Khanh is ANGRY.
Warning: long-ass rant. Read at your own risk. I'm not done with this review, but it's fucking 3 AM and I need to sleep. Part II (full story and character analysis) will come tomorrow night.
What kind of The Last Samurai bullshit is this? THERE IS NOT A SINGLE KOREAN MALE TEEN IN THIS BOOK. There is something wrong about this, considering THIS BOOK TAKES PLACE IN SOUTH KOREA.
This is not a good book. It had some excellent parts; the setting is wonderful, the mythology is beautiful, the Korean culture is excellent. But they didn't save the book. I wanted to love the book. I wanted to love the main (Asian, whoo!) main character, but every time I feel myself warming to her, she does something so incredibly, unbelievably stupid that completely erases any such sympathy I might have had.
I feel like this book owes Asian guys an apology. Why the fuck would you give a Korean-American girl living in Seoul, South Korea---a WHITE love interest?! There is ONE. ONE Asian guy of her age in the book. And he's an asshat. WHY?! WHY?!
Let's get one thing straight: I do not have a problem with interracial dating. This is not what it's about. I am not racist. I simply wanted an underrepresented group of people to---finally---get a chance to shine. This book failed in so many ways, this is simply one of them.
You know how in the movies, like The Last Samurai, the white guy comes into Japan, out-fucking samurais the fucking samurais, takes over their culture, does their culture better than the Japanese natives, and end up winning the heart of the beautiful Japanese woman in the fucking village because somehow, the Asian guys there just ain't good enough?
Yeah. Look at this book. Fuck this book.
This book takes place in Korea. There are cool name-dropping of places, the book counts out one-two-three for you as hana-dul-set. We get to see the shopping district of Myeongdong. We get to learn a hell of a lot of Tae Kwon Do terminology, but for all intents and purposes, this book could have taken place in the Korean District in Garden Grove instead of South Korea and you wouldn't fucking know the difference. You know how I know? Because I live right next to one in real life. Garden Grove, California. Literally one mile away from my house.
Fucking everyone speaks English within the book. The main character goes to a fucking international school. The students, the few students there are, are named Michelle, Lily (a blonde), Marc, Kumar, Tyler. There is not a single Korean boy in the book besides for the one-time mention of the motherfucking douche who spars with her in Tae Kwon Do class. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS.
Asian guys get a bad rap in the media. They're portrayed as spineless. Nerdy. Weak. Geeky. They are portrayed as either too possessive and violent, or completely useless with women and romance in general. Can you think of the last time an Asian guy actually gets a girl in a movie?
I am well aware that there are stereotypes to every race. I am well aware of the fact that South Korea is not populated with guys who look like fucking k-pop idol. Give me some fucking credit, I am realistic here. That's not my point. Stereotypes are offensive, they are ignorant, and I believe a good book should seek to dispel them. I am perfectly well aware that it is entirely possible for a Korean girl to fall in love with a white guy, but it's like...relocating to Wichita, Kansas, the whitest place you can imagine in the United States...and falling for a guy named Sateesh. It ain't fucking probable.
This is fiction. I wanted a cute Korean guy, ok? I wanted this:
Ok, I'm just being gratuitous now. But can you blame me? (The guy on the right is not available because he's in my dreams.)
This is ok. This is cute.
This is what we got in this book. I DON'T WANT IT, OK?
More to come. Be warned.
Khanh is angry.