Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blog Tour ~ "Gilded" by Christina Farley + giveaway

Gilded by Christina Farley
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Received EBook to Review
Genre: YA Mythology

Book Description: A Korean god. An ancient curse. Can she escape becoming GILDED?

A girl with a black belt and a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows discovers an ancient Korean god has been kidnapping the first-born daughters of her family for generations. And she’s next.

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 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.

Beka's Thoughts:  At first I was very interested in this book.  I have always been fond of female characters who show strength and courage, the protagonists of their own stories and not the damsel in distress of someone else's.  To add to that, I adore the Asian culture and heritage. When I read the description of the book, this seemed just like my cup of tea.

Jae Hwa, the main character, is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do--a very impressive feat--and also is quite skilled with the bow.  On the outside she seems like just the kind of girl to fight against the fate that her blood has given her.  A legendary Korean demigod fell in love with her ancestor, a Korean princess, and continues to hunt down the first born female in her family to make them be his bride.  Jae is next on his list to conquer.  But she is not going to take that lying down.

The writing is adequate.  It is not so horrendous that it hurts to read, but neither is it the best.  I personally feel that the author was rushing things.  Something new happened every two pages, and conflicts were solved in no time at all.  Perhaps this book would have flowed better if the author had just slowed down, described things more, taken a step back instead of constantly running forward.

There is also a love interest for the main character, a boy her age named Marc.  However, Jae does not want to get too close to him because she wants to move back to America.  Unfortunately, the only way the main character describes Marc is 'hot'.  There are many other ways to describe an attractive male: handsome, ravishing, dapper, Benedict Cumberbatch (wait, what?).  But that is not the main concern that I had with the book.

And finally, the reason why I am rating this book three out of five stars.  Jae Hwa is an absolute idiot.  She is told not to do something because it's dangerous or the demigod will get closer to capturing her, and she takes that to mind.  She thinks about it, she agrees that doing whatever she's not suppose to do will be bad for her, and a page later, guess what?  She does it!  And then she thinks 'Oh, that was a really bad idea.'  Well, it wasn't like people hadn't warned you about it before.

But enough of the bad stuff, I do have something I really liked about this book.  The author has obviously done her research.  Everything about Korean culture and history is accurately represented, as well as Tae Kwan Do and archery.  I always appreciate it when an author does research to make sure he/she writes truth, instead of making up their own facts.  Overall, it has many flaws, but this book is worth the read if you are interested in Asian culture and legends.

CHRISTINA FARLEY, author of Gilded was born and raised in upstate New York. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. She taught at international schools in Asia for ten years, eight of which were in the mysterious and beautiful city of Seoul, Korea that became the setting of Gilded. Currently she lives in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown. Gilded is her first novel. For more details, check out her website at Christina holds a master’s degree in education and has taught for eighteen years. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of Jennifer Lyons Literary.

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