There were a few reasons why I was interested in this book. The vivid colours on the cover shouted radiance and mystery. The title is intriguing and I was wondering how it connected to the story. The synopsis starts off as a thriller, but dives into the unknown. And finally, I love exploring translated works because I always learn something new.
Lemon is a story that features the murder of a 19-year-old Kim Hae-on. Known as the High School Beauty Murder, there are instantly two suspects: Shin Jeongjun, a rich kid in whose car Hae-on was last seen, and Han Manu, a delivery boy who witnessed Hae-on in Shin Jeongjun’s passenger seat. When no evidence can be pinned on both boys, the case goes cold.
If you are looking for a mystery thriller, I’m afraid this book is not it. We may or may not find out the truth behind the murder. It doesn’t even matter. What we will definitely see though, is the aftermath. The lives this murder impacted and how they are getting on seventeen years after the murder.
Although this murder is the big event that drives everything, Lemon actually focuses on the people that survived. 17 years after the murder, the grief takes a big toll on Hae-on’s little sister, Da-on. Da-on is struggling to move on with her life. She lives more in the past than she does in the present. She even does some very dramatic things, all in the hope to be able to find out what happened to her older sister and move on.
“Death carves a clear line between the dead and the living,’ she said in a solemn tone. ‘The dead are over there and the rest of us are over here. When someone dies, no matter how great they were, it’s like drawing a permanent line between that person and the rest of humanity. If birth means begging to join the side of the living, then death has the power to kick everyone out. That’s why I think death, with its power to sever things forever, is far more objective, more dignified, than birth, which is the starting point of everything.”
I felt for Da-on. She felt she had a responsibility all her life. And she feels like she failed to protect her sister. I also felt for their mum. It was interesting to find out about her believing in bad omens. When Hae-on was a baby, she was supposed to be called Hye-eun. But the dad called her Hae-on due to his accent and this name stayed. Because of this, the mother thinks her daughter’s destiny has also changed. After Hae-on dies, the mum tries to change her name, but they won’t allow it. That scene was very heartbreaking. But it also made me wonder. I’ve never thought to ask that question before. Can you actually change a deceased person’s name? I tried to find information on this (specifically for the UK), but I wasn’t able to find anything, so I am assuming it’s not possible.
Aside from Hae-on’s family, we get to know more about the lives of the two suspects at that time. And also some of Hae-on’s classmates. It is very notable that this murder has a huge impact on a lot of people, and they all deal with it very differently. In some of the scenes where Da-on meets with these people, you can notice the awkwardness and rawness is still present, even after years have passed.
Even though it’s not the most suspenseful fiction novel, I still recommend it. I read it in a day and it did keep me intrigued. It was a different take on an aftermath of a murder, and I enjoyed it. I also learned a few new things, which I always cherish in my reading adventures!
About The Author:
Kwon Yeo-sun was born in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province of South Korea in 1965. Kwon enjoyed a brilliant literary debut in 1996 when her novel Niche of Green was awarded the Sangsang Literary Award. At the time, novels that reflected on the period of the democratization movement in South Korea, were prevalent.
Another April TBR, another TBR Raffle – I am starting to quite enjoy the way I gamify my TBR list. Let’s see what this month of reading brings.
You probably already know this, but just a reminder that I share my current reading updates on my Instagram posts and stories, and my Goodreads and Storygraph account, so don’t forget to follow my Instagram and other socials (all listed at the bottom of the blog) to see what I am reading at any given time during this month. Sometimes my TBR varies, as I add additional books during the month.
And with that being said, let the April TBR commence.
The April TBR Raffle
I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check my Raffle draw (usually posted as a highlight or a reel).
My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 6 prompts, which result in 6 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.
My April TBR
✨ 1. Beautiful Cover
Even though I own an uncorrected proof of this book, it still has the amazing constellation and blue shades on it – so for this prompt I had to choose “With This Kiss” by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I am participating in the blog tour organized by HQ Stories, so keep an eye out for my book review from the 13th April and onwards. 😉
When their lips touch, will she seal his fate?
From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die. But she’s never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was sixteen.
Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t… or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?
Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget.
✨ 2. Mama Pick
It has been a long time since my mum picked a book for me – and I think she was as excited as I was when I told her. She always laughs at me and picks me big books. She was glancing at War and Peace, and I am glad this time she slightly spared me and picked Middlegame by Seana McGuire. Still a chunky beast, but I’m quite excited to dive into this one.
New York Times bestselling and Alex, Nebula, and Hugo-Award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in this standalone fantasy.
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.
Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.
Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.
Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.
Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.
✨ 3. One Word Title
As soon as I got my copy of Lemon by Kwon Yeo-Sung (thank you to the team at Head of Zeus), I have been desperate to read it. It looks like it will be the perfect short mystery thriller novel, and I love translated works, especially Asian fiction – so I have big hopes for this one and I’m quite excited to dive into it.
In the summer of 2002, when Korea is abuzz over hosting the FIFA World Cup, nineteen-year-old Kim Hae-on is killed in what becomes known as the High School Beauty Murder. Two suspects quickly emerge: rich kid Shin Jeongjun, whose car Hae-on was last seen in, and delivery boy Han Manu, who witnesses Hae-on in the passenger seat of Jeongjun’s car just a few hours before her death. But when Jeongjun’s alibi turns out to be solid, and no evidence can be pinned on Manu, the case goes cold.
Seventeen years pass without any resolution for those who knew and loved Hae-on, and the grief and uncertainty take a cruel toll on her younger sister, Da-on, in particular. Unable to move on with her life, Da-on tries in her own twisted way to recover some of what she’s lost, ultimately setting out to find the truth of what happened.
Told at different points in time from the perspectives of Da-on and two of Hae-on’s classmates, Lemon loosely follows the structure of a detective novel. But finding the perpetrator is not the main objective here. Instead, the work explores grief and trauma, raising important questions about guilt, retribution, and the meaning of death and life.
✨ 4. Instagram Pick
The Instagram Pick means that I do an Instagram Story where people choose random numbers. These numbers relate to my TBR list, and once this story is over and I have a few numbers (books), the Instagram Battle Of The Books begins on my story, where I post the books my followers have chosen, and two by two, they all get voted off until the last one is standing. To make things more interesting, I even did the seeding like I would for a real tournament 🙂 Here’s the link to the Instagram Story Highlights, if you want to see how the voting took place. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to join the future Instagram Pick Battles too.
This month, the people have chosen a very popular book – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I even got messages saying: “How have you not read this yet?” 😀 I know, I know, I’m late on the hype train (pun intended), but I’m finally reading it this month!
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
But now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
✨ 5. Highest Rated
If “Some Mistakes Were Made” by Kristin Dwyer was not on my Highest Rated prompt, I would have picked it for the Beautiful Cover one, because jkust look at that gorgeous cover! This book promises romance and cuteness, and I am here for it. I think it’s been a while I’ve read this genre, and I am looking forward to it.
You can’t always go home again.
Ellis and Easton have been inseparable since childhood. But when a rash decision throws Ellis’s life—and her relationship with Easton— into chaos she’s forced to move halfway across the country, far from everything she’s ever known.
Now Ellis hasn’t spoken to Easton in a year, and maybe it’s better that way; maybe eventually the Easton shaped hole in her heart will heal. But when Easton’s mother invites her home for a celebration, Ellis finds herself tangled up in the web of heartache, betrayal, and anger she left behind… and with the boy she never stopped loving.
✨ 6. Sister Pick
It’s a funny story this one, actually, because my sister tried to “sell” me this book a few times before. Apparently, there’s some harems going on, a lot of erotica and some incest-y moments too, and I was like – NOPE! So when the Sister Pick came around, guess what she did? Of course, she picked Credence by Penelope Douglas. But you know what – fine! I’m going in open minded and excited to read it – bring it on 🙂
Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.
And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?
Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.
And as a part of them.
She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.
One of them has her.
The other one wants her.
He’s going to keep her.
And that’s my April TBR. Have you read any of the above books? What is on your April TBR list? Let me know in the comments!
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.