The Vegetarian

Han Kang, Deborah Smith (Translator) ☆☆☆☆☆

Due to the sexual and abuse-containing content, this novel may have triggers, and therefore, I suggest this novel for NA readers and older YA readers.


When a person undergoes such a drastic transformation, there's simply nothing anyone else can do but sit back and let them get on with it.

Wow. What a novel. 

The Vegetarian features the story of Yeong-Hye and her family and the consequences of YH's revelations and rebellion against meat. After seeing nightmares night after night about animal cruelty and meat, YH reforms her appetite, which causes her and her family members' lives in modern Seoul to spiral towards a devastating and hopelessness tragedy of insanity and abuse.

Firstly, upon reading this novel about metamorphosis and the rebellion of a quiet housewife, I felt shocked... yet satisfied. The poetic voice of the novel, and the well-written perspectives of YH's husband, brother-in-law, and sister, allow an unique story-telling and emotional read. The novel grabs the reader's attention from the beginning and does not let go until the end; there's no turning back once started. 

What I enjoyed most about this haunting novel is that while YH's personality remained disturbed and mysterious, the narration of her family members was so distinct and allowed subjective experiences of madness and raw emotions.

To sum up this novel in a few words, I would say this novel is addicting (in an unsuspected way), poetic, and disturbing. I definitely recommend this as a novel to read in 2018 if you haven't already!