3 out of 4 stars
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Life is rarely one big fairytale where we all get happy endings on the first try, and R.L. Lee's All My Love, from The Land of Morning Calm proves that. This book hits you with life's realities in the world of romance but also gives you hope to defy all odds of achieving what you want for yourself.
Cara didn’t even consider falling in love until she met Youngblood. A bit of naïve and carefree, Cara decides to leave the university and marry him. Their adventure in love suddenly takes them to South Korea when Youngblood was assigned there when he completed his pilot training in the U.S Air Force. However, things begin to change in the foreign land. Youngblood easily dismisses Cara for the sake of his friends, always getting drunk, and goes into bars. Finally had enough, Cara files a divorce. Without knowing anyone and barely understands the language, can Cara survive on her own? Will she be able to find love again? Or was falling in love the worst mistake she had ever done in her life?
This book is full of plot twists. Just as when I thought it would be a happily-ever-after, something suddenly happens in Cara's life. The plot thickens as the pages are flipped, making it impossible to put it down. In addition, Cara's character is superb. She's a woman of strength that breaks down the stereotypes set by society. She knows her value and her worth, and she refuses to go down without a fight. However, no one is perfect. She might be a strong independent woman in her work and her beliefs, but she is easily fooled by her feelings towards love. It doesn't make her character unlikable though, and I think it makes her even more relatable to the readers. Moreover, the people Cara meets along the way of her journey in South Korea have their own stories to tell which made the book even more interesting.
Another appealing trait of this book is the setting. The author did a great job in describing the country and introducing the Korean culture. The country is being described through Cara's eyes and why she has fallen in love with it and its people. Anyone who is not familiar with it would be fascinated as they read along.
The issue I have with the book is that it was a bit slow-paced in the middle part and accelerated near the end which made the ending seemed rushed. Also, the author's style of writing is like putting dots separately and then connecting them in the end. For example, the author introduces this character to Cara's life, but then he disappears on the next chapter. Then another one comes, getting entangled in Cara's life, and then vanishes again. It was frustrating for me because the romantic flow was being interrupted.
There were no noticeable errors found, and if it weren't for the scattered characters and slow-paced part, I would have given a perfect rating. Hence, I give All my Love, from The Land of Morning Calm a 3 out of 4 star rating. There were some explicit scenes involved so it might be inappropriate for the younger audience. If you love a hopeless-romantic kind of story or a giggly romance, then I'd recommend this book to you. However, if you're looking for a more steamy and passionate kind of romance, then maybe you won't be interested in this.
It's not as romantic as I thought it would be but it is fascinating in its own way. It reminded me that finding love is not always what we see in movies and fairytales. Its rawness about life can really hit a reader's heart. With that, I would like to leave you my favorite quote from the book:
Do you agree?Love is capricious and irrational… it makes fools out of us all
All My Love, from The Land Of Morning Calm
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