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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

This sparkling K-drama inspired debut novel introduces irrepressibly charming teen Chloe Chang, who is reunited with her deceased father's estranged family via a DNA test, and is soon whisked off to Seoul to join them... When her friends gift her a 23-and-Me test as a gag, high school senior Chloe Chang doesn’t think much of trying it out. She doesn’t believe anything will come of it—she’s an only child, her mother is an orphan, and her father died in Seoul before she was even born, and before her mother moved to Oklahoma. It’s been just Chloe and her mom her whole life. But the DNA test reveals something Chloe never expected—she’s got a whole extended family from her father’s side half a world away in Korea. Turns out her father's family are amongst the richest families in Seoul and want to meet Chloe. So, despite her mother's reservations, Chloe travels to Seoul and is whisked into the lap of luxury . . . but something feels wrong. Soon Chloe will discover the reason why her …

The Noh Family

by Grace K. Shim

Overall Book Review:

Chloe is just an average kid, well, maybe not completely average.  She lives in a single parent household and her mom works all the time.  Chose feels abandoned and forgotten.  But when the chance presents itself to meet her father’s family, a family she never previously knew existed, she jumps and flies to the other side of the world.  But do they really want her, or do they just want what she can provide for them?

This novel is a page-turner.  I honestly couldn’t put it down.  The story line hums along at a quick pace and the interjection of text messages makes the pages turn even faster.  The characters are very relatable and easy to follow and I found myself cheering for Chloe every step of the way.  The cast is kept rather limited which really adds to the story because there is a depth to the characters that would otherwise be lost.

K-dramas are all the rage right now and I will be the first to admit that my house participates in the trend.  This novel references numerous K-dramas and lovers of that genre will really love this book.  Not only are some of your favorite characters found in this novel, but references to story lines, particular shows, and let’s face it, the need to binge watch a season over a weekend add to this story.  In fact, you may find yourself binge-reading this entire book!

Just when I thought I had the story pegged, it took a turn and definitely left me wanting more.  While the stereotypical romance of a K-drama isn’t here, the ending is left wide open for a sequel.  Will Chloe and her family continue their relationship?  Does Chloe ever get to see Mr. Kim again?  Will she have an umbrella moment?  I, for one, cannot wait to find out!

Review of an Advanced Reading Copy from the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  19 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 5 scatological words.

Violence/Gore:  Multiple references to death in car accident; blood drawn for facial; car accident with minor injuries; reference to a building burning down in a fire; reference to a person committing suicide; reference to a store collapsing killing hundreds; character is grabbed by arm.

Sex and Nudity:  Kiss; hand holding; reference to sex being had; sexual innuendo from male to female character; discussion of a character’s sexual preference and homosexuality.

Mature Subject Matter: 

Death, socioeconomic conflict, terminal illness, body image issues, gambling, suicide, abandonment and organ trafficking.

Alcohol and Drug Use:  

Beer, champagne and other non-descript types of alcohol use by adults, smoking.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.