School starts in two weeks, so my summer of reading YA literature is coming to an end. Already, when I eat my breakfast, I’m looking at a speech textbook or a book on teaching vocabulary or books of units on The Giver or Animal Farm. But I finished one last YA book this past week, and I’m glad this is the book I ended with, because it was really good.
Gilded by Christina Farley is a story of Jae Hwa, a Korean American teenager who, shortly after the death of her mother, must move from L.A. to Seoul with her father. Not longer after her arrival, she learns that Korean mythology that her mother read to her as a child is not just mythology — it’s real. And there is a curse on Jae Hwa’s family that means that the soul of the eldest girl in every generation is stolen by the demigod Haemosu. She is the eldest girl, and she must fight for her life.
This novel is a well-written combination of a difficult relationship between father and daughter, a love story, and an action-packed thriller. While there is a possibility of a sequel, this book has its own resolution (unlike several of the previous books I read, which had no resolution at all, forcing you to either read the next book or wonder forever what happens), so it could easily stand alone. This is a book whose sequel I would gladly read.