First of all, let’s all agree on how absolutely, drop dead, breathtakingly gorgeous the cover is to this book. Well done to the illustrator, where ever and who ever you are, you have brought joy into my life by your art!!! There were some mixed reviews about The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, some of my friends really liked it while others not too much. This made me adjust my expectations to the book, but I bought it because I thought hey at least, it’s gonna make my bookshelf look very pretty.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is a retelling of Shim Cheong, the classical Korean story about a girl name Shim Cheong who threw herself into the Indang Sea so that her blind father can see again. As a result of this dutiful act, Shim Cheong is resurrected, becomes an Empress, and her father’s eyesight is restored.
As wonderful as that plotline sounds, I must admit I did cringe when I read the original story. And so I was very glad to be reading this retelling by Axie Oh in which Mina, another girl, decided to jump into the sea so that Shim Cheong could live and be happy with Joon (Mina’s brother).
Under the sea, Mina comes across various adventures which lead her to love and undoing a century long curse upon the Sea God and her country.
For some reason, I couldn’t fully connect with Mina. However, I did quite like Shin, the main male character. I found the story to be a bit slow at first, but it definitely picked up at halfway point to an exciting ending.
I read this book after I binged on Under the Queen’s Umbrella (a highly recommended period Korean drama), and this book did kind of soothe the dark hole in my soul after having finished an unforgettable series. Plus, like I said, how can I say no to that cover.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is the second book I’ve read by Axie Oh (the first was XOXO), and I’d definitely read more books by her in the future.
PS: Am I in my Kpop era? You bet.