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Almond: A Novel

Almond: A Novel

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I loved the juxtaposition between the two main characters. Their dynamic was so fascinating. A boy that feels nothing meets a boy who feels too much. People sometimes say how cool it’d be to be fearless, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Fear is an instinctive defense mechanism necessary for survival. Not knowing fear doesn’t mean that you’re brave; it means you’re stupid enough to stay standing on the road when a car is charging towards you.”

Almond by Won-pyung Sohn — Aniko Press Review: Almond by Won-pyung Sohn — Aniko Press

Ron Rash is renowned for his writing about Appalachia, but his latest book, The Caretaker, begins ... Like when he notes how easily people were to throw up their hands at the challenge of fixing remote problems, and in turn, cower in fear at the thought of fixing those nearest to them. There is a devastating eloquence in how Yunjae can express the complexities of human behavior and interactions with such simplicity, and through Yunjae’s eyes, the reader is given a different way of looking at the world. This book is why I love international books. They’re always so different from what is traditionally published here in America and I find that so refreshing. Almond follows the story of Yunjae, who was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions. And as the story unfolds, you can see how the author tries to portray this kind of condition to be something that is rarely understood in society and often leads to prejudice and discrimination. Yunjae was often labeled as a "monster" and got outcasted among his friends for his inability to feel anything.Maybe others will like this more than I did. A big turn-off for me is that it reads like a young adult novel and I rarely like young adult writing. Perhaps I could have looked past the other things and enjoyed it more if it wasn't for that. It was interesting to read the translator's note at the end, where she wrote that after reading the Korean text, she wasn't sure whether it was just her interpretation or there really might have been something more than friendship between the main characters. After she discussed it with the author and other translators, I think she conveyed the slight ambiguity really well in English. I really enjoyed this one and it definitely made me think a lot about people and their emotions. Yunjae was an interesting MC and I really liked how he tried to understand the people around him. The way certain scenes and characters were described was very intriguing and to see everything through Yunjae’s eyes gave this a unique perspective. This quote was extracted from the Author’s Note. She clarified that she would not classify whether Almond was a happy or tragic story, as no one would truly know. Will Yunjae be able to fully feel all emotions in the future? Will he be able to find love? Will he and Gon be friends for a long time? Will Yunjae and his mother be okay? Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space.

Almond: A Novel by Won-pyung Sohn | WHSmith

I couldn't see this book to be as impactful if it was taken from a different culture. The commentary on Korean society is what made this book to be compelling for a coming-of-age novel. And it is so ironic how this book was supposed to be about a boy with no emotion, yet was enigmatically emotional. I honestly enjoy this book and it is highly affecting, which is sure to delight readers of every age. Though everyone has different ways of expressing themselves, it is still not right to speak to someone a certain way and pass it off as a joke if they express their discomfort. Even more so to people like Yunjae who struggles in deciphering feelings and emotions, the relationship between our words and our actions are vital. 2. Being able to feel is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. The novel will appeal fully to adults, but mature young readers who must cope in their everyday lives with the struggles of late adolescence will find themselves identifying with Yunjae and moved by his plight. A sensitive exploration of what it's like to live at life's emotional poles. Educado por su madre y su abuela, aprende a identificar las emociones de los demás y a fingir estados de ánimo para no destacar en un mundo que pronto lo tachará de extraño. «Si tu interlocutor llora, tú entrecierra los ojos, baja la cabeza y dale una suave palmada en la espalda», le dice su madre. Así construye una aparente normalidad que se hace trizas el día en que un psicópata ataca a ambas mujeres en la calle. Desde entonces, Yunjae debe aprender a vivir solo, sin deseo de derramar una lágrima, sin tristeza ni miedo ni felicidad.Impressively portraying Yunjae's shrugged-shoulder calm and efforts to understand his world, Sohn offers a heartening study of human emotion. Anyway, this sounds cliche but you'll eventually meet the people who you're meant to meet, no matter what happens. Time will tell if your relationship with him is meant to be.” Me encanta leer novelas internacionales porque te das cuenta de lo distintas que pueden ser. Y es que si algo me gustó de este libro, es que el protagonista clínicamente no puede reconocer o expresar emociones. Sin embargo, yo pude vivir miles de ellas a lo largo de estas páginas. The first two-thirds (basically part 1&2) of this book was easily 5 stars for me but then it unfortunately went a bit downhill.

Almond Quotes by Sohn Won-Pyung - Goodreads Almond Quotes by Sohn Won-Pyung - Goodreads

So, I’m going to be stronger. In my own way. In the way that feels most natural to me. I like to win. If I can’t protect myself from being hurt, I’d rather hurt other people.” Yunjae lives with his grandmother and mother in a small apartment, at the front of which is his mother’s secondhand bookstore. Both of his caregivers dedicate their energy to creating a space that encourages and reminds Yunjae how to react in everyday situations. His mother prints out each hanja for happiness, sadness, anger, love, joy, and desire, on letter-sized paper, one big character per sheet, which his grandmother then traces. They place them all over the house for Yunjae to learn from and remember. After some instances at school begin to signal to his peers that Yunjae is not normal, his mother coaches him about various scenarios and the appropriate ways to respond: “ Thanks to Mom’s persistent efforts and my mandatory daily training, I slowly learned to get along at school without too much trouble. By the time I was in fourth grade, I had managed to blend in, making Mom’s dream come true.” So anyway, I decided to read Almond because it was likened to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and because I got a nerdy brain orgasm seeing the word amygdala. ALMOND is such a stark and powerful book, written in spare prose and with surprising depth of emotion. I loved the neurodivergent hero and his quest to just try to live his life, despite his disability. I liked the subtleties of his development, and how the people around him helped him relate to himself and those around him in various ways (whether deliberately or inadvertently). I still feel like this could (and should) be read and enjoyed by a young adult audience, but again, it does have some dark content, like the aforementioned crime scene, and a scene involving graphic animal cruelty (a butterfly) that was quite hard to read and made me pretty sad.Dora found beauty in everything. She found nature’s magnificent work and incredible symmetry in a turtle’s carapace, or a stork’s egg, or an autumn reed from a swamp. How wonderful, she would often say. I understood the meaning of the word, but I could never feel the splendor it carried.”

Almond by Sohn Won-pyung: Summary and reviews - BookBrowse

Meet Yunjae, a boy whose almonds (amygdalae) don’t work very well: he doesn’t experience emotions because his almonds don’t send the right signals to his brain. His narrative is easy to read and follow despite his being ‘different’. It sounds like he is making his case without trying to: he’s just describing what’s normal to him and just like that he seems normal to us readers. a bookstore is a place densely populated with tens of thousands of authors, dead or living, residing side by side.”Quite Disney, and in some kind of way relaying for me that these things can go away as long as someone just tries enough. Maybe it’s because you’re special. People just can’t stand it when something is different, eigoo, my adorable little monster.”



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