Showing posts with label gabrielle zevin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gabrielle zevin. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If You Loved That, You'll Love This - Korean Edition with Axie Oh + GIVEAWAY: Win 5 Copies of Rebel Seoul!

Another round of recommendations! This time I had the pleasure of hosting Axie Oh, author of the upcoming YA Sci-Fi REBEL SEOUL, pitched as Pacific Rim meets Korean drama. 

Hi everyone! Excited to share some of my favorite Korean American and Korean authors with you in this awesome Bookavid feature. I really enjoyed “f/f recommendations with Julia Ember”, so very thrilled to be invited! Here we go:




If you love Daniel José Older's SHADOWSHAPER
Then you'll love Ellen Oh's PROPHECY

Both of these books are fast-paced adventures with courageous heroines chasing after their destinies. They're rooted strongly in their settings—modern Brooklyn in SHADOWSHAPER and ancient Korea in PROPHECY. And each integrates culture into their world building in both a macro- and micro- level. For example, with PROPHECY, on a macro-level, it’s set in a fantasy Korea and has Korean names and places. But on a micro-level the details are distinct and specific. The rhythm of the language, the interactions between the characters, who the characters are—their desires and fears—all contribute to building a world that feels like ancient Korea (but with magic)!

If you love  Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE
Then you'll love Maurene Goo's I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE

This pairing might be a little obvious, but I can't help myself! Other than having very long (adorable) titles, both of these books are feel good contemporaries with realistic high school experiences and just the right amount of K-drama flair to give it that extra *gochujang (this was a really bad joke, sorry). Both books were featured on the popular Korean drama blog DRAMABEANS, here and here, because of their fun homage to K-dramas. Definitely two books close to my heart.

If you love Neil Gaiman’s TRIGGER WARNING
Then you'll love Yoon Ha Lee’s CONSERVATION OF SHADOWS

CONSERVATION OF SHADOWS may very well be my favorite short story collection. Like Gaiman, Lee's writing is literary, weird, gorgeous and imaginative. My favorite short story in this collection, “Effigy Nights,” was a 2014 nominee for the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. The story itself is…indescribable, but in short, it’s about a city of artisans under attack by enemy starships. The only way for them to repel the attack is by summoning soldiers from books of legend by cutting them out from paper with scissors. Amazing, right? Other elements in his short stories include: mecha, necromancy, Korean history, mathematics and black holes.


If you love Lauren Oliver’s DELIRIUM
Then you'll love Gabrielle Zevin’s ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE

Both of these books are literary dystopias with great characters and writing. Like DELIRIUM, the world in ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is similar to our own but for one disparate element i.e. love is outlawed in the world of DELIRIUM and chocolate is outlawed in the world of ATTID. Both books are written like contemporaries, but that added element gives them a fantasy-edge to keep things interesting. I've been a fan of Zevin's work since high school, but ATTID is a personal favorite. It’s set in a run-down New York where chocolate (the drug of choice) is outlawed. The heroine of the novel, Anya Balanchine, is the heiress to New York’s most notorious crime family. At the same time, she’s juggling Catholic school and nursing a flirtation with the new assistant DA’s son.


If you love Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS 
Then you'll love Ha Il-Kwon’s ANNARASUMANARA

ANNARASUMANARA is a webtoon set in Korea about Yun Ai, an 11th grade student whose hardships have left her embittered. Still, as a young girl, she used to want to be a magician. When she stumbles upon an abandoned circus, a mysterious magician appears before her and asks, “Do you believe in magic?” The story goes from there and it’s enchanting.

Both THE NIGHT CIRCUS and ANNARASUMANARA follow a loose plot with gorgeous imagery (visual and textual images in the case of ANNARASUMANARA). They both center in and around a circus and are told in vignette-like chapters. The main difference is that THE NIGHT CIRCUS is fantasy, while ANNARASUMANARA is magical realism.




Axie Oh is a first generation Korean American, born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California – San Diego and is currently pursuing an MFA at Lesley University in Writing for Young People. Her passions include K-pop, anime, stationery supplies, and milk tea. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her puppy, Toro.
Website Twitter | Blog | Instagram | Tumblr



REBEL SEOUL, out on September 15th 2017 with Tu Books

"After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.

When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.

With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.

Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut."

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


a Rafflecopter giveaway What's your favorite read by a Korean author OR with Korean characters?




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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[Review] Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin: Afterlife and Aging Backwards


In ELSEWHERE, Liz dies in a bicycle accident and goes to Elsewhere, where everyone ages backwards until they are reincarnated on Earth.

What intrigued me: Amazing premise. Wow.

Quiet and comforting

Stories about the afterlife are very tricky to write in my opinion. Zevin decided not to play into any of the expectations I had, let them be religious or not. The concept of death being just another life, this time in reverse, is strangely comforting. Comfort is definitely the first word I'd use to describe ELSEWHERE. It's a very quiet, almost shy story that absolutely lives from its beautiful premise, but is also, sadly, crippled by it.

Beyond the neat idea of a utopian afterlife, there isn't anything memorable about this story unfortunately. The voice is very reserved and the main character Liz strikingly colorless and forgettable. Most of the novel is spent exploring Elsewhere, without actually gaining much insight on the world. The world building is almost non-existent, the interesting bits happen within the first 50 pages and from then on it feels like you're just observing awkward mundane tasks. ELSEWHERE has a nice premise but absolutely relies on this.

More of a MG read

The writing is extremely simple and plain, lacking descriptions, but nevertheless I had images in my head non-stop. The concept is definitely powerful enough to make you think up your own expectations of the afterlife, and I really love that. ELSEWHERE's approach to life after death is open, but still imaginative. I longed for every piece of information about this world.

I would definitely say that this is lower YA, even upper Middle Grade because of the language and the approach to the topic. You won't find any typical YA tropes in this.


Rating:

★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

ELSEWHERE has a nice concept, but that's about it. I think this could really appeal to Middle Grade readers more than it did to me - I expected typical YA, and was disappointed.



Additional Info

Published: May 15th 2007
Pages: 277
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780312367466

Synopsis:
"Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?"(Source: Goodreads)



What's your favorite book about the afterlife?

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