Top positive review
A wonderful story with Korean mythology
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 11, 2022
How many times did I come close to tears while listening to this book? Let me count... 1, 2, 3, ..... 37, 38, ... Okay, I can't actually put a specific number on it, but it was a lot. There was so much going on in this novel that started out as a simple story with a tiger spirit. The feelings that Lily was dealing with, both before and after she found out her grandmother was sick, and the tension that was always there between her and Sam were so realistic that I found myself tearing up or having a catch in my throat so many times.
The feelings that are evoked by Lily's simple desire to make her grandmother better, and how she deals with what happens as she tries to achieve her goal, were beautifully written. Then, to intersperse all of that with the stories that we got to hear, both from the grandmother and the tiger, were beautiful.
Because I have seen so many other reviews complain about this, I want to address the information that comes up about Sam at the end. <spoiler>Yes, it is revealed that she is lesbian. No, it was not just "thrown in there" or "included to be politically correct." A person's sexuality doesn't have to be plot-relevant to be included. LGBTQ+ people exist, everywhere. Let them exist. And, for those who are grabbing their pearls over a MG book having a lesbian in it, children of all ages have siblings who identify as LGBTQ+; why should they not be represented in the literature, too? Sam is a teenager, so it is perfectly normal that she would be discovering who she is - and that includes her sexual identity!</spoiler>
For this book, I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Greta Jung. I thought she did a wonderful job, and I really appreciated hearing someone pronounce the Korean words so that, when I pick up the book to read again, I will know how they are pronounced.