The Eyes Are the Best Part (Hardcover)

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The Eyes Are the Best Part By Monika Kim Cover Image

The Eyes Are the Best Part (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Dead men don’t cat call and eyeless men can’t gaze. Propulsive and righteously unhinged, The Eyes Are the Best Part is a condemnation of systemic prejudices faced by Asian women in America, a middle finger to fetishization and male entitlement, and a nod to trying to keep it together when the universe seems hell bent on pulling it apart. And holy moly, talk about visceral suspense! You’ll feel this one in your throat.

— Kerry H.

Okay, so my bookstore cohort - Kerry Halls - beat me to the punch on this one and did a better review of it than I ever could, 'cause horror's in her blood! Well, in her mind at least. Korean-American serial killer - fed up with ogling men - decides to.... well, get revenge. If you're into horrific tales, you'll love this! (Right along with Kerry!!)
 

— Linda Bond

“Violent, smart, gruesome and wildly original, this novel pulls readers into a horrific world of murder and cannibalism while also critiquing misogyny, exploring Asian fetishization and stereotypes, sharing what it’s like to navigate two cultures and telling a touching story of a family in turmoil.”  —New York Times Book Review


Crying in H-Mart meets My Sister, the Serial Killer in this feminist psychological horror about the making of a female serial killer from a Korean-American perspective.


Ji-won’s life tumbles into disarray in the wake of her Appa’s extramarital affair and subsequent departure. Her mother, distraught. Her younger sister, hurt and confused. Her college freshman grades, failing. Her dreams, horrifying… yet enticing. 

In them, Ji-won walks through bloody rooms full of eyes. Succulent blue eyes. Salivatingly blue eyes. Eyes the same shape and shade as George’s, who is Umma’s obnoxious new boyfriend. George has already overstayed his welcome in her family’s claustrophobic apartment. He brags about his puffed-up consulting job, ogles Asian waitresses while dining out, and acts condescending toward Ji-won and her sister as if he deserves all of Umma’s fawning adoration. No, George doesn’t deserve anything from her family. Ji-won will make sure of that. 

For no matter how many victims accumulate around her campus or how many people she must deceive and manipulate, Ji-won’s hunger and her rage deserve to be sated. 

A brilliantly inventive, subversive novel about a young woman unraveling, Monika Kim’s The Eyes Are the Best Part is a story of a family falling apart and trying to find their way back to each other, marking a bold new voice in horror that will leave readers mesmerized and craving more.
Monika Kim is a second-generation Korean-American living in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. She learned about eating fish eyes from her mother, who immigrated to Los Angeles from Seoul in 1985. The Eyes are the Best Part is her first novel and you can find her at monika-kim.com.

Product Details ISBN: 9781645661238
ISBN-10: 1645661237
Publisher: Erewhon Books
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
Praise for The Eyes Are the Best Part

★ “Kim has burst onto the psychological horror scene with an expertly constructed, visceral debut . . .[the] perfectly executed pacing ensnares readers even as the story’s palpable anxiety evolves into repulsion, daring them to pull their eyes away . . . Kim has written a novel that every library needs to own.” —Library Journal, starred review

“A new voice in horror tells a gripping psychological story about how one woman is driven to do the unthinkable . . . Horror fans will enjoy getting to know this new author, and readers of thrillers will enjoy the unreliable narrator and the pace.” —Booklist

“Monika Kim’s bold, brutal novel The Eyes Are the Best Part sears with feminine rage and unflinching body horror . . .[It] bites a chunk out of the horrors of being young and marginalized, licking its lips all the while.” —Foreword Reviews

The Eyes Are the Best Part is a story of rage: feminine rage, cultural rage, obsessive rage. Monika Kim does not shy away from these feelings, just as she does not shy away from her depictions of Ji-Won’s urges . . .I am truly surprised this was a debut, and cannot wait to see what this author does next.” —The Fandomentals

“Monika Kim’s debut is scary, gross and gripping. With themes of immigration, racism, sexism and family trauma, it centers on a woman’s descent into a dark, hungry and violent obsession. This is feminist serial killer horror not to be missed.” —Ms. Magazine

“A new voice in the feminist horror genre, Monika Kim is one to look out for (eye pun totally intended).” —Pyschopomp

“A tense, harrowing nightmare of a novel. Monika Kim gives us unraveling sanity, grotesque obsession, and the suffocating ignorance of toxic men. A terrific debut! I can’t wait to see what she does next!” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones
 
“Obsessive, grotesque, and never predictable, this is a horror debut to sink your teeth into.” —emily m. danforth, bestselling author of Plain Bad Heroines
 
“A book that does more than grab hold; this debut will impale you. An obsessive, undefinable wonder, Monika Kim shows that you only taste what you're willing to take. Suspenseful horror that is love at first sight.” —Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Queen of Teeth

“Visceral, disgusting, glorious. I loved this book and every character in it. Monika Kim’s sentences are superb, and I was riveted and nauseated from the very first page. Keep your eyeballs fixed on Kim, she’s without a doubt one to watch!” —CJ Leede, author of Maeve Fly

“I savored every moment of this suspensefully deranged tale, all the way up to its bloodcurdling conclusion. Monika Kim is an exciting new entrant to the genre, and I am ravenous for what she's planning to serve up next.” —Victor Manibo, author of Escape Velocity

“A deliciously disturbing dive into a mind warped by pain, anger, and a most unusual craving.” —Johnny Compton, author of The Spite House

“The Eyes Are the Best Part is part fever dream, part downwards spiral that masterfully explores the pressures of being an elder sibling, the turbulence and pain of fractured families, race and misogyny, and immigration. Kim has written a character who readers will love, hate, and will want to hug tight and never let go.” —Ai Jiang, Nebula finalist and author of Linghun
 
The Eyes Are the Best Part is a suspenseful ride, cranking up the tension as Ji-won takes ever greater risks to satisfy her cravings. Bloody, angry, and vengeful, it skewers expectations at every turn.” —Kerstin Hall, author of Star Eater
 
“An immersive tumble into darkness. Monika Kim has crafted a terrifying examination of the malevolence of bigotry and misogyny along with an unforgettable heroine. I couldn’t stop reading.” —Kristi DeMeester, author of Such a Pretty Smile