The Best Girls
Inspired by a true event, this powerful short story from the author of National Book Award finalist Pachinko explores the meaning of patriarchy and the cost of female silence through the eyes of a dutiful young girl.An excellent student from a poor, traditional family in Seoul, the narrator has absorbed the same message her whole life: Only a boy can provide the family with dignity and wealth. Not her. Not her three sisters. Receiving approval only for uncomplaining sacrifice, she has resolved to take on her family’s troubles. She is a good girl. And she knows what good girls must do.The Best Girls is part of Disorder, a collection of six short stories of living nightmares, chilling visions, and uncanny imagination that explore a world losing its balance in terrifying ways. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single disorienting sitting.

The Best Girls Details

TitleThe Best Girls
Author
ReleaseJun 27th, 2019
PublisherAmazon Original Stories
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Audiobook, Horror

The Best Girls Review

  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    Another good one in the collection. Young girls make a surprising decision when their parents experience a downturn of fortunes. Affecting because it rings true...4+ StarsListened to the audio book.
  • Renee (The B-Roll)
    January 1, 1970
    The first installment of this collection is called The Best Girls.  This story focuses on a Korean family and their struggles to make ends meet after financial problems and losing their house.  The family, which includes two grandparents, two parents, three daughters, and one son, follow traditional Korean family norms in which the son's education is prioritized and he is expected to help carry the family though as we get older.  The daughters, on the other hand, are expected to attend school un The first installment of this collection is called The Best Girls.  This story focuses on a Korean family and their struggles to make ends meet after financial problems and losing their house.  The family, which includes two grandparents, two parents, three daughters, and one son, follow traditional Korean family norms in which the son's education is prioritized and he is expected to help carry the family though as we get older.  The daughters, on the other hand, are expected to attend school until 6th grade, where afterward the family must pay tuition.  They are expected to take care of whatever housework the grandmother doesn't do.  Along the same lines, the oldest daughter is expected to take care of the younger siblings, except the son.  This story is really heavy and to be honest, the ending caught me by complete surprise.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting since this was the first novella from this collection that I read and any descriptors given on Amazon are not very detailed.  While it isn't very long and there isn't much time to develop atmosphere or characters, I love the attention to small details and how those come back around later.  While the story itself is interesting to read, it is the way it is written and the hook at the end that really made this one stand out for me.As a start of this novella collection, it came off as a really strong one for me.  I am still a little wary of what to expect from the five other novellas in this collection, but if it is as gripping as this one, I am in!
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    Didn't expect that ending... yikes.Well written, though I had a bit of trouble keeping the girls' names straight. ----Plot/characters: 3.5 starsNarrator: 4 starsWriting: 3.5 stars*Read for free with Kindle Unlimited and Audible for the audiobook *
  • Satomi
    January 1, 1970
    I found this story from the Disorder Collection (amazon originals included in the prime read or kindle unlimited). Since I read “Pachinko” of this author, I decided to read it. It was super short and I felt it was not enough, but the aftertaste of this one was heavy. There are six short stories in this collection. Only two pulled my attention. The other one I want to read is the Lauren Beuke’s Ungirls.
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  • Angela McVay
    January 1, 1970
    A very good shorty story that I listened to while doing chores.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
    January 1, 1970
    I cried when I read this. It reminded me of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. While this is billed as fiction, I think, sadly, all around the world, people are pushed to make similar desperate, hard choices that they shouldn't have too.
  • Dee Cherry
    January 1, 1970
    This first short in the Disorders Collection was well told and quite sad as this eldest daughter of 5 story is told. Although she was brilliant in school, it was overlooked and presented more as a curse. Story held my attention, especially the ending, which was unexpected.
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  • Nadine
    January 1, 1970
    The same quiet, calm, unflinching voice as Pachinko. I haven't made up my mind about whether the last two sentences were a good idea......
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I love Korean culture, so I decided to read this book when I saw it was available on Amazon Prime.We’re never told of the narrator’s name, only that she is a sixth grader. More importance is put on the sons of the family. Our narrator’s family is poor. In order to help with the money problem, our narrator makes a shocking choice.This is a very short story, but it is written very well. I felt like I was in the story. It is a sad story though.
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  • Brad
    January 1, 1970
    Quick and CaptivatingMoving and thought provoking story. As a pragmatic father of two girls, I find it heartbreaking that many cultures do not perceive value in gender equality. This story is unfortunately one of many, among many different cultures. Makes you appreciate what you have.
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  • Niamh
    January 1, 1970
    It was fine, I guess? Because it's so short, you really get nothing from it. I suspect I want this to be like a novella- a little bit longer so you can bury yourself deeper in the atmosphere and the story, but not full novel length.
  • Pamela Scott
    January 1, 1970
    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...This story gave me the chills. Seriously. The story starts off innocently enough, well not really innocently but not as dark as it turns out. A man is distraught when his wife has yet another girl. A much longed for son is finally born and is worshipped and adored. The girl’s, especially the narrator know they are a financial burden for their poor family. The narrator really pulled me into her story. She studies hard at school to get good grades but this c https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...This story gave me the chills. Seriously. The story starts off innocently enough, well not really innocently but not as dark as it turns out. A man is distraught when his wife has yet another girl. A much longed for son is finally born and is worshipped and adored. The girl’s, especially the narrator know they are a financial burden for their poor family. The narrator really pulled me into her story. She studies hard at school to get good grades but this causes even more problems. She must have cheated. She’s just showing off. She’s taking glory away from her beloved brother. The story takes a really dark turn at the end which made my flesh crawl.
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  • Chava
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. That ending...I don't know that anything could have prepared me for the chills that ran up my spine reading the final words.I'm a big fan of these Amazon short story collections. Even when a few of them are disappointing, I usually find at least one that I enjoyed, and they can usually all be read over a cup of coffee. So, chances are that I would have read this no matter what. But, because it was written by Min Jin Lee whose Pachinko is now one of my favorite books of all time (and sent me Wow. That ending...I don't know that anything could have prepared me for the chills that ran up my spine reading the final words.I'm a big fan of these Amazon short story collections. Even when a few of them are disappointing, I usually find at least one that I enjoyed, and they can usually all be read over a cup of coffee. So, chances are that I would have read this no matter what. But, because it was written by Min Jin Lee whose Pachinko is now one of my favorite books of all time (and sent me on a journey to learn more about Korea/Japan history), I dropped everything to read this.Min Jin Lee is a powerful writer, and this is no exception. Even in so few pages she expressed years and years of tradition, history, and tragedy. This book is a brief glimpse into the value of girls in a very traditional society where gender roles still are expected to be enforced.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    As someone who has read A LOT of fiction and non-fiction about Asia and Asian culture, particularly about the preference for male offspring, this one was surprisingly chilling and effective for its short length. In a word – haunting.
  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    The review of this was already going to be about how this isn’t something I’ve not already read a thousand times. The ending made it worse. If it weren’t for the flowery but simple prose this would be 2 stars instead of 3.
  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsThe Best Girls (Amazon Prime Reading Disorder collection) is a quick read, and if you have Amazon Prime, I recommend downloading the Audible narration. As others have said, it is a heartbreaking story.
  • Jami
    January 1, 1970
    This was my favorite of the Disorder collection. I like the cultural aspect of the story but what did it for me was the ending. I am usually this surprised by an ending, but the author did a great job with that ending!!!
  • Robin Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    Very cool to see this side of Min Jin Lee.
  • Michelle Kenneth - PerfectionistWannabe.com
    January 1, 1970
    OMG. I was not expecting the ending. I knew something tragic was going to happen before I even picked up the book, but OMG. I so wish this wasn't a short story. Min Jin Lee is such a wonderful author. I learn so much about the Korean culture from her. Just great work. This story though is just sad.This is poverty in Korea.
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  • Krystal Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    The ending! I know the purpose of these short stories is to shock and this one did it. She knew they were probably going to either starve to death on the streets or something worse, so she decided to poison her sisters, not out of hate, but to help her parents. It seems this is the type of thing that often happens in Asia (in this time period) when there are too many girls and not enough resources to go around. It's usually the parents who do this so I am surprised the eldest daughter did it.
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  • DALIP
    January 1, 1970
    Even Though This Story Has Been Written By A Korean Author Yet It Is Something That Can Be Relatable To Any Middle Class Family Across The Asian Sub-Continent. As The Menace Of A String Of Girls In The Family Getting Step Treatment While The Son Is The 🍎 Of The 👁. No Matter How Much Lip Service The Family May Offer That Their Is No Difference Between Daughters & Sons Especially If The Son Has Arrived After A String Of Daughters When Almost All Hope Was Lost And The Wait Was Eternal. What Act Even Though This Story Has Been Written By A Korean Author Yet It Is Something That Can Be Relatable To Any Middle Class Family Across The Asian Sub-Continent. As The Menace Of A String Of Girls In The Family Getting Step Treatment While The Son Is The 🍎 Of The 👁. No Matter How Much Lip Service The Family May Offer That Their Is No Difference Between Daughters & Sons Especially If The Son Has Arrived After A String Of Daughters When Almost All Hope Was Lost And The Wait Was Eternal. What Actually Happens Below The Surface Or Behind Closed Doors Is Only Too Well Known.If You Already Read Min Jin Lee Earlier Books You Would Know What Makes Her Such An Absolute Global Bestselling Author But If You Like Me Have Not Already Had A Taste Of Her Bestsellers Like Pachinko & Free Food For Millionaires Then Truly Indeed Best Girls Will On One Hand Come As A Whiff Of Fresh Air And On The Other Be A Harsh Reality Check As The Disturbing Climax Will Mirror How Differently Girls Are Treated From Boys In Lower Middle Class And The Lowest Strata Of Our Society Where The Son Is Always A Boon For The Future While Girls Are An Unavoidable Burden More So Where The Resources Are Limited And It’s The Girls Who Are Expected To Make All The Sacrifices Without It Even Being Spelt Out Or Said Aloud In So Many Words.Truly Min Jin Lee Makes A Powerful Impact As She Shows The Mirror On This Unspoken Curse In Many An Asian Family But It’s The Shattering Climax That Is Bound To Leave The Readers Speechless.. Am Sure If You Happen To Be An Asian Reader Then You Would Have Certainly Come Across Characters Like The Ones That Have Been Projected So Realistically By Min Jin Lee.If You Have Been Deeply Touched & Moved By This Soul Stirring Tale Then You Can Also Listen To It As It Shall Be A Truly Moving Experience Surrounded By The Rich Voice Of The Narrator Greta Jung. The Other Five Short Reads In The Disorder Series Are Also Available On Kindle As Well As Paperback & The Audio Book Too!!!
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  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I just got Amazon Prime and so I got to download this for free. There are six stores in this Disorder collection. At a blur of only 18 pages, it is a very, very short read. I actually read this as I baked cookies! I was blown away by the fact that this is inspired by a true event. It tugs at your heart strings! It is jam-packed with several colossal topics. (Gender equality, stereotypes, discrimination, poverty) A young girl in Seoul is telling this story and in turn shows what a living nig Wow! I just got Amazon Prime and so I got to download this for free. There are six stores in this Disorder collection. At a blur of only 18 pages, it is a very, very short read. I actually read this as I baked cookies! I was blown away by the fact that this is inspired by a true event. It tugs at your heart strings! It is jam-packed with several colossal topics. (Gender equality, stereotypes, discrimination, poverty) A young girl in Seoul is telling this story and in turn shows what a living nightmare it is to be a daughter and be in complete poverty. Being brilliant and head of the class still doesn't even begin to help her. The only person to bring honor and wealth to their family is the newest member, a boy. With all the terrifying things happening around this young girl, the last sentence will break your heart.
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  • Tania
    January 1, 1970
    Totally UnexpectedA young girl growing up in Korea shares the story of her life, including the family's joy when her parents finallh have a boy after the disappointment of 4 girls. The girl is intelligent, but she soon learns that is not her role in the family. Her role is to be dutiful, obedient, and above all make sure that her young brother has every chance at success. It's heartbreaking to see her take the hard knocks of being a girl in a society that values boys, to hear her reason out just Totally UnexpectedA young girl growing up in Korea shares the story of her life, including the family's joy when her parents finallh have a boy after the disappointment of 4 girls. The girl is intelligent, but she soon learns that is not her role in the family. Her role is to be dutiful, obedient, and above all make sure that her young brother has every chance at success. It's heartbreaking to see her take the hard knocks of being a girl in a society that values boys, to hear her reason out just what is expected of her and to take the action she sees as logical. Honestly the ending stunned me, and yet it is believable. It's terrifying to imagine this playing out in real life, and it's disheartening to know that girls continue to feel this lack of worth around the world.
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  • Anomaly
    January 1, 1970
    Sad and Chilling TaleThis is a sad and chilling tale of the effects of sexism, neglect, and depression on a young girl's psyche. I don't want to spoil anything, as I feel this story is best read without knowing what to expect.While certainly a quick read, this tale of poverty, family, and the impact of gender roles is interesting and evocative of emotions. There's Korean strewn throughout with enough context to get the gist of what the terms mean, but I used the lookup feature in my kindle often Sad and Chilling TaleThis is a sad and chilling tale of the effects of sexism, neglect, and depression on a young girl's psyche. I don't want to spoil anything, as I feel this story is best read without knowing what to expect.While certainly a quick read, this tale of poverty, family, and the impact of gender roles is interesting and evocative of emotions. There's Korean strewn throughout with enough context to get the gist of what the terms mean, but I used the lookup feature in my kindle often just to make sure I had proper understanding (and to broaden my knowledge).I liked this story quite a bit.
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  • Rebekah
    January 1, 1970
    This piece of short fiction is only 18 pages so it really feels like a skeleton of a story and because of that it doesn't make a big impact or feel very fulfilling. In a way, it mirrors the story that the grandmother tells - you're left wondering what happens to the family at the end. I enjoyed the writing itself, and it begins to feel out the issues of sexism in society and the place of girls, but there aren't enough pages to really explore anything in depth. This piece does make me excited to This piece of short fiction is only 18 pages so it really feels like a skeleton of a story and because of that it doesn't make a big impact or feel very fulfilling. In a way, it mirrors the story that the grandmother tells - you're left wondering what happens to the family at the end. I enjoyed the writing itself, and it begins to feel out the issues of sexism in society and the place of girls, but there aren't enough pages to really explore anything in depth. This piece does make me excited to read Pachinko, since I did enjoy the writing and the idea, I just felt the execution was hindered by the short length of the piece.
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  • BL
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book by this author Min Jin Lee. This story is a little out there for my taste but it is not so far that I cannot enjoy it. I was reading this as part of the Disorder Collection, and not sure I would have read it otherwise. I was surprised by the ending of this book, seemed to just stop. It was very disturbing, but I wanted to know more about what happened and if she went through with it. I was caught off guard and a little disappointed.
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  • Dori
    January 1, 1970
    Shocking ending!!This is such a sad story of a little girl born into a poor family, growing up in Seoul. In their culture, daughters were not celebrated or looked upon favorably, no matter how smart or talented they were. This is one girl’s story of her experiences growing up in Seoul. I don’t know the time period but my hope is that things have changed since the time of the story.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    The narrator did an amazing job telling this story, my review isn't about that. It reflects more of the nature of this story in general. Honestly it was not the best. It felt rushed and really short. I know it is a short story but it was not much of a story to tell. The ending is too rushed, almost feels unfinished. Would not recommend.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Well written but very sadShort story about the archaic belief that boys are more valuable than girls in a family. The parents give every once of love and attention to the sacred son while their daughters are no better than servants in the home. The eldest daughter's solution to the hostile environment for her and her sisters was truly heartbreaking.
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  • Patricia Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    A short story that reveals a lotThe story is short but teaches us many things about the Korean culture, the importance of the boys in the society and their role in the family, the sense of honor and loyalty. The story is strong, sad, the end is unexpected. Min Jin Lee did a great job. Very well written.
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