Pumpkin Time by Gaedarae

Title: Pumpkin Time

Author: Gaedarae

Synopsis: Taeju and Haewon were best friends growing up. One day, Taeju moves to the United States. Years go by without any contact, until Taeju suddenly comes back to Korea in search of his best friend. But what happens when his male best friend is now a high school girl!?!


Let’s say Pumpkin Time was an experience. It was good but lacking. The best way for me to explain my feelings towards this story is to go all in. So, unfortunately, that means there will be spoilers because I’m going to talk about everything. So if you prefer not to be spoiled because this is on your TBR, you should not continue past this point.

Starting with…

The Main Issue

I’m going to start with the most prominent issue within the story. Haewon has suddenly become Haeyoon. They don’t really say how or why this happened, but my guess is that she was always a girl. I have a theory, and it may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to give it to all so.

The Theory:

Haewon’s dad isn’t in the picture at all. I feel like her mom wanted Haewon to be a boy in an attempt to persevere a part of the missing father. So when she was younger, it was easy to pull off. Not to mention the fact that Haewon enjoyed sports and was a bit of a tomboy. When puberty hit, her gender was undeniable. While young Haewon was confused, her mother was in complete denial and seemed to be more hysterical than her. 

So here we have Haewon/Haeyoon, who has this twisted mind-frame that she has to give up all the things she loved because she’s no longer a boy. Her childhood Bestfriend and baseball. The whole time her mother watched her child struggle with her identity for years.

So when Taeju comes back, not only is Haewon having an identity crisis. He now has to deal with the anxiety of Taeju discovering he’s not physically a “he” anymore.

Moving on to …

The Main Characters

Haewon/Haeyoon

Throughout most of the series, Haewon had to figure out her gender identity. I loved watching her come to terms with who she was and who she wants to be. But, I can’t help but feel like the series ended right when she was finally about to embrace herself. I would have loved to see her come out of her shell and live her best life.

Taeju

Taeju’s character development was practically non-existent. While I love my pansexual king. His whole personality was finding his childhood friend and baseball. It wasn’t until Haewon told him the truth that I really got a glimpse of the Dom Daddy he could become.

Suji

Suji was supposed to be the antagonist. She started out understanding the assignment, but she never turned it in. I say this because, for a while, she played the role of crazy stalker girl well. Her destructive behaviors were escalating consistently.

Her crazy went to the extent of cutting her beautiful pink hair in the same style as Haewons and then just stopped. She suddenly had a change of heart and conceded to Haewon. I personally feel like she should have gone harder. I mean manipulating, kidnapping, threatening livelihoods. The whole obsessed girl shebang.

Sejun

Sejun’s character baffles me. I just couldn’t figure him out. As Suji’s older brother, he understandably disliked Taeju for apparent reasons. Only the reasons weren’t so obvious. His hatred towards Taeju went deep, but he surprisingly had a soft spot for Haewon.

It was almost as if he had a crush on her. Which, if I’m honest, that’s my canon ship. The age difference between them is a little sus, but the author doesn’t give Sejun a definitive age. Just know that he’s older; I’m letting it slide.

Conclusion

Pumpkin Time was a sweet slice of life romance. In my personal opinion, I feel like the ending was a bit rushed. I would have loved more character development from Taeju and maybe an epilogue. I also would have liked a definite explanation for Haewon’s gender identity crisis. Because wtf. I genuinely enjoyed the relationships between the characters. I feel like if the series continued on, they would have become a found family.

Until the next page,