Ready to discover another great book for this 2022? Take a look…

When We Fell Apart by Soon Wiley

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Random Things Tours
Rating: 4/5
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About The Book

A profoundly moving and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties that bind families together – or break them apart…
When the Seoul police inform Min that his girlfriend Yu-jin has taken her own life, he’s sure it can’t be true. She was successful, ambitious, happy, just on the cusp of graduating from university and claiming the future she’d always dreamed of.
Min, on the other hand, born to an American father and Korean mother, has never felt quite the same certainty as Yu-jin about his life’s path.
After growing up in California, where he always felt ‘too Korean’ to fit in, he’s moved to Seoul in the hope that exploring his Korean heritage will help him find a sense of purpose. And when he meets Yu-jin, little does he know that their carefree relationship will set off a chain of events with tragic consequences for them both.
Devastated by Yu-jin’s death, Min throws himself into finding out why she could have secretly wanted to die.
Or did she? With a controlling and powerful government official father, and a fraught friendship with her alluring and destructive roommate So-ra, Yu-jin’s life was much more complex than she chose to reveal to Min.
And the more he learns about her, the more he begins to doubt he ever really knew her at all.
As Yu-jin’s story – a fraught exploration of selfhood, coming-of-age, and family expectations – collides with Min’s, the result is an engrossing page-turner that poses powerful, urgent questions about cultural identity, family bonds, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.


My Thoughts

I’ll start by saying that I’ve been watching a lot of Korean series lately, so the strict Korean society didn’t surprise me.  It’s highly represented on the series, the strict competitiveness at school/university for good grades, the bullying and the family closeness.
This is the story of Min and Yu-jin; Min is an American-Korean man who has decided to live in Seoul to find his place. On the other side we have Yu-jin, Min’s girlfriend, a young university student that is studying at Seoul University. Everything will start when the police inform Min that her girlfriend commited suicide, but they are still investigating it. Min can’t accept that Yu-jin, whom he saw the previous night decided to kill herself without telling him anything, so this will kick start a thorough research in Yu-jin’s life and Korean society to know what really happened.
I liked that the story is told between the two main characters, telling the readers their past and how they become who they are.
I think this is a photograph of the Korean society, the pressures that all the young ones have to suffer and never have anyone to ask for help. But also something that everyone accepts like it is, only a non-Korean can see how dark and twisted this world is, where it only matters your status to be respected, not who you are.
This is a special story, bitter but real and with a beautiful city as a background, Seoul.
Are you ready for “When We Fall Apart”?


About The Author

A native of Nyack, New York, Soon Wiley received his BA in English & Philosoph from Connecticut College. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University. His writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and earned him fellowships in Wyoming and France. He resides in Connecticut with his wife and their two cats. When We Fell Apart is his debut novel.