Gu Miyoung is a normal girl… or so everyone thinks. She’s actually a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must feed from the energy of men to survive. One night, she accidentally meets Jihoon in the forest and in saving his life, ends up losing her fox bead — her fox soul. Time is running out for Miyoung, but how will she and Jihoon navigate between the human and non-human world, as well as their growing feelings for one another?
Y’all… this book is what I needed for years.
The book is pitched as perfect for fans of kdramas and that cannot be more accurate. Not only is the book set in Seoul, something not often seen in YA lit, but features a full Korean cast and is full of food, language, and lots and lots of fantastic Korean culture. The descriptions made me feel like I was walking the streets of Seoul, and made me crave every dish described (please don’t read while hungry — you WILL regret it). I particularly loved the inclusion of Korean language and how the author didn’t italicize anything, a practice that some can find as “othering”. She included a glossary in the back of the book which is super helpful, as well as a couple of notes on Korean culture that may help you understand the book better.
And beyond that, it reads so much like a Korean drama. I can’t even describe how fun my reading experience was for that reason. Kat Cho plays around with a lot of kdrama tropes that regular watchers will know and love, but that also haven’t yet gotten their chance to shine in the book world. I adored seeing things like the headphone scene, the banana milk, the PIGGYBACK—!!! Ugh. Just take my heart now, Kat Cho.
Also, Miyoung has an IU poster in her room. What’s not to love???
The book delivers drama in heavy dosages one after the other in ways that left me screaming as I was reading. My heart could not take every twist and turn, to be honest. I want to personally apologize to my mother, who heard me crying and stewing in my feelings at late hours, and everyone on the MTA who endured my poorly-contained fits of emotion on my commute. Similar to watching my favorite kdramas, I found myself reeling at every new revelation, turning pages like my life depended on it to find out what would happen to my beloved characters. And, god, did I love those characters.
The two main characters are navigating so many difficult things — romantic relationships, friendships, the pressures of their upcoming final year of high school, paranormal occurrences, and family struggles, among other things. The family aspect is what got me the most out of everything. Both of the characters are dealing with feelings of abandonment from at least one parent, each case different yet similar enough that they can share that pain together. My heart ached for them, particularly Jihoon, who I have decided to protect at all costs. His family dynamic was the most interesting to me, with his absent mother being quite within reach, and his grandmother taking up the role instead. Jihoon’s halmeoni reminded me of my own in her protective and loving nature, and I think I connected with his family extra for that and a few other personal reasons.
Overall, I adored this novel. The pacing switched several times and always managed to keep me turning pages for that reason. Still, I think those who aren’t used to Korean dramas might find that it’s not exactly to their liking, and the amount of drama that happens might be a bit much as well. I’d definitely recommend this to kdrama fans who are looking for a fun supernatural read set in Seoul with a cute romance and lots of good food!
And now for some extra little fun things…
How could I not fancast this book? I felt so much like I was watching it only seemed appropriate. Without further ado, here’s my fancast for Wicked Fox.
Yes, I know it’s made up entirely of Produce 101/Produce 48 contestants but to be fair, the current season was airing while I was reading this and I’m obsessed, so.
Miyoung (Jo Yuri)
I can definitely see Yuri terrorizing men who have committed all sorts of crimes, and more than that, she has such a pretty and refreshing face that I can easily see those men underestimating her because of it.
Jihoon (Kang Minhee)
Minhee has all of the vibes I’m getting from Jihoon: charming, funny, and caring at the same time. I decided pretty early on that he would be the perfect Jihoon, and for the rest of the novel he’s who I pictured.
Changwan (Lee Eunsang)
Let me just cry for a moment over Eunsang, oh my god. He really grew on me in PDX101. His willingness to try anything and adorable smile gives me the impression of sweetness that oozes from Changwan, Jihoon’s soft and loyal friend.
Somin (Ahn Yujin)
Somin takes absolutely no shit, and I can see Yujin playing her perfectly. She has this spark that I think Somin also shares that allows her to take on anything and everything with ease. Somin is kind of my hero, jsyk.
Junu (Kim Wooseok)
Our handsome goblin! Wooseok has a quiet charm and allure that I think makes him perfect to play Junu. Also, he’s incredibly handsome, so there’s that.
You’ll notice I haven’t cast anybody as Yena, and that’s because I haven’t been able to think of anybody, but can you blame me? She’s terrifying. If you know anybody who has that much power, let me know.
Wicked Fox reading vlog, except it’s a k-drama
Want to watch my experience reading this book and crying at least three times? Click below to watch my reading vlog, which I tried my best to style like the popular kdrama “Goblin” in the beginning and ending. The keyword here is tried.