Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 544
The Noh Family
Overall rating
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After submitting a DNA test as a 'joke', eighteen-year-old Chloe Chang finds she's a match to a family in Korea. A family she didn't know about. What happens next is a whirlwind first-class trip to Seoul, Korea where she is introduced to the family of her dead father. At first, she's excited to learn more about her father and meet her grandmother. But something doesn't quite feel right. Chloe finds out that maybe family are the ones that love you unconditionally without blood ties.

What worked: I'm a huge fan of K-dramas and this story feels like a modern-day one with a twist. The story has all the elements of a Korean story-rich family, wealth, status, and lots of drama. In this case, the sudden emails Chloe receives after her DNA match, which include asking her to come immediately to Seoul, might seem too far-fetched. But if anyone has watched as many K-dramas as I have, they fit the pattern. Only there are hints right when Chloe arrives in Seoul that something isn't right. There's the handsome driver. The rude cousin and her mother. The emails are encouraging, but the reality is something much worse.

I enjoyed the romp through Seoul with its food, culture, and also glimpses into the wealthy class. I also liked how the story wasn't predictable, especially toward the end. My own family found cousins in Tuscany when we did a DNA test, but with better results than Chloe.

Engaging portrayal of a girl who longs to find out more about her father and when a chance comes, she's quick to seize on it. The contractions between what she thought she'd find out and what she really encounters are hard. Chloe's struggles and determination to be accepted into the Noh family are realistic. She's in a foreign country and doesn't know Korean. It would be hard not to second guess yourself, especially when you really want to be accepted.

K-drama-inspired tale with a twist. This is one Korean contemporary coming-of-age novel where the meaning of family is much more than blood ties.
Good Points
1. K-drama inspired tale with a twist
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