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 provide him with a safe and content life. 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.

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 they develop a surprising bond.

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 at risk, Yunjae will have the chance to step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become the hero he never thought he would be.



This book felt frustrating because it was beautiful and captivating, but also very underdeveloped about what it means to be and feel human.

It is still a good read with how the author can produce a range of complex emotions from empathy to literally no empathy. They can masterfully convey the difficulty in comprehending the complex idea of emotions and the different reactions of different people in specific situations.
Yunjae, our MC, was born with Alexithymia, a condition where he is incapable of feeling or expressing emotions. His mother and grandmother try to help him get a grasp on some sense of normalcy, but everything takes a turn for the worst when he witnesses a violent attack that kills his grandmother and puts his mother in a comatose state. Yunjae is juxtaposed with Gon, a bully he ends up befriending who endured a tragic childhood. The two boys- one overflowing with emotions and one with none at all.

However, what I loved the most was the chaotic duo that is Yunjae and Gon. This dynamic between someone who barely feels anything and someone who feels so much was so intriguing. The contrast between Yunjae and Gon’s personalities, their backstories, and the way you can see their friendship develop and see just how over time, they slowly begin to care for each other. I just got attached to them. Gon understands that this is Yunjae, that he can’t feel and he is okay with that.
My favorite scene would have to be the butterfly scene. Despite all this though, I have major problems with a specific arc in the book.

I hated the Dora arc. This arc felt very underwhelming, very rushed, and underdeveloped.
I wholeheartedly think that arc shouldn’t exist and instead, be replaced with pages that help to flesh out more of Gon and Yunjae’s relationship. This arc was used as a pivotal point despite it making no sense in the context of the story.
If there was a need to create a pivotal point to incite change in Yunjae, it could have easily been Gon, the person who Yunjae has spent most of his time with, developing a relationship with.
It felt very cheap, having a barely developed romantic love be the thing to ‘fix’ Yunjae.
Not with an underdeveloped character that adds nothing to the story. There doesn’t even need to have this sudden change, it could be Gon’s rage finally horrifying Yunjae at his impending downfall.
But it also would’ve been just fine if Yunja

The ending is very rushed and is too neatly concluded. It fumbled at the end with its perfect conclusion with little to no repercussions. It was a bit too convenient and relied heavily on plot convenience.

But despite all that, it is an easy and lovely read, with easy-to-understand prose paired with likeable characters. (well most of them are likeable). Would recommend this lovely piece of work to anyone looking for a light and simple read. (It's also been read by Yoongi and Namjoon!)

Book Details

Published: 05 May 2020
Page Count: 272 pages


Content Warning Summary

  •  Violence
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Murder