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Kicking Butt Far Eastern Style: A Review of Christina Farley’s “Gilded” Description: “Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.”

About the Author

It all began when I was nine, curled under my covers, listening to my father read Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. That’s where the beauty and power of storytelling came to life for me. I was so inspired that I started a writing group in 4th grade. All my friends came over and we’d write stories and share them. When I was ten, I submitted my first short story to a magazine. It was rejected. I thought I was a terrible writer. I put writing aside and decided to become a teacher.

It was after teaching and traveling internationally for ten years that I decided to tackle my bucket list. ‘Write a book’ happened to be on it. I wrote that book. It was awful, just as I suspected it’d be. But a very strange thing happened. I realized I liked writing. Finally I’d found that outlet to share all the crazy, wild stories floating in my head.

I was hooked. I wrote and wrote. Finally, I snagged a fabulous agent, Jeff Ourvan. He submited GILDED to publishers and found a home for it with my wonderful editor, Miriam Juskowicz at Skyscape/Amazon Children’s.

Besides writing, I love traveling, running, playing light sabers with my two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate. I’m slightly obsessed with books, especially YA’s. My next challenge to conquer on my bucket list is to visit all the continents, but I’ve heard Antarctica is quite cold. And that just might be my greatest challenge.

Find Christina online at:




Twitter: @ChristinaFarley




My Review

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


I chaeg-eun nollaun! This book is amazing!

Christina Farley’s Gilded is an original fantasy based on Korean mythology. I love books that are inspired by different cultures and this one fills the bill over and over again. Although it’s not necessary to enjoy this story, I found a website which helped me pronounce the Korean words. I also Googled some of the items mentioned in the story, kimbap, hanboksamjoko and many more. Any book that does this for me is OUTSTANDING! Reading is learning….

The details in Gilded are so vivid. Farley interweaved imagery which helped me create every scene in my head. Reading this book was like taking an express trip to South Korea.

The characters were wonderful. I loved Jae Hwa, Marc and Haraboji (grandfather). Jae Hwa was self-assured and strong. But, she doubted her abilities. The girl was so talented in a kick ass kind of way. I think her doubt was her way of being humble. It would be too easy to brag about her skills.

Marc was the perfect Prince Charming with supernatural ability. I couldn’t help but love this guy. He stuck up for his beliefs and never wavered in his support of Jae Hwa.

Habeoji reminded me of Mr. Miyagi (“Karate Kid”). He came off as bristly as a Brillo pad but had a heart of gold.

I loved the story line of Gilded. It was unique and so creative. The mythological creatures and artifacts can be researched. I enjoyed learning about mythology and a culture I never considered before. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

I highly recommend this book to everyone!


5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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