Review: Gilded-Christina Farley

16173250Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble (PB)

“He presses me to him, and my arms wrap around his neck, loving how perfect his body feels. His lips kiss my forehead, breath hot as fire, and drag along my cheeks to my lips. I’m lost. Between earth and sky. It’s as if we’ve entered our own realm that belongs only to the two of us. I could live here forever.”

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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.

-via Goodreads

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3.5/5 Stars

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  • The descriptions of the demi-gods and magical creatures are to die for. They’re vibrant, majestic portraits that truly capture the personality of each creature, whether it be the trickster or the sociopathic obsessions of a demi-God jilted at the altar one too many times.
  • As someone who has never had the pleasure of reading Korean folklore or mythology, these stories were breathtakingly beautiful and full of the twisted darkness reminiscent of great Grimm interpretations. The weird leprechaun character was creepy and sadistic, definitely a perfectly warped and terrifying antagonist. These secondary creatures were all memorable and will be the stars of many a haunting dream.
  • The detail was astounding. It was like being teleported to Korea. Between the physical descriptions of the buildings and nature to the clothing worn by the people, mannerisms, and colloquialisms, this is not only fun to read but educational. You get a bold and in-depth journey into Korean culture. 
  • Spirit World and the scenes set in Haemosu’s palace were dizzying. The shift between worlds forced the reader to mesh reality with myth and to fully grasp Jae’s fear and confusion over her heritage and what’s happening to her.
  • Jae is determined, confident, and aware of her power to dominate and protect herself. Jae refuses to feel weak, she’s worked so hard in martial arts to become a master at fighting and in archery to be easily scared. Jae is challenged and battered by her destiny and the terrible uncertainty of her future. When everything seems hopeless, Jae will make the ultimate sacrifice for her loved ones, risk everything and never forget her heritage. Jae feels so indebted and connected to her female predecessors and she really comes to respect just how hard their trials were. Jae goes up against a mighty foe, one that has plagued her family for centuries, she recognizes her fear but she never lets it beat her.
  • Marc is a nice guy, genuine and flirty. He knows just what to say to make Jae smile and brighten up her day but what makes him irresistable is that he believes her and has faith in her when no one else does. When Jae feels like she’s going crazy and her world is falling apart, Marc is there to lean on and offer encouragement. Their time together is sweet and passionate.

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  • Some sections were really slow and a little predictable. 
  • Jae’s jealousy and animosity towards Min is annoying and cliché. It frustrates me to no end that when another girl approaches a guy that the protagonist was too cowardly to flirt with and that suddenly that other girl is the enemy or slut. Speak up or get over it.
  • I would have liked to have seen more of Jae’s school and social like, especially her relationship with Michelle and Lily. When Jae is so upset later in the book about being distant with Michelle, there’s not enough of a background to get the full emotional chaos she’s feeling.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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