THE NOH FAMILY, by Grace K. Shim, Kokila, May 3, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
A teenager discovers a family she never knew existed after taking a DNA test in Grace K. Shim’s debut novel, The Noh Family.
When her friends gift her a 23-and-Me test as a gag, high school senior Chloe Chang doesn’t think much of trying it out. She doesn’t believe anything will come of it — she’s an only child, her mother is an orphan, and her father died in Seoul before she was even born, and before her mother moved to Oklahoma. It’s been just Chloe and her mom her whole life. But the DNA test reveals something Chloe never expected — she’s got a whole extended family from her father’s side half a world away in Korea.
Turns out her father’s family are amongst the richest families in Seoul and want to meet Chloe. So, despite her mother’s reservations, Chloe travels to Seoul and is whisked into the lap of luxury . . . but something feels wrong. Soon Chloe will discover the reason why her mother never told her about her dad’s family, and why the Nohs wanted her in Seoul in the first place. Could joining the Noh family be worse than having no family at all? —Synopsis provided by Kokila
Author Grace K. Shin was inspired by Korean dramas (aka K-dram), which are South Korean TV dramas with distinctive features that set them apart from Western soaps and series. It’s a fun twist that fans will likely appreciate, but newbies will find interesting as well.
At the center of The Noh Family is Chloe, who is desperate to learn anything about her father. She comes across as a smart and capable young woman, but when it comes to family, that all goes out the window. Every time her grandmother dangles a bit of information in front of her, Chloe crumbles.
To that end, the main plot line of The Noh Family is somewhat predictable. Some side shoots are less so, but they’re all entertaining nonetheless. The pacing is fast and Shin’s writing is smooth and accessible.
Copyright © 2022 Cracking the Cover. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.