when it turns out that her family is cursed. A majority of the females in her family have been kidnapped by a Korean demi-god and Jae has just popped up on his radar.

The fact that this book involves Korean mythology (and even Korea in general) makes this book unique in the realm of YA. There are very few YA books that don't take place in America or European countries and I've never read a book with a premise revolving around Korean mythology! The setting didn't come into play as much as I hoped, but I did found some of the mythology very interesting.

Sadly, I felt like the mythology was added in oddly. I don't know how it explain it. During many points in the book when something very unreal happened, I felt like it was awkwardly placed into the story. I don't know, it just felt strange. Again, I did the idea and the mythology, but sometimes it just felt odd.

As for the book as a whole, I liked it, but I really can't say more. Oftentimes this book felt like a lot of other YA novels. The plot is great, but still nothing that overall wowed me. Jae, despite being Korean American, is just like many other MCs I've read. I'm not saying these things to be harsh, I did like this book, but this book just has an "inbetween-ness" in my mind that makes it hard to review: I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.

As far romance, again it wasn't anything new. It didn't annoy me, but I wasn't shipping it either. I do think the romance went too fast and was borderline insta-love at points, but it was okay. Marc is a nice guy, but, again, pretty typical YA guy (he was even white. Why?)

This review makes it sound like I was meh about this book, I DID ENJOY THIS BOOK. I liked the premise, the mythology, and it was very entertaining. Some things fell short, but I overall liked it and I do intend on continuing the series.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

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