This book tells the story of a high school girl, Park Miin. Park lives a kind of tough life because her name is Miin (meaning "the beauty" in Korean), although she is not even as beautiful as the average girls. However, she happens to work part-time at a strange cafe called "The Law of Beauty," where she learns many things about appearance and beauty.
- Book Intro
This book describes the agony of teenagers wanting to belong to somewhere and to be recognized. Park Miin lives a kind of tough life because her name and appearance don't match well. She thinks if she becomes like Jeong Hayan, who has both a beautiful name and appearance, she won't be teased anymore and will find a boyfriend.
Many teenagers get plastic surgery to make them good-looking. Instead of making a quick judgment about plastic surgery or criticizing lookism, the author rather provides a new perceptive on the reasons for them getting plastic surgery - that it's not as simple as wanting "a good appearance." It may be a way of seeking companions and a sense of belonging.
The real reason Park wants plastic surgery is that she wants to belong to a squad. It is part of her attempt to settle in with the same age group. Such attempts to belong somewhere and be recognized can take other forms. Kim Mina and her squad bully Park to reconfirm their solidarity. Kim Seunga walks on eggshells around the Kim Mina squad. She can't decide whether she should support Park or not. Classmates of Park and Kim decide not to stand out because none of them wants to be alone. The author gives a sharp, yet not-so-serious analysis of the agony of teenagers who want to belong to somewhere and be recognized.
Realistic characters and a straightforward writing style unique to the author make the story more interesting.
In the center of the interesting story are the suspicious cafe, "The Law of Beauty," and its owners, the siblings Baek Yudam and Baek Rokdam. They are not particularly good-looking, but super attractive: they know the importance of living together with others, but they don't care about gaining popularity; they have a perverse attitude towards wrong trends, and they warmly comfort others when necessary. These attractive characters add a fresh tough to a familiar topic. Spending time with them teaches Park how to be truly beautiful.
After all, this is the message that the author wants to deliver through this book: You feel agony when you can't love yourself, and therefore you should try to accept your true self and find your own charms. The lesson, "If you lose confidence in yourself, the whole world becomes your enemy," deeply touches readers' hearts. Again, the book is a fight song for teenagers striving to get over their complexes.
- About the Author
When Na Yoon-a was a third grade elementary student, she read an article about the famous writer Joan K. Rowling. From that moment, Na dreamed of becoming a writer. She likes reading about the things she has never experienced, and she would like to write various kinds of stories. She is particularly interested in teenagers' minds. She studied Counseling Psychology at university and currently works as a professional counselor for elementary students in addition to writing. She won the 3rd Life Literary Contest in 2010 for her short story Swallow the Peppermint Candy, and her other short story, A Young Lady's Olive, was selected at the Juvenile Digital Writer Contest in the same year. She has written A Pianist in a Construction Site and Hi, Nana.
Korean School Library Association, 2018, Recommended book
School Library Journal, 2018, Recommended book
Happy Reading in the Morning, 2018, Recommended book (for teenagers)