This year I’m trying to step out of my reading comfort zone a bit more and read a wider range of genres. Over the last week or so I’ve read Korean thriller The Good Son* by You-jeong Jeong and graphic novel The Best We Could Do* by Thi Bui.
The Best We Could Do has recently been released in paperback and that makes it no less beautiful than its predecessor. Normally I’m all for original hardback releases but the presentation of Thi Bui’s memoir is nothing short of stunning. It reminded me of another recent release I was sent by Abrams + Chronicle: The Displaced. It is so important that we hear these voices and read these stories – and an illustrated memoir can help make them more accessible.
Thi Buir wrote The Best We Could Do when she became a mother and wanted to understand the sacrifices her own parents made when they moved from Vietnam to the United States in the 1970s. It’s a heart-breaking study of love and identity, told in words and pictures.
Out today, The Good Son is as intriguing as psychological thrillers come. When the PR dropped into my inbox, calling it ‘as addictive and twisted as American Psycho, Misery and A Clockwork Orange’, my interest was definitely piqued.
The titular ‘good son’ is Yu-jin, a swimming champion on the road to law school. He has a tendency to black out and suffer seizures – not too helpful when he wakes up one morning covered in blood and unable to remember the night before. Then he discovers a body downstairs. Rather than calling the police, he decides to try and piece together what happened himself, which forces him to uncover memories of his own childhood and face his family’s demons.
I mentioned in my recent Blogger Book Nook post that I like a first-person narrative when it comes to thrillers and being able to figure things out alongside the narrator/detective. This was no different and not entirely predictable. I even felt sad at times – it’s interesting when a thriller can make you feel more than simply scared or anxious.
You-jeong Jeong is South Korea’s leading writer of psychological crime and thriller fiction and The Good Son is her first novel to be translated into English. I’m interested to see what is published next.
I must say, as interesting as the cover is, it’s somewhat misleading. To me it implied that a young man is shot but that isn’t case (not a spoiler at all). I just think it was a weird choice and worth noting.
*I was sent these book for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.
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