Gilded by Christina Farley

gilded

2 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book.

This is one I did not manage to finish.

Jae Hwa Lee has just been moved from LA to Korea when her mother dies. Her grandfather keeps trying to get her sent back to America, and for good reason. The family is cursed and a Korean demigod kidnaps the eldest female of every generation. On top of that, she is struggling to keep up with her schoolwork and social life.

I think that the plot blurb I wrote above pretty much summarizes my dislike of this book. Jae Hwa Lee is involved in two narrative streams: fighting off a Korean demigod determined to make her his bride, and dealing with being an ordinary teenage who was just forced to move to another country. I don’t mind other books that have this pattern, but this one gave equal weight and time to both stories, and the one about the ordinary teenager is just too boring. Jae Hwa Lee complains about homework and her social obligations and her crush on a boy are dull. I don’t really care about anything happening on that front because of the impending doom on the other front. It is just so meaningless and trite compared to the mythology sections of the book.

The action/myth sections aren’t that much better. They happen to quickly without much description and you never really get caught up in the action because it goes by so quickly.

The author seems to rely on the fairly unique Korean setting to carry the novel and it really doesn’t. Jae Hwa Lee does not give me a good enough reason to care about her main character and the book does not explore Korean mythology in enough detail to hang the book on that.

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