Title: My Name Is Kim Sam Soon
Author: Ji Su-Hyun
Publication: Kimchi Press 2014
Format: Paperback, 331 pages
Source: Personal Purchase
Isn't it that when you're in love, cakes begin to be filled with all the things you could possibly know off? Things such as sweetness, softness, lightness, bitterness, and depth?
The third daughter of a mill owner, Sam Soon is a patissier who aspires to bake cakes that are as delicious as her father's rice cakes. She's the kind of woman who despite feeling restless and heartbroken would wake up at dawn, stand in front of the oven, and bake sweet-smelling bread. She's relieved and amazed that her heart has not turned stone cold yet in spite of her heartaches and sadness.
Meanwhile, Do Yeong is the worst guy to be on a blind date with. Although he's a good piano player and a good kisser, he's a pessimist when it comes to love. He thinks he'll never be happy again after his brother died and his first love left him (although he still patiently waits for the latter's return).
After a chance encounter, Sam Soon and Do Yeong end up working together and striking an unlikely deal that involves him pretending to be her date. He's far from being attracted to her while she can't stand him. But why does Do Yeong feel totally uneasy whenever Sam soon's not around?
Read through the pages and fill your appetite with Sam Soon's tasty tale of love and misadventures.
-Synopsis from Goodreads
I am by no means a big K-Pop fanatic, however, I was really intrigued with the cover design of Kimchi Press' translated Korean novel My Name Is Kim Sam Soon by Ji Su-Hyun (I am a sucker for a good cute illustrated book cover). However, upon finishing the entire thing, it is safe to say that the content is as good as its packaging. The story was charming and the characters are all well-drawn out. Ji Su-Hyun's protagonist is so funny and the plot had everything I wanted in a good contemporary read. This book made me excited to try to watch the TV adaptation, which I have not had the chance to do before.
Thoughts in Detail:
~DO NOT CROSS THIS THRESHOLD, IF YOU HAVE NOT READ/FINISHED THIS BOOK! YOU WILL BE SPOILED! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!~
I think one of the best aspects of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was the feisty titular protagonist Kim Sam Soon. At the very beginning of the novel, I was caught by Kim Sam Soon's brashness and her amazing way of being candidly funny. The author painted a protagonist that was opinionated and extremely flawed, but the reader could still deem as loveable! Kim Sam Soon's determination to find love, despite of the horrid things she went through, was one of the things I liked best about her. I also like the fact that Sam Soon was written to be plump and she was not afraid to eat (we get a long in that department really well and the Korean delicacies described in the book is just mouth-watering), which created a picture of how real people react to certain situations. She also had a flare for the theatrics, which was shown brightly at the very beginning of the novel (the chili powder scene is still fresh in my mind).
Then we have Do Yeong who was the rich restauranteur that wasn't too fond of romance. This dude was such a topsy-turvy character. There were moments in the book that I really hated his guts, but then the author throws something that humanizes him in a way that made me think twice about his character. He was also a no none sense kind of guy, which made the dialogue between him and Sam Soon truly priceless! I liked how he complimented Kim Sam Soon's personality and that he treated her somewhat of an equal. I saw that he respected her even though he sometimes did treat her rudely.
The romantic relationships depicted in this book were both comical and tragic. Kim Sam Soon's journey towards love was paved with heartache and even though she was pragmatic about the whole thing, there were moments in the novel that showed her as a hopeless romantic. Do Yeong's path was also rocky as hell, but he showed that he also had a sweet side to him that made me ship him and Sam Soon even more.
Family dynamics are rarely given that much thought in most fiction and I truly enjoyed how both Kim Sam Soon and Do Yeong's families both played a role in the novel. I am particularly fond of Sam Soon's relationship with her sister I Yeong, as well as Do Yeong's feisty mother.
One of the things that bugged me about this particular edition was the grammatical errors the translator made. However, it did not retract my enjoyment towards the whole thing.
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon used a lot of typical story lines, but Ji Su-Hyun made these a little more refreshing and definitely more fun. This book proved that a good book doesn't have to contain a 100% unique plot to be witty, funny, and successful.
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon deserves a...
It was like eating a piece of delicious cake!
Have you guys read My Name Is Kim Sam Soon? What did you think of it? Please don't hesitate in commenting your opinions down below!