Review: The Korean Word for Butterfly by James Zerndt

Korean Word for ButterflyThe Korean Word for Butterfly
written by James Zerndt
published by James Zerndt

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours in February 2014. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
Not too much.

The Korean Word for Butterfly has so much potential: the cross cultural tensions, explosive relationship issues, and an exotic setting.

The book is well organized and, although fictional, well researched.

The characters all have some interesting conflict or conflicts to resolve. Unfortunately, they end up being one dimensional and boring.

It’s all a matter of style. The story is told from various characters’ points of view. But they all sound the same. The Korean woman has the same tone, word-choice, and attitude as the American man. If the chapters weren’t labeled with the character’s names, I wouldn’t have been able to discern who was speaking.


Would I recommend it: Not really.

Will I read it again: No.

About the book: 
Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view:

Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life;

Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back;

And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible.

The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them.

It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption.