Almond

Almond

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. 

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space.

Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae. 

Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero. 

The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

Title:Almond
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780062961372
Format Type:

    Almond Reviews

  • Katelyn

    Unabashedly here one week after Yoongi was caught reading this on the In the Soop preview. Sad to say, this book would’ve absolutely slipped under my radar otherwise. This is one of my favorite read...

  • Jessica

    I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (HarperVia).This book is why I love international books. They’re always so different from what is traditionally published here in America a...

  • Jenna

    Even though I know book blurbs can't always be trusted, I'm a sucker for ones that compare said book to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I just can't help it. I loved that book. So i...

  • Nenia ? I yeet my books back and forth ? Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestThe amygdalae are two almond-shaped nodes in the brain responsible for the processing of emotion, most notably fear. ALMOND is a book about a...

  • David

    It's a revelation! After a month of reading Korean works in translation and just soaking in that feeling of "han" it's nice to get what is essentially a sunny middle-grade read! I mean it is still Kor...

  • Lata

    A low-key book with sadness and hope, despite its moments of violence. Yunjae is a quiet observer of his own life, commenting rationally about people’s negative reactions to him (Yunjae doesn’t ex...

  • AnnaLuce

    Written in a simple and crisp prose Almond is a slim novel that is primarily concerned with empathy and human connection. Yunjae, the narrator of this story, was born with underdeveloped amygdalae, wh...

  • Kalyn?

    “This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me.”This book made me cry.I really loved the relationship between Yunjae and Gon. Like the translator, I t...

  • Sonja Arlow

    This felt like a watered-down version of Wonder.You have a middle school kid with an odd disease that prevents him from making friends and blending in. I just found it a little too cutesy for my taste...

  • Annabella

    The first two-thirds (basically part 1&2) of this book was easily 5 stars for me but then it unfortunately went a bit downhill.The premise promised the deeper exploration of a very interesting friends...