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Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Review: Gilded by Christina Farley

Gilded by Christina Farley

Gilded #1
Christina Farley
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Skyscrape

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 first came across Gilded somewhere on the Internet – I don't even remember where, but I didn't really bother reading the synopsis. The second time I came across Gilded, over at Fiction Freak, I paid more attention to the synopsis and to find out Christina Farley's debut novel was based off of Korean mythology? I was extremely ecstatic, and I was NOT the only one. Both Kahlan and I were extremely disappointed to find that Gilded wasn't at the local library (NOOOOOOOO).
A friend did loan me her ebook copy of Gilded though. So if you're reading this, thank you! *gives colossal cupcake* I hope you don't mind my poor baking skills. *attempts to keep cupcake from lopsiding* So much for being a baker.

Gilded was an AWESOME read, and it's been awhile since I've last read an awesome book, which was April if short stories aren't counted. The story follows Jae Hwa Lee, a Korean American who leaves L.A. to live in Seoul, South Korea. She finds out she's a descendant of the demigoddess Princess Yuhwa, and as the oldest female of her generation, the demigod Haemosu is after her in hopes she will marry him.

This isn't a typical mythology book. The ones I've come across usually has the main character a descendant of one of the gods and they have to stop some sort of ancient force like the Titans from Percy Jackson from overthrowing the gods. It's a nice change to have a descendant of a demigoddess, but doesn't that still make Jae Hwa a demigoddess too? O_o

Anyhoo, I did find that no matter how much I enjoyed this, Gilded seems to focus more on romance a lot. Jae Hwa tends to think of Marc too much. >_< On the bright side, she doesn't let that distract her too much from trying to find a way to get away from Haemosu. I suppose having a bracelet with only 5 chances – and time running out quickly – can do that to a person.

Also, Jae Hwa has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She doesn't seem to use those skills a lot, mainly using the bow as her primary weapon. That said, she doesn't walk her talk. She says it, but she doesn't use it much. She almost always seem to have her bow with her, or she uses metamorphosis to get out of sticky situations with Haemosu.

Gilded is an enchanting debut from Christina Farley – I really enjoyed reading some cultural aspects of Korea and can't wait to read what Jae Hwa will be up to next. I do hope she'll put that black belt to use though! ^o^

5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.