Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance
Published: June 25th, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5 stars
Wicked Fox was hands down one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and this was before I fell down the kpop/kdrama hole *cackles*. I’m not very well-versed when it comes to Korean mythology, but I’ve always found mythologies from all around the world so fascinating since a young age. The story follows Gu Miyoung, a gumiho who must feed on the energy of men in order to survive (if that doesn’t grab your attention then I don’t know what will). Enter Ahn Jihoon, a human boy, who while being attacked Miyoung rescues him despite her better judgement. Little did they know that that night would intertwine their lives together, for better or for worse. “With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.”
The way that Cho paints the picture of each scene is absolutely breathtaking and so lush that you can’t help but be enamored. But behind each beautiful setting is a darker, more sinister undercurrent that always manages to keep you on your toes throughout the entire story, wondering what exactly you’re missing behind the alluring facade. No matter what part in the book you’re in, you always feel as if you’re standing right next to the characters.
The characters were so easy to fall for and want to protect with every fiber of your being. Not to mention how well the CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT of this book was!! *chef’s kiss* To see not only Miyoung, but also Jihoon, be able to grow and mature throughout the book was so refreshing to see because often times in young adult books, the main characters usually stay pretty stagnant throughout the book and are pretty immature in regards to what they are experiencing.
On another note, the story is primarily marketed as fantasy and romance, but it was SO MUCH more than that. The real life themes that were intertwined with the fantasy aspects of the story were so well-done and hit home at a lot of different points throughout. The constant need to make your parents proud, which is also used as a measure of your self-worth in the Asian culture was one of the main themes of the book and being able to see Miyoung and Jihoon struggle with that in different ways and coming into their own as the story unfolded was truly a bittersweet, yet heartwarming reading experience.
Wicked Fox was such a pleasurable read and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to read more diverse books, especially diverse fantasies!
(ps-big thank you to Karina over at 24 Hour YA Book Club for letting me take part in her #TravelingARCProject!!)