Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review #1 - Tongue

Title: Tongue
Author: Jo Kyung-Ran
Format: Paperback and eBook (Note: Though available in both formats, it is more commonly found on eBook.)


(Amazon UK/US)

(Also, this is the first book review I have written, so please, bear with me!)

So this book was heavily recommended to me by a friend a few months back, and as soon as I got my Kindle in August, it was one of the first books I downloaded- after Fight Club and American Psycho, of course.
I completed it within a week- it’s short, just overstepping the 200 page mark with a mere 212, and 35 chapters- that’s kind of an indication to how long each chapter is. But, hey, it’s quality not quantity, right? Right. And the quality of this book is pretty darn good.

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
Emotionally raw and emphatically sensual, Tongue is the story of the demise of an obsessive romance and a woman’s culinary journey toward self-restoration and revenge. When her boyfriend of seven years leaves her for another woman, the celebrated young chef Jung Ji-won shuts down the cooking school she ran from their home and sinks into deep depression, losing her will to cook, her desire to eat, and even her ability to taste. Returning to the kitchen of the Italian restaurant where her career first began, she slowly rebuilds her life, rediscovering her appreciation of food, both as nourishment and as sensual pleasure. She also starts to devise a plan for a final, vengeful act of culinary seduction.

I guess, at this point, I should add a spoiler warning. So, proceed with caution, as I will possibly have included spoilers.

Jung Ji-won is very, very passionate about food, about the way it tastes, looks, everything. She learned from her grandmother. After the disaster that was her relationship, she quits teaching and goes back to work for her former boss, the chef who gave her her first cooking post.

Things kind of go down hill from there. At some point, she even has to cook for her ex and his new partner. And the worst part- she is still very, very much in love with him.

Although confusing at times, which I narrow down to the fact that the book is translated from Korean, Tongue really is a good read. The descriptions of food are so real and yes, sensual, that visualising it is no hard feat at all. Recipes and ingredient lists are included as Jung Ji-won explains her methods, as she cooks for clients and herself- so by reading this, you’ll at least learn how to cook. Or how proper food should be prepared, at the very least.

One annoying bug that I experienced, and this may entirely be my fault, but I couldn’t discern character’s names. They were too alike, or mentioned too few to make sense, and so I promptly forgot who was who. Flicking back a couple of pages (or consulting good ol’ Google) really helped, though.

But yes, Tongue is a pleasant read for someone who is wishing for a quick story about a down on her luck woman, who turns the odds astonishingly in her favour toward the end.

Star Rating: 3/5

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