• Book Review
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Booklist Review : Mina

  • Author
  • Published Date
    Sep 1, 2018


Crystal works hard to earn top grades at her cram school and maintain her image as an excellent citizen while smoking, drinking, and dating different boys in her nonstudy hours. But whatever she achieves never seems to be enough, and she’s in a constant frenzy to fill her time and be the best at everything—failure is never an option. Her only friend, Mina, doesn’t understand Crystal’s increasingly erratic nature. Their attempts at talking about their deep personal issues only end up in bickering. Mina’s brother and Crystal’s crush, Minho, is equally unresponsive to Crystal’s emotional outbursts. He merely accepts what life hands to him and doesn’t question things that are outside of the status quo. As Crystal bottles up more of her rage, it exudes in violence that slowly escalates until it explodes in a devastating conclusion. Award-winning Korean author Kim’s first novel to be translated into English is a powerful portrayal of teenage angst, confusion, and the surmounting pressures on Korean teens to achieve. Her poignant and very detailed exploration of the complex and unstable emotions of adolescence will keep readers rapt until the end.


— Emily Park


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