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Y/N: A Novel (2023)

af Esther Yi

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1225223,609 (3.19)1
"Surreal, hilarious, and shrewdly poignant--a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction."-- The narrator, a Korean American woman living in Berlin, is obsessed with Moon: anything not-Moon in her life fell away when she beheld the K-pop idol in concert. Moon dances as if his movements are creating their own gravitational field. Seized by ineffable desire, she begins writing Y/N fanfic-- in which you, the reader, insert [Your/Name] and play out an intimate relationship with the unattainable star. When Moon suddenly retires from the wildly popular K-pop group, the woman journeys to Korea in search of the object of her love. She locates the headquarters of the company that manages the boyband; at a secret location, together with Moon at last, art and real life approach their final convergence. -- adapted from jacket… (mere)
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» See also 1 mention

Viser 3 af 3
I absolutely adored this.

At the risk of sounding horribly, horribly pretentious (and not caring!), Y/N can definitely be categorized as a contemporary symbolist novel, verging on pure surrealism. Was it absolutely perfect? No. But it was an incredibly thoughtful and cutting look at contemporary loneliness, love, and what that looks like when it becomes obsessive and impulsive. The novel reminded me of Djuna Barnes' surreal-symbolist-nightmare take on love/obsession in her book Nightwood, and while not as polished, absolutely digs into the weeds of a destructive emotional state that leaves you high as a kite and unutterably altered for life.

Unfortunately, I also understand the poor ratings: this is not an easy book by any means to get through, and when taken seriously, is quite symbolically dense. Focusing on something as internet-y as K-pop and then drowning it into such a heavy literary style is just not going to work for most people, and it's a damn misfortune.

Anyway, Y/N has an incredibly strong voice and Yi should be very proud of this. I recommend this to others who are, obviously, into dense literary styles and enjoy modernism, but are also happy to see this approach through a contemporary lens. ( )
  Eavans | Mar 26, 2024 |
I think that, at the core of this book, there was an interesting idea that had the potential to make a fascinating exploration of fan culture and identity and obsession. But the prose here is so absolutely bogged down with its own convolutedness that making heads or tails of the actual plot is next to impossible. There were a couple moments where I thought, “Oh, that’s a great line/neat idea” but then I have to spend the next 10 pages trying to mentally unwind the knotted tangle of story the author dumped down in front of me. Also, the side characters in this novel are absolutely UNBEARABLE.
Kudos for the core idea and some wild writing, but I thought I was going to give myself an aneurysm reading this. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
Y/N by Esther Yi snuck up on me and before I realized it, I was hooked. The writing is wonderful and the story just makes you keep going.

Unlike the mystery or suspense page-turners, this was more of a "what am I reading" type. Not in a bad way. More like when you really like a dish but can't quite figure out either what is in it or what appeals to you about it. A bit absurdist, definitely surreal, and if you use a very loose definition of magical realism even that fits. Yet even when you're in the world of the work, or the work within the work, you never feel like this is entirely unrealistic. Our inner worlds often distort the real one. Writing that inner world makes it twice removed.

While I will widely recommend this book, I also know that some readers won't be hooked immediately, which means they may not get hooked. If you start this and don't feel compelled to keep going, I suggest setting it aside for a couple of weeks rather than either plowing ahead or dismissing it. A fresh start might do the trick, but I don't know if this is the kind of story that should be plowed through.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Sep 14, 2022 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Esther Yiprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Me, KyungOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Oriolo, RichardDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Rodrigo Corral StudioOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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"Surreal, hilarious, and shrewdly poignant--a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction."-- The narrator, a Korean American woman living in Berlin, is obsessed with Moon: anything not-Moon in her life fell away when she beheld the K-pop idol in concert. Moon dances as if his movements are creating their own gravitational field. Seized by ineffable desire, she begins writing Y/N fanfic-- in which you, the reader, insert [Your/Name] and play out an intimate relationship with the unattainable star. When Moon suddenly retires from the wildly popular K-pop group, the woman journeys to Korea in search of the object of her love. She locates the headquarters of the company that manages the boyband; at a secret location, together with Moon at last, art and real life approach their final convergence. -- adapted from jacket

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