I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki:

Further conversations with my psychiatrist

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Pub Date 6 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2024

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The sequel to the Sunday Times and international-bestselling South Korean therapy memoir, translated by International Booker Prize–shortlisted Anton Hur

     When Baek Sehee started recording her sessions with her psychiatrist, her hope was to create a reference for herself. She never imagined she would reach so many people, especially young people, with her reflections. I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki became a runaway bestseller in South Korea, Indonesia, and the U.S., and reached a community of readers who appreciated depression and anxiety being discussed with such intimacy.

Baek’s struggle with dysthymia continues in I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki. And healing is a difficult process; the inner conflict she experiences in treatment becomes more complex, more challenging. With this second book, Baek Sehee reaches out to hold the hands of all those for whom grappling with everyday despair is part of a lifelong project, part of the journey.

The sequel to the Sunday Times and international-bestselling South Korean therapy memoir, translated by International Booker Prize–shortlisted Anton Hur

When Baek Sehee started recording her...

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ISBN 9781526663658
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 47 members

Featured Reviews

It's not often that you can so clearly see someone improve not only at their craft, but in a sense ... at life.
I WANT TO DIE BUT I STILL WANT TO EAT TTEOKBOKKI is a stellar follow-up to Baek's first book. It manages to maintain the kind of vulnerability and transparency that the author has accustomed her readers to, which also feeling both deeper and lighter (to me at least). There is something so fulfilling in witnessing our author's growth and healing and watching her be able to look back at herself and her experiences with the different kind of clarity brought on by that.
It's an honour and a privilege to walk alongside Baek Sehee and hold one another's hands on the wild journey that is the human experience.

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I loved the first edition of this series, and was so excited when I saw this second edition on NetGalley! I loved hearing the raw and honest experiences with the psychiatrist, and found comfort in her introspective recounts.

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I remember reading the first book and feeling such a wave of relatability and that feeling is still very strong with this second book. The rawness and honesty coupled with this journey of healing is something many of us need right now.

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I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki was my absolute favourite non-fic read of 2023. It resonated with me so much on a personal level, and I loved how honest and open and raw Sehee was when discussing her own mental health. This book dives into more conversations with her therapist and they are just as important and necessary and bold as the stories in the original book. I know that this book will help others as much as the original, and honestly as long as Sehee feels comfortable sharing these conversations then I will continue to read them for as long as they are published.

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC!

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This book is honestly so refreshing. I felt seen when reading — especially when talking about the workplace. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in the things I feel, and that Baek Sehee is right there with me feeling all the things too. Definitely a 10/10, I would recommend this far and wide.

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Incredibly moving and insightful this book had it all. I thoroughly recommend it to all. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for a review.

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The follow up to the similarly named hit, this book continues baring the authors mind, soul and heart in a startling open, honest and raw account of her struggles with mental health, depression, body image and stress through deeply authentic recollections and transcripts from her appointments with her psychiatrist.

Like the first, the transcripts aren’t the most stimulating parts to read as they are just a record of a conversation; but stay with it because it’s so worth it to not only see the authors own progression through relapse and recovery but to find an oddly comforting catharsis in knowing that it's not just you - someone else has gone through it and survived.

Much like it's predecessor, this isn't the most lighthearted of reads but Sehee's voice makes it so much easier, offering comfort and understanding throughout and always being a hopeful voice even in the darkest moments. This book is a testament to the fact that healing and recovery aren't linear, easy things but they are possible.

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This book encapsulates sound advice on navigating life and different obstacles that come your way.
I felt like I related to some of the things in the book and they resonated with me, be it the positives or the negatives.
I love the layout of the sessions as well as little prologues before each session. This is beautifully done and I'm so so glad you are on your way in your mental health journey. What a book 🥰
I will say there is a mistake on page 181, where it is "Me:" talking but it says "Psychiatrist:" - just incase you are able to fix it in any way and wanted to be told.

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I really enjoyed, if that is the right word, this book - it was interesting to pick up the story from the first book and see how success isn't always a good thing.
I think the thing that impressed me the most however was the complete openness shown as it becomes clear that recovery is not a linear process and that often we are own worst enemies

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This second book felt more or less like an extension of book 1: more therapy sessions, more reflections. I really like how accessibly these books portray therapy sessions, and I like how much awareness this creates. I've seen some mixed reviews but I think it's really interesting to see such an honest portrayal of depression.

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This is the second book in this series, the author talks more about her mental health and her struggle with her dysthymia. As a psychology major, reading books which talk about mental health from the perspective of people who struggle and live through it, so these two books were quite insightful. So I would recommend it to people who wanna know more and people who have dysthymia or any depression.

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Baek Sehee's sequel "I want to die but I want to eat tteokbokki 2" continues her journey understanding and supporting her mental health, with the help of her psychiatrist. Personally I preferred this sequel as she continues her story with new knowledge of what she is facing. Sehee deals with the realistic ups and downs of mental health, discussing her experiences with the reader, and impacts on life around her.

4 ⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley, Baek Sehee and Bloomsbury for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed the first book from this author, and the second book was just as great!

this was a continuation of the first book, and it was really interesting to see the author's journey continue from book 1 to book 2.

thank you so much to net galley for this arc! :)

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I enjoy the author's matter-of-fact writing style. The book is almost mundane but it so insightful and encouraging that it keeps to reading.

This was a continuation of the first book, and I think it's great to see the author continue her journey.

Thanks: Received from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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The first book was relatable to me... and this second one is even more!

I understand why many people can't relate, and why people didn't like the first book. Because what Sehee talks about is not for everyone and this one does go more in-depth than the first one. You need to be open to the idea that what Sehee was going through is very common, but not a thing that is discussed so openly these days. Concerning her home country, nowadays there are more books, k-dramas and even some idols talking about these struggles and I hope one-day things get better in terms of mental health over there and, of course, everywhere.

Anyway, the conversations with her therapist were so nice to read, if nice is the right word for such an intense journey. Sehee develops self-awareness that makes her start making some changes for the better in other aspects of her life. That gave me hope since I read this when I was feeling very hopeless and low, with lots of intrusive thoughts and all-time high anxiety. This book was like a hug for me and I felt understood.

On another note: Anton Hur's translation is superb, as usual!

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I loved the first Baek’s book as it was so relevant, raw and relatable. So, when I saw that there was going to be a second one, I had to request a run on NetGalley to request it as soon as it was on there.

I devoured it in a few hours and honestly, it didn’t disappoint. It was still raw and relatable with so much heart and soul. It wasn’t an easy read at all. The author and her psychiatrist pick up where they left it in the first book but this time digs much deeper into the challenges surrounding depression and anxiety. Readers also see the honest and sometimes not pretty journey of living and healing from depression.
I loved how honest Baek is about her mental health challenges and struggles, as it is nice to see people talking about it honestly and openly, whilst also removing the stigma surrounding it. I really hope that there will be more books like this on our shelves in the near future as we need to be open and transparent about mental health.

However, it is not an easy book to read. It does dig deep into mental health, depression, anxiety, body image and other topics that surround mental health and its challenges in the 21st century. So, before reading I would recommend people look up trigger warnings. I hope this book creates much-needed awareness and encourages more people to open up about their struggles.

Also reading this book I noticed that Baek’s writing, especially the reflections developed and deepened in comparison to the first book. I also enjoyed that the structure and style of this book were the same as the first book, as it felt like I was actually just picking up the first book and continuing where I left off.

Overall: Really liked reading this book, although it wasn’t the easiest read it was needed and very relatable. Loved how this book portrayed the challenges of depression and mental health in an honest, open and transparent way, yet wasn’t afraid to dig deeper with some of the topics. Definitely recommend it to everyone, as it is a very important read for mental health awareness!

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The book delves into the realm of psychology, offering readers a fascinating exploration of the human mind. Through its characters and narrative, it delves into complex psychological themes, unraveling the intricacies of human behavior, emotions, and thought processes. Readers are invited to contemplate questions of identity, perception, and consciousness, as the story delves into the depths of the psyche. With insights drawn from psychology, the book offers a thought-provoking journey that sheds light on the inner workings of the human psyche, leaving readers with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

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I was so delighted to get approved for this arc (Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher). I also received an arc for the first book so I was so excited to receive this one.

It absolutely warms my heart to see the growth of the author through the book. She is so refreshingly honest about her experience with depression and is incredibly brave for releasing it in a book format.

I appreciate the way she describes depression throughout the book and how she knows she won’t be cured because it can’t be cured and that she has her bad days and her better days. She wasn’t afraid to write about some really dark thoughts that a lot of people wouldn’t even want to confront and I commend her for this.

Some of it is relatable to everyday life in a way that you may not have ever thought about it that much but once you read it you just kind of go “huh”.

There’s something truly inspiring about reading her books and actually seeing the change in the author and how she changes her mindset slowly. There are setbacks but there always will be and seeing her being able to accept this and think about it more in depth than she would have before made me start crying.

I would recommend to people to be careful of trigger warnings before reading this book but if you are okay with them, this really is a fantastic read that has the power to completely change you’re perspective on some things in life.

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One day, I decided to randomly go into Netgalley and scroll through the titles and see what else was new. That’s when I saw Baek Se Hee’s second book was going to be translated into English. Without thinking, I found myself requesting the title, and soon after, I got an email confirming I could read a copy in advance. This is why I am going to start with a thank you to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for granting me early access to the author’s story in exchange for a honest review.

Book Title and Cover

The title is a hit. Honestly, it stands out like a red rose in a thorny bush. It comprises two sides of a coin: death and life. It’s antithetic and this is why it won me from the get go. It also hints at the struggles the author encountered, which are quite relatable for most of the South Korean population, first of all, and then to some of the people on the rest of the globe. For me, it was rather intriguing, as it reminded me of the spicy taste of the rice cake dish, of its reddish hues, and the initial struggle to keep the pain away. I originally thought it was more of a question of whether or not to keep eating it or give it up, endure it through the tears, or use it as a distraction. I figured it would be a metaphor. One which I loved a lot.

Then, there was the cover. A very simplistic one, although very effective through its design. There are hints of growth, longing for a better life, resisting the urge to go to Hades, and look for the positivity beyond the pain. I also very much like the character design, the lines and soft colors, as well as the expression and posture chosen to illustrate the two weights awaiting the final decision.

Book Format, Language & Thoughts

Unlike my usual preferences and reviews, this is a self-help book which consists of the author’s reflections and talks with her psychiatrist, a reason why I find myself needing to change the review’s format just a smidge. The truth of the matter is… I don’t fare well with self help books. I take ages to read them. I get bored with them. But then again, here I am. Reading this book. Going through the pages at a very quick pace, finding myself wanting to turn page after page after page. If I had the time, I think I would have only stayed glued to my screen, taking in each sentence, each word, each feeling, and every hurt. For me, it all flowed very smoothly and turned rather addicting. I only had to put it down due to my other engagements.

At a first glance, the book is rather short, standing at around 200 pages, but depending on your triggers and strength, you might need to put it down and go at a slower pace through it. In terms of structure, each chapter follows a topic, opening with a few sentences describing an incident and the ulterior thoughts the author had on them, followed by a transcript of the discussions she had with her therapist.

The topics are varied, from self harm and suicide, to self esteem and eating disorders. Naturally, there are chapters where we get to witness all of the negativity the author faced and struggled with, but also her way of dealing with everything, from having conversations with herself, to spending time ruminating. While discussing each topic with her therapist, the medical professional, first of all, listens, then tries to offer advice and guide her patient through the difficult time. Medication is also mentioned, as well as the trials and errors with each of them, without any names being mentioned. What I actually liked most was that Baek Se Hee was talking about her struggles very bravely and naturally with her therapist.

While reading the book, I have to admit, there was not a time I didn’t think of My Happy Ending, a K-drama I watched back in February. I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki evoked a similar image to Jang Nara’s portrayal of Seo Jae Won, a woman tortured by her own mind and the turbulence life threw her way. The book, overall, was exactly like eating a plate of spicy rice cakes. It made me feel the pain and sadness the author went through. There were a lot of moments where I felt sorry for her, but at the same time, related to some of her struggles and cheered her on, silently.

I also liked how she slowly came to acknowledge that growth is non-linear and that one day she might be feeling down, and the next, she would feel okay. I was also glad she didn’t end her story on a positive note of “hey, you know what, I am cured now~”, and instead maintained it as a constant day-to-day work in progress, with the only difference that the good days are more prevalent.

There were definitely a lot of good points and experiences she presented which can serve as inspiration to anyone having a hard time, or going through similar hardships to hers. Overall, I think of this book as a beautiful black rose under the glinting sun, a rose I would love to have on my shelf one day.

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I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki is the follow-up to Baek Sehee's hit book I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, and follows the same formula: her conversations with her therapist, split into chapters that have short reflective beginnings and ends. As in the first book, this focuses on her depression and anxiety, but it also explores disordered eating, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts, and it is important that people are aware of this going in, given that a lot of the book is her narrating these experiences to her therapist.

Personally, I like the bitesized format of the chapters, and though the first book didn't quite live up to the hype (or the brilliant cover) for me, I found this second book to feel a bit more complex. This book is very much a continuation of the first one, though it delves perhaps a bit deeper into the challenges of mental health treatment. Because of this, it is ideal for fans of the first book, especially people who found it powerful to see one woman's experiences with therapy laid out this way, and once again, it does not suggest that there is a simple or easy route to healing, but instead looks at the complex process through one person's life.

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This poignant yet humorous novel navigates the complexities of life through the lens of a young woman grappling with depression. Baek Se-hee’s writing effortlessly blends dark humor with moments of genuine vulnerability, creating a deeply relatable narrative. As she navigates relationships and confronts her inner demons, readers are taken on a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Baek Se-hee’s ability to tackle heavy themes with wit and authenticity makes “I Want to Die but I still Want to Eat Tteokbokki” a captivating and thought-provoking read.

Thank you to @netgalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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