Reviews

Oh, Never Mind, by Mary H.K. Choi

haileyrt's review against another edition

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emotional sad slow-paced

3.0

spiralnode's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted fast-paced

4.0

Mary H.K. Choi has my heart. She writes in a way where I just get her, we're on the same wavelength. I like her ideas, I understand her thoughts, and I empathise with her insecurities. And 'Oh, Never Mind' is a collection of autobiographical essays on several topics: relationships with parents, the connection with the location you live in, the relevance of work on your authenticity and eating disorders. Similar to 'Yolk', it's outspoken and potentially triggering if you're sensitive to any of these topics.

I had to cackle that this is a Kindle Unlimited exclusive... I had to dig out my Kindle and get on the free subscription for x months because it was the only way I could access this book. Such a shame, and sadly it did feel a bit rushed and done on commission, even though still charming and witty. It's more so that Choi's input remains limited to a level of superficiality.

For example, the common thread running through each of the essays was that she's decided to move to Los Angeles after 12 years in New York City. There's a couple of sentences about self-importance, but other than that, her reasoning seems circumstantial at best, maybe starting over on a clean slate. As much as I appreciate Choi's voice, and even how it comes through here, I want more. More content, more context, more insight - it feels so insubstantial and yet I'll take every nugget of how her brain works.

tarynwanderer's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced

3.0

alindstadtcorbo's review against another edition

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4.0

Star Rating —> 3.5 Stars Rounded ^

*Note: Possible triggers for some more sensitive readers ! The author does NOT hold back, and the writing is raw & most-times gritty in content. If profanity bothers you this is definitely not for you. Just a warning.*

An unabashedly honest- I mean seriously, no holds barred, AT ALL -& the best kind of snarky, yet somehow charming short story memoir on being a Korean woman living in America, & living in New York- and how that affected Choi’s life from her teens to 12 years later, when she moved to LA to write full time.

She talks about the different jobs that she went through, the boyfriends she dated (mostly, for far too long), the pressure of her mother, struggling with bulimia, & dealing with others’ perceptions of her as an Asian young woman/ woman (because the fact that you’re Asian is all people usually see, no matter where you are from) in America.

It is at its heart, a story about how happiness is the key to living a fulfilled life & becoming acclimated to the fact, which she came to learn from her quite lengthy time living in New York, that you shouldn’t take anyone else’s judgements to heart.

As she so bluntly puts it-
“I don’t take anything personally anymore because there’s nothing special about your crazy when everyone everywhere is out of their fucking minds.”

soupstix's review against another edition

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funny reflective medium-paced

4.5

god, choi is so funny and sharp. this is the kind of read that’s over before you know it. also, reading this little insight into choi’s life after reading two of her novels really contextualizes the kinds of characters she decides to bring to life and how she decides to tell their stories.

tl;dr: i love this woman

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jadejesus18's review against another edition

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4.0

It made me laugh and it made me miss the east coast desperately. I think I’m feeling the opposite of Mary. I hate the west.

radiantrox's review against another edition

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4.0

A humorous "farewell" letter to New York City from the POV of a 20-30 something woman. I enjoyed how concise and relatable the stories were.

thekarpuk's review against another edition

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4.0

I feel like I just got one half of a really good dinner conversation here, which is probably one of the more positive experiences I've had with a Kindle single.

"Oh, Never Mind" seems like it shouldn't work as well as it does, because superficially these essays are essentially just Choi shooting the shit about her life up to this point.

But I bought it for the same reason I kept reading it, Choi's style. It's breezy but not superficial, with interesting insights and a good flavor for setting and pacing. It really does fulfill that old trope about how good writing is like good conversation.

More than anything, it just disappointed me to find out she didn't have any books out yet, so I'll just have to keep an eye out for new releases.

postcorporeal's review against another edition

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3.0

too short to really be distinguishable (or rather really go into any topics that might make it such)

carissas's review against another edition

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4.0

Read in one sitting, entertaining and honest