This was a book that had been on my radar since I first heard about it. However, I am not generally interested in found family type of stories, but I decided it was worth a try. The main character is Melody Lee, and she is in for a culture shock when she must pack up and move from New York City to Seoul, Korea.
For the most part I liked Melody’s character. She was strong, funny, and opinionated, which to me are pretty good traits. However, like all characters, she had some bad qualities as well. She put her foot in her mouth a lot of the time, and thought she was so different from everyone else. Honestly, she wasn’t that special.
There was some self discovery on Melody’s part, and, by the end of the book, she had learned to embrace her Korean heritage. The story was very character driven, so it was nice that we learned a lot about who Melody was as a person, as well as all the side characters.
However, the characters names all sounded similar, so I had a hard time keeping up with who was who. But I did appreciate that there was some LGBT representation in the book,which I wasn’t expecting.
It was interesting to see how the parents in the book treated their kids. I am not sure if this is how Koren parents are, but they expected a lot from their kids. They acted like school should be your number one priority, your dreams should be realistic and marriage, in a sense, should be arranged.
From the moment Melody arrived in Seoul, her father was introducing her to boys that came from good families. Her dad was strict and uptight, and her mother was very passive throughout most of the book. I could never sit back and conform to these type of rules – especially since most of the parents set such high expectations for their children.
“Oh boy, kiddo. You’ll be changing until the day you die, and not just from moving across the globe, but from smaller things—like a new home or growing older—and from bigger things—like having a family of your own one day or losing loved ones.”
There was a romance within the story that I found to be cute. Yet, I didn’t like how Melody was so hot and cold with her crush. Give the poor boy a break! Still, I did see the chemistry between the two characters.
Also, I loved how the author described Seoul. It made me want to visit it for myself one day! The author’s writing as a whole was great, so I am looking forward to reading more from them.
For me, the moral of the story was that it is okay to dream, and that change is good. Sometimes, we discover a new side to ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we are an entirely new person. A lot of the time in books, characters are so afraid of change, but this book showed that we should welcome change, at least if it’s a change for the better, of course.
Overall, if you are looking for a YA contemporary that is essentially ‘The Princess Diaries’ with a twist, then you’ve found it. In the comments, leave me your thoughts on this book. Please feel free to follow my blog, and share this post too!
Until The Next Chapter,