Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Carole Reviews: The Korean Word for Butterfly - James Zerndt

Author: James Zerndt
Title: The Korean Word for Butterfly
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: ebook
First Published: March 27th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion


"Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view:



Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life;

Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back;

And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible. 

The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. 
It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption."


Like earlier stated I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

I've been DYING to read this book since I first hear of it. I read a few reviews a while back and I was tempted to buy it, but I waited for it to go down in price (I'm frugal...I can't help it). When the price went down, I was about to buy it, but I luckily got asked to review this...so yayy!

This was definitely a good book. I was so absorbed, I could hardly put it down. Of course I'm reading this during moving out and etc, so my free-time was scarce. Sighs. Such is life. When I did have the time, I was reading this. 

The characters were all different with different stories, but they were all connected in some way. I hated Billie, but I did like her story. I liked all the stories, but I wanted to punch Billie in the face. Poor Joe...I know he wasn't as supportive at one point (can't say what), because he was stuck in his own head and grief. It isn't right, but everyone mourns/deals with life issues differently. Billie wasn't AT all supportive of him or even remotely understanding. It was an issue that both had to deal with and make peace with. She was so damn selfish and self-absorbed she didn't care how others felt. Near the end she got better, but still...meh.

I loved Moon. 

It was nice to get different POVs (which are nicely stated when the POV switches). It was nice to see how Koreans see Americans and the American soldiers. Honestly...I didn't know that many hate that Americans are there. When my cousin was stationed there last year, he said the the majority liked the fact the Americans are there. Perhaps it was different years ago (this was set in the early 2000s, so it might have been different). I loved learning more about the Korean culture. It was nice and interesting.

I really liked this book. I'm mad at myself for waiting SO long to actually get my hands on it and read it. I recommend people who like people books to read this. It was a nice change up in my reading. I rarely read anything set in Korea, especially more modern books. The characters and the story were great and well written. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 5 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Moon, Hyo, Joe, and Yun-ji 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Billie



22 comments:

  1. Hey we have to be frugal in this business/hobby. With the amount of books we read on a weekly basis, we could easily break bank!

    Anyway, this book sounds lovely. I love plots like this esp when the connections and dialogues are done right.

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    1. Right?! I must contain myself. As do i. It was done wonderfully in my opinion.

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  2. Aw yay glad you enjoyed it. It's always wonderful when that happens. And I hear ya about being frugal on the books. I've got a list I'm holding off on because I just can't spend 9+ bucks on one book.

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    1. :) thats why i love the library. It has saved me a lot of money.

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  3. I would be interested in reading this as I don't know much about the Korean culture. The cover is beautiful.

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    1. It was a nice change up. And i adore the cover!

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  4. Wonderful review, this is something I would throughly enjoyed.

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  5. Ooh, this one seems quite original from everything else and I love that it dares to be diverse too. Thanks for putting it on my radar!

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    1. I love when books go off and do their own thing. :)

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  6. Oh this is interesting. Not something I would have picked up until your review. I love your reactions to the characters. You got me curious with just that!

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    1. :D I'm glad that I helped put this on your radar.

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  7. I confess that sometimes it's difficult for me to have many stories and POVs because well at the end I'm lost. But this one sounds different and well done.

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    1. That what was great about this. I didnt get lost. Each chapter was a different pov. She labeled the chapter based on the character

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  8. Love the cover on this one. Definitely makes me want to read the book!

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    1. Thats what initially pulled me in.

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  9. I hadn't heard of this one before your review, but it sounds like a fascinating story. I have never read anything set in Korea before, and it would be great to get a slice of the culture as well as an interesting story. Lovely review!

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    1. Thank you! I think you'd really like it.

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  10. Sounds like an awesome read, thanks, Carole! :)

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