The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading June Hur’s The Silence of Bones last year, I was eager to see what her newest novel would bring. Hur has a way of embedding the reader into her setting that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the mystery that she is creating. In The Forest of Stolen Girls, Hur once again creates a fabulous young female detective who is battling the barriers of gender roles and classism that makes readers feel so connected to their plight.
In this book, Hur adds another element of tension by creating a fractious sister relationship, which added even more emotionality for the characters as they try to solve the mystery of their missing father, and the stolen girls.
At first, I was worried that the medieval Korean setting would be a turn off to readers, but the more I engaged with the book, I realized that June Hur has masterfully combined subtle translations of most of the Korean references, and so I was never lost in the cultural and lingual references. I was able to read all of this in context, never feeling once that I had to web search anything in order to understand the details. This is an important factor for me as I consider each book for collection development of the secondary school curriculum. I highly recommend this new Canadian read for secondary libraries everywhere.
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