Author: Christina Farley
Series: Gilded #1
Genre: Teen Fantasy
The Overview: 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.
This is a reviewing feature I’ve been eyeballing on one of my favorite book blogs There Were Books Involved for a couple years now because I think it’s an excellent way to talk about an unfinished book fairly. I’m incredibly grateful because Nikki (the brains behind the blog, who has a most excellent name) kindly allowed me to steal the idea and questions for my own blog. As my list of “amazing books to read” continues to grow, I find I have less and less time and patience to devote to the books I’m just not enjoying. I never would have considered DNFing a book ten years ago, but then I came across a quote, “Read the best books first, for you might not have the chance to read them all,” and have since made it my personal mantra. So let the Q&A begin!
Did you really give Gilded a chance?
I think so – I made it about 25% through before deciding it just wasn’t working for me.
Have you enjoyed other books in the same genre before?
Yes! In fact, Gilded’s similarities to these other, comparable books is what had me so excited to read it in the first place:
Some of these are YA Fantasies with strong cultural influences, which always sparks my interest.
Did you have certain expectations before starting it?
Moderately high ones. I really love when authors infuse different cultures in their works, and Korea was just too much to resist! I’d also met Christina Farley before at an event and thought she was of the nicest authors I’ve ever interacted with. Both of these facts make me feel incredibly guilty for not liking Gilded more.
What ultimately made you stop reading?
I stopped reading because it bothered me to see a smart, strong, and incredibly capable heroine make so many illogical decisions. Each harebrained idea seemed so out of character, as if each decision was no more than a means to advance the plot rather than what a smart character might actually do. It frustrated me enough to put down the book because I could no longer really relate to the character. I also found the love story, particularly her behavior towards the love interest, a bit immature.
Was there anything you liked about Gilded?
Again, I love the cultural immersion into Seoul, Korea and appreciated the extensive amount of drop-in details about the place (although there were a few places I could’ve used a tad more explanation for some of the references within the text… thank goodness for Google). I also liked the author’s basic writing style because it had a nice, easy flow to it.
Would you read anything else by this author?
Quite possibly. Like I mentioned, I liked her writing style, but had issues with character consistency. Her creativity was good enough that I probably would still try a new series.
So you DNF’d the book – would you still recommend it?
Yes – to the right customer. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a prevailing trend in YA for the female leads to make silly decisions without really thinking things through. If the person I’m recommending to had no issues with those other characters, then Gilded would be a great recommendation.
*Thank you Amazon Publishing, NetGalley, and Christina Farley for the chance to read and review a copy of Gilded – I’m sorry my opinions weren’t more favorable.