It’s been a while. Mostly, I’ve not felt drawn to many books lately. The few that I’ve read are books that I’ve read before, so I didn’t feel the need to rehash my thoughts on them. One day I sat down and decided to pick a book a read it, so I grabbed Christina Farley’s Gilded, which was hanging out in my Kindle Library for quite some time. I think it was one of the Kindle First free books. Young adult with Korean mythology seemed like a solid enough start.
Gilded was one of those books that rests squarely in the category of mediocre. The writing was solid, the plot was decent, and the characters were moderately well done–and it all added up to be a reasonably fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your lunchbox on Tuesday. Sure, most people like PB&J barring a life-threatening allergy, and it’s a solid choice for lunch, but it isn’t going to be quite as nice as your Italian great aunt’s special four-cheese lasagna, reheated and packed with a note from Mom.
There’s been quite a storm of young adult books that appeal to adults, and Gilded is firmly located in this group. I think, however, that its plot points and writing style make it less appealing to adults than most. For instance, I think 13 year-old me would have thought more highly of this novel. It was entertaining for my 29 year-old self, but a few elements, including the heroine’s romantic interests, were a bit on the early teen side of things and made me cringe.
Overall, I would say that Gilded is a READ WITH CAUTION. It’s definitely potato chip fiction, an easy read for entertainment, with nothing too in depth to do other than crunch and munch your way through it. The addition of Korean mythology was interesting, but the novel only touched on in a bare sense aside from immediate story elements, and while the heroine’s black belt skills weren’t entirely a bit of a side-eye, some of the moves she pulled off were excessive and overwrought. The pacing is a bit too quick, the events abrupt and bare, and the overall effect leaves you wanting a different snack.