Saturday, June 20, 2020

Graphic Novel: Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju & Ryan Estrada

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "When Kim Hyun Sook started college in 1983 she was ready for her world to open up. After acing her exams and sort-of convincing her traditional mother that it was a good idea for a woman to go to college, she looked forward to soaking up the ideas of Western Literature far from the drudgery she was promised at her family’s restaurant. But literature class would prove to be just the start of a massive turning point, still focused on reading but with life-or-death stakes she never could have imagined.

This was during South Korea's Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protestors. In this charged political climate, with Molotov cocktails flying and fellow students disappearing for hours and returning with bruises, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. When the handsome young editor of the school newspaper invited her to his reading group, she expected to pop into the cafeteria to talk about Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Scarlet Letter. Instead she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. And as Hyun Sook soon discovered, in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.

In BANNED BOOK CLUB, Hyun Sook shares a dramatic true story of political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading."

My Review:  Honestly, when I first picked up this book, I did because of the title, having not read the synopsis. I had no idea how much politics were going to be in this book, but it wasn't a bad thing. It is amazing how this true story still has a connection and an impact today. This turned out to be a very timely book to read. I had no idea how much of an impact protests and young generations of university students had on the political climate in South Korea. I did enjoy the art style but with some of the smaller frames it was difficult to identify the various characters. Overall, this was a really good graphic novel and, like I said earlier, a very timely one.

My Rating: I found this to be a really interesting and eye opening read.  It was not a graphic novel you pick up and just power through in a single sitting, it takes more time to absorb.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about the authors on their Goodreads pages: Kim Hyun SookKo Hyung-JuRyan Estrada

Banned Book Club was just released on May 19th, so you can pick up your own copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.  You can also request it at your local book store or comic book store or library.

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