Almond: A Novel

· Sold by HarperCollins
74 reviews

About this ebook


The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. 

One of the monsters is me.

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 provide him with a safe and content life. 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.

Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school, and they develop a surprising bond.

As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life at risk, Yunjae will have the chance to step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become the hero he never thought he would be.

Readers of Wonder by R.J. Palaccio and Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig will appreciate this "resonant" story that "gives Yunjae the courage to claim an entirely different story." (Booklist, starred review)

Translated from the Korean by Sandy Joosun Lee.

74 reviews
November 20, 2020
This book was truly beautfiul the relationship between someone who has the inability to feel emotions and a person who wishes he could rid his ability of feeling emotions. Their friendship and the journey of learning and figuring out life through each other's emotions. I am not one to read often but I became interested as this is a book that Kim Namjoon has recommended and I know he has read a lot of good books. Min Yoongi during bts in the soop was reading this book and he seemed to really enjoy reading it getting completely lost in this book, I didn't know it was THAT book until I wanted to read it. I bought this book last night and finished reading it within 24hours. I highly recommend this piece of art. For those who don't read often, for those trying to find themselves, understand the complexity of the world, and for those who just wanna find a good book to read. 10/10 I'm going to buy the physical copy once it comes to stores where I live, I want this book on my shelf.
23 people found this review helpful
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August 19, 2022
This novel is just wonderful. I really don't know what else to say, I'm at loss for words.
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Third-party review
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (HarperVia). This book is why I love international books. They’re always so different from what is traditionally published here in America ...

About the author

Sohn Won-pyung is a film director, screenwriter, and novelist living in South Korea. She earned a BA in social studies and philosophy at Sogang University and film directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. She has won several prizes, including the Film Review Award of the 6th Cine21, and the Science Fantasy Writers’ Award for her movie script I Believe in the Moment. She also wrote and directed a number of short films, including Oooh You Make Me Sick and A Two-way Monologue. She made her literary debut in 2017 with this, her first full-length novel, Almond, which won the Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction, followed by which won the Jeju 4.3 Peace Literary Award.

Sandy Joosun Lee is a translator and interpreter based in Seoul. She earned a BA in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego. She has received translation grants from Literary Translation Institute of Korea and Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea. She currently works at Studio Mir where she translates and develops animated content.

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