The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Lee Geum-yi looks into reality through ‘Deleted Scenes’

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : June 30, 2023 - 16:03

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"Deleted Scenes" by Lee Geum-yi (Munhakdongne Publishing)

"Deleted Scenes"

By Lee Geum-yi

Munhakdongne Publishing

Social media has deeply embedded itself into people’s lives. We find ourselves selecting and editing the best photos, anxiously refreshing our account pages while waiting for comments and likes. The trend is apparently influencing teens as they grow up.

Children’s literature writer Lee Geum-yi is back with a new full-length young adult novel, “Deleted Scenes,” that delves into the world of social media with a thought-provoking narrative that questions our ability to distinguish edited portrayals and unfiltered reality.

The story follows Sun-woo, your average middle school teenager, who edits videos for Seo-bin, the school’s student council vice president and star of a rising YouTube channel. In the videos, Seo-bin leads a seemingly perfect life: he is good-looking, gets impressive grades and even his squad -- the group of friends that he hangs out with -- are popular. And Sun-woo is the one selectively choosing the best shots and editing the scenes to construct the perfect image.

Sun-woo gradually realizes the stark disparity between people’s lives as presented in social media and their realities. As Sun-woo grapples with the disorienting gap, an unforeseen incident shatters Sun-woo’s school life. He then revisits the original, unedited footage and discovers a surprising truth that he had not noticed before.

Lee, best known for the historical novel, “The Picture Bride,” is seen as having pioneered and expanded the genre of children's and young adult fiction in Korea. She was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2020 and 2024.