Almond by Sohn Won Pyung


The book is about a young boy name Yoonjae, who suffers from Alexithymia – it is a condition where a person is having the difficulty in identifying and expressing emotions. Alexithymia is caused by a part in the head called the amygdala, which unfortunately not developing or the size is too small causing the brain cannot receive or transfer perfectly any stimulation. The shape of the amygdala is like an almond, which is where this title comes from. 

So, Yoonjae cannot clearly feel what happiness, sadness, love, and fear are. He doesn’t know why people laugh or cry, he doesn’t know how to respond to any specific situations. His mother then started to make a note, she wrote down samples of situations and paired them with how Yoonjae should react. For example, if someone laughs then you have to laugh too, and if someone compliments you handsome or smart then at least you should say thank you, etc. 

Due to a tragic accident, Yoonjae lost his grandmother and put his mother in a coma. This situation forces him to live independently. Then Yoonjae met Gon – a troublemaker kid, attend to disrupting class, bullying friends. Their first initial relationship was a bully and a victim, but soon afterward their contradictory character makes them learning from each other and forming a friendship. 


Knowing this book because RM, Suga, and J-hope from BTS were reading it in their show ‘In the Soop’ and they say this book is good.  And of course, I (as an ARMY) immediately looked for it. At first, it was difficult to get one coz it was already sold out ( imagine the impact from BTS!), but glad I finally got it. 

BTS reading Almond
BTS reading Almond

Well, my happiness to get this book it’s not in line with what I feel after reading it. I am sorry but I have to say that it’s just as same as other books about friendship, nothing special. It’s interesting only at the beginning, where ‘Yoonjae’s weirdness’ got him into trouble like this case : 

“Yoonjae found a young boy who passed out in the alley, in the midst of confusion what should he do, he saw a small store and told the Ahjussi (means middle-aged man) in the store to call the police because the young boy could have died. But because of Yoonjae’s flat face and his calm speaking, the Ahjussi didn’t take it seriously. Though, he still reported to the police but keep watching TV while waiting for the police to come. Soon, they know that the young boy is Ahjussi’s son who eventually died because it’s late to get help”

A piece of the story above is interesting, isn’t it?  Get you into curiosity about what else can happen to Yoonjae….. but stop hoping because there are no more tense stories like that until the end of this book. The next stories are just a plot of friendship between Yoonjae and Gon. There is also Dora, a girl from school whom Yoonjae has a crush on, but no stories about them anymore (suddenly disappear).  

I wish the book would be more in-depth about other stories that could possibly happen to Yoonjae. In the end, my final conclusion is this book loses its charisma, but at least I learned a new thing called Alexithymia. 

Book Rating 

2.5 from 5 stars

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Author: QiuQiu

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