Cover Image: The Eyes Are the Best Part

The Eyes Are the Best Part

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Member Reviews

In the beginning, we meet Ji-won, our MC, and it seems life has dealt her a not so great hand. Not only is her family poor, but her father has gone off to start a new family leaving Ji-won, her younger sister, and their mother feeling heartbroken, lost, and depressed. As life moves on and her mother brings a new boyfriend into the picture, Ji-won begins to unravel - having bizarre nightmares and disturbing cravings.

I honestly wasn't sure where this was going on the beginning! This was a long sloooow burn! But once the story picks up, it just takes off like a rocket! Great twists and an ending I definitely didn't see coming!

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Rating 4.75/5

Wheeeew! This one delivers that skin-crawling sensation - and, if that's your vibe, this book's a must. It's ingenious!

Dark and witty, it blends feminist psychological horror with crucial themes like racial fetishization, childhood traumas, misogyny, and parentification.
Ji-won, a Korean-American college student, juggles her own struggles while trying to take care of her mother and baby sister. But when her mom falls for George - a misogynistic, fetishizing piece of trash - their already complicated lives take a darker turn.

I won't spoil it, but let's just say there's some seriously creepy eyeball stuff going on, and it's a blast to read through all its gore.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Really loved this one! My expectations for this novel from the summary alone were already high but after finishing, they were greatly exceeded and I am now obsessed. This will likely be top five if not my favorite new release of 2024.
There is a level of skepticism I hold toward current novels that self identify with the feminist label as sometimes the insertion of these themes into the story has the potential to overshadow or take away from the plot line if not done correctly. Many fiction authors struggle to find ways to factor in diversity and identity politics without coming across forced or clunky, Monika Kim has perfected the balance of making a novel that is simultaneously a thrilling page-turner, nauseatingly graphic at times and also socially conscious. Her ability to seamlessly blend the elements of anti-Asian racism and fetishization that Korean American women face into disturbing horrific scenes was beyond impressive. Righteous feminine rage and an undying hunger for revenge, I will be incessantly recommending this to everyone who can stomach it and keeping my eye out for more releases by this author!
Massive thanks to NetGalley and Erewhon Books for the e-ARC!

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This book was like a fever dream. I couldn't tell real from make belive. It was an absolute spiral and I enjoyed every second. I felt like I was in the mind of a murderer. And ate up every disturbing moment. This was a equally trilling and horrific. The Eyes are the Best Part will no doubt be in my top 5 reads this year!

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Oops, I read this over a month ago and forgot to post my review here!

This book ABSOLUTELY will be on my list of fantastic books about unhinged women.

Monika Kim explores very serious and upsetting themes of misogyny, sexism, race fetishism, etc., but puts a wickedly gruesome, dark spin on it. An incredible debut novel!

The cover tells you what you're gonna get; it's a lot of eye gore, considering our main character becomes obsessed with the though of eating beautiful blue eyeballs...gag. And let me tell you, I was cheering her on the whole way!

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I feel like this book had a lot of promise and I'll definitely read more of Kim's books when they inevitably publish them.

However, I felt like key parts of this story were rushed. I was invested in the protagonist and really loved following her story but I struggled to understand her motivation.

Overall, I'd still recommend this book but with some caveats.

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4.5 stars

Look. College is tough. So is divorce. So are cis het white men in their early 20s who consider themselves "woke." Ji-won knows all of this, and so does her ideal audience. No one can blame her for how she responds.

When the novel opens, circumstances are dire. Ji-won is living in relatively tough conditions with her younger sister and her mother, who is reeling from her father's recent departure. Ji-won's mom's solution to terror? Eating fish eyes. At first, both daughters find this act horrific, and Kim is going to pepper your nightmares with graphic sensory details about exactly how it feels to do eat the titular food. Things change for Ji-won, though. Her life continues to unravel in expected and unexpected ways, and her eyeball repulsion morphs into an insatiable craving. What'll she do to get those eyeballs? Well, read this book, and you can join me in the intense pleasure of finding out.

This is an absolutely riveting and revolting read. For me, some of the most successful horror creates opportunities to sympathize or empathize with the character who is perpetrating the most sinister wrongs. That happens here.

I will keep my eyes peeled (sorry) for anything Kim has to offer in the future.

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It took me a little while to get into this and I wasn't quite sure what kind of book I was reading. However, once things really got going, I was gripped right through to the end. I thought Ji-won was a fascinating character and I really enjoyed the fever dream quality of the narrative as it progressed. It meant as the reader you were never convinced whether things were really happening or whether Ji-won was imagining things. The men in the book were decidedly unpleasant, particularly George who made my skin crawl every time he was on the page. I thought the action and pacing in the second half of the book were great and I really liked how things ended. I would definitely recommend this one.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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I don’t even have words, this book was all things creepy and weird. It made my stomach roll but I loved it.

Thank you netgalley for my arc.

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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy for an honest review

The eyes are the best part was really good, I really enjoyed reading it

Rating 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Ji-won’s family was shattered when her Appa abandoned them for another woman, leaving their lives, particularly her Umma’s, in disarray as they waited for his return. Despite their circumstances, her mother always showed her love by preparing meals for them. Both Ji-won and her fifteen-year-old sister, Ji-hyun, detested fish eyes, cringing as their mother crunched them between her teeth. However, when Ji-won finally tried them, they became her obsession—eating eyes. This synopsis offers a glimpse into a gripping tale filled with gore and body horror, reminiscent of Jennifer’s Body and other narratives of female rage.

Monika Kim gave us a painfully accurate depiction of racism and the obsessive behavior of white men towards Asian women. The dynamic between the daughters and their mother was also authentically Asian—messy, lacking in communication, but that’s how they show love. I just wished these characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. And although I loved the body horror this book gave me, I couldn’t ignore the simple writing style and its comical characters. Sometimes I cringed with them, and it feels too YA for my taste. The ending was also quickly ended, that it almost feels anti-climactic, and didn’t pay off the whole story. I could see other people like this if they’re new to the genre, but for me, it’s a mid-range horror/thriller story.

𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘒𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺, 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦-𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸.

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I have had this book on my list for a while so I was so excited to read this and I was not disappointed. It was a very interesting read and I definitely haven't read anything likes this before. I loved this book because of how unique it was and I think it may be my favourite one 0f 2024 so far.

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OMG THIS WAS WILDDDDDDDD. A college student who becomes obsessed with eating blue eyes as the creepy men around her drive her insane, I was actually reacting to this out loud like Holy fuck…So So So So Good.

thank you to netgalley and kensington for the arc!

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Basically good idea let down by middling execution and an unsubtle hand with moral and political themes.

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The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim is a debut psychological horror that follows Ji-won, a young college student who has had her life upended after her father walked out on her family. When Ji-won’s mother begins dating a new man, Ji-won becomes fascinated with his blue eyes.

I loved this book. It was gross and weird and had some great commentary on racism and feminism. The body horror made me squeamish a bit but it wasn’t as over the top as I was expecting it to be.

It takes a little while for this book to really get going. There is a lot of time spent getting to know Ji-won and her family. Ji-won also has vivid dreams that make it hard for her to distinguish what is real and what isn’t. This book has that slight fever dream vibe that I love to see in horror.

I think people are either going to love or hate this book. Even though they aren’t similar, I would say fans of Maeve Fly would probably enjoy this one too!

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The Eyes Are the Best Part is a horror novel following Ji-won, a college student thrown into the deep end with her parents’ divorce. After her father leaves them abruptly, she’s left with a desolate mother and confused little sister.

In comes in George, a white man who quickly takes a liking to Umma, her mother. She immediately clocks his weird obsession with Asian women as overt fetishization, but is forced to accept him into the family as her mother is too afraid to be alone.

This book was everything I look for in a horror novel and more. It’s full of gore (fair warning if you're squeamish), shocking twists, and really interesting commentary on racism. Definitely gives good for her/unhinged female character vibes. I loved it!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Erewhon Books for the e-ARC!

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Ji-won is angry. Her father has moved out to be with his mistress leaving her to console both her mother and younger sister. She's in her first year of college and is struggling with her grades. All of her high school friends have moved on, no longer needing her in their life, and she's fed up with all of it.

Then three months later her mother begins acting differently. She often overhears her on the phone in the bathroom giggling leaving Ji-won to wonder if she's met someone.

And she has. George. Let's just say when Ji-won and her sister meet George they are less than impressed. He's a white man that is obnoxious, opinionated, and that has a fetish for Asian woman and he makes them both sick with his lingering gaze. Imagine their surprise when their mother tells them he's moving into their home.

"God. I thought I was in a nightmare." "I didn't mean to scare you." "You? Scare me? he scoffs. "what's there to be afraid of? Little Oriental girls are nothing to worry about." "Oriental? What am I, a rug?" "You young kids get offended so easily. And at the silliest things. Back when I was a child, 'Asian' and 'Oriental' had the same meaning. He shakes his head and sits up. "It's nothing to be offended about. Like the word 'mongoloid'."

His words hit me like a physical blow. I should have killed you in your sleep.

There is one thing George has that Ji-won wants more than anything and that's his succulent bright blue eyes. Oh, how tasty they must be. 👀

We've all met men like George before. He's disgusting and despicable in every way imaginable so I was happy to root for Ji-won to take this bastard down. Ji-won is, after all, one of my new favorite unhinged narrators. This book touches upon sexism, racism, misogyny, and culture and Kim does an excellent job exploring all those avenues.

Beware, this is also not for the faint of heart. Gory depictions of eyeballs galore. Just look at the cover (I love it! 😍) and you've got an idea of what your getting yourself into here.

An amazingly wild debut. I'm excited to see what Monika Kim treats us to next. I know I'll devour it. *GULP* 4 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for my complimentary copy.

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“The Eyes Are the Best Part” by Monika Kim follows Ji-Won, a college student whose life begins to unravel when her father unexpectedly abandons the family. Dealing with the pressures of passing her courses and keeping her distraught mother & younger sister afloat is already tough enough; things become more intense when her mother moves her newest boyfriend George into their cramped apartment just a little too quickly. Angry at the world around her, Ji-won’s rage begins to bubble to the surface, and her hunger will not go unsatisfied.

This is a very slow burn full of female rage. This story is different from others in its subgenre, because Ji-won’s slow building anger is the more quiet type of rage. It manifests in her manipulating the people around her while still having her moments of violence. She’s cool, calculated, and slightly unhinged. She’s honestly really fun to follow, and I found it so easy to get wrapped up in the shifting family dynamics. This one is more family drama with some feminine rage mixed in than straight up horror, but still was a delight to read.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this one early!

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I think this book was very cool to read and I see some influence of other authors like Murata.

The characters were nice and I felt I could emphasise with them well but it took a while for the story to hook me in and it made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have.

Despite that, it is still worth reading and I recommend it highly. If you like grotesque then this is definitely for you!

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This sublime story treads the fine line of horror and drama with such precision and thoughtfulness.. I'm excited to follow Ms. Kim's trajectory. Stunning debut!

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