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Sohn, Won-pyung

Almond

Mental Health, Coming of Age

A captivating novel about a boy born with Alexithymia, a brain condition that makes it difficult for him to feel emotions. Living a content life with his devoted mother and grandmother above a used bookstore, Yunjae struggles to make friends due to his condition. However, on his sixteenth birthday, a shocking act of violence leaves him alone and struggling to cope. He retreats into silent isolation until he develops a bond with troubled teenager Gon. As he begins to open up to new people, Yunjae finds the chance to become the hero he never thought he could be. Follow Yunjae's emotional journey in this touching novel filled with themes of loss, friendship, and self-discovery.

Almond

My Rating 📖📖📖📖/5📖

First Release June, 2013



🌟 Introduction

Almond, a novel by South Korean author Sohn Won-Pyung and translated by Sandy Joosun Lee, is a captivating and emotionally charged story. It revolves around Yunjae, a boy with Alexithymia, a condition that hinders his ability to experience emotions. On his sixteenth birthday, Yunjae witnesses a harrowing act of violence, resulting in his becoming an orphan. The course of his life takes a surprising turn when he encounters Gon, a troubled teenager who bullies him but shares an unexpected connection. Together, they embark on a journey that unravels the essence of humanity and love.


💪 Trauma, Identity, Friendship, and Courage

Almond delves into the profound themes of trauma, identity, friendship, and courage. As Yunjae grapples with his emotional struggles, Gon manifests his frustrations through reckless behavior. The stark contrast between their characters adds depth and intrigue to the narrative. By challenging stereotypes, the novel promotes empathy in South Korean society, which grapples with issues of mental health and bullying.


🔑 Key Takeaways


1️⃣ Step into the captivating world of "Almond," a poignant and triumphant novel that explores the power of love, friendship, and unwavering determination in transforming lives.

2️⃣ Meet Yunjae, a teenage boy grappling with alexithymia—an extraordinary emotional deficiency hindering his ability to experience vital feelings like fear, love, sadness, anger, or disgust. His extraordinary journey centers on understanding this condition and unlocking the door to express his emotions.

3️⃣ Within the pages of "Almond," you'll delve into the depths of identity, trauma, resilience, and empathy. As Yunjae seeks his true self, he must also come to terms with the devastating loss of his mother and grandmother to a senseless act of violence. Facing societal pressures and numerous challenges, he navigates the realms of school, society, and survival. Along this path, he discovers the profound connection of empathy with those who share his pain or stand apart, such as his friend Gon, a troubled soul, and Dora, who harbors feelings for him.

4️⃣ Sohn Won-pyung's captivating prose sweeps you away with its fast-paced plot, humorous dialogues, and contemporary pop culture references. The characters are richly complex, flawed, yet immensely endearing. Amid the pages, you'll encounter mystery, suspense, and hints of fantasy, as tantalizing clues and unexpected twists unveil the hidden depths of these characters and their well-guarded secrets.


🌸 A Touching and Thought-Provoking Journey

Almond is an emotionally charged and thought-provoking novel that touches the depths of the reader's heart. It beautifully portrays the themes of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of compassion. Long after the final page is turned, the story lingers in the reader's mind, leaving an indelible imprint.


Notable Quotes

🌟 "From what I understood, love was an extreme idea. A word that seemed to force something undefinable into the prison of letters. But the word was used so easily, so often. People spoke of love so casually, just to mean the slightest pleasure or thanks."

🌟 "Books took me to places I could never go otherwise. They shared the confessions of people I'd never met and lives I'd never witnessed. The emotions I could never feel, and the events I hadn't experienced could all be found in those volumes."

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