Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Fold

Author: An Na

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Joyce never used to care that much about how she looked, but that was before she met JFK—John Ford Kang, the most gorgeous guy in school. And it doesn’t help that she’s constantly being compared to her beautiful older sister, Helen. Then her rich plastic-surgery-addict aunt offers Joyce a gift to “fix” a part of herself she’d never realized needed fixing—her eyes. Joyce has heard of the fold surgery—a common procedure meant to make Asian women’s eyes seem “prettier” and more “American”—but she’s not sure she wants to go through with it. Her friend Gina can’t believe she isn’t thrilled. After all, the plastic surgeon has shown Joyce that her new eyes will make her look just like Helen—but is that necessarily a good thing?

Review: I loved one other book that I read written by An Na and I thought this one sounded really interesting since I know a little bit about the fold's importance in Asian culture. I'm hispanic, but I also don't have a complete crease all the way to the very inner corner of my eyes. This book really seemed to be about a subject I was interested in. And overall, the concept was very intruiguing. But the characters were a tad difficult to deal with.

Joyce was surprisingly shallow. And although she fits the personality of those around her, and she was realistic, I thought she was unrealistically obsessed with John Ford Kang. Way obsessed. The writing is very emotion-based and solely takes Joyce's perspective which can be a bit overwhelming when she isn't being a very practical person. I did get the sense that this book was from the point of view of Asians in general and the beauty standards that don't include just being skinny, but having bigger eyes.

As Joyce's aunt pushed her to get the surgery, and people and school did too, Joyce starts to actually think things through. She begins to question herself and what it is she would achieve or lose through the surgery. The ending was expected and maybe a little bit cliched, but there were lessons learned on the part of many characters. Joyce still wasn't perfect, but she'd found a bit of her true identity and self-esteem throughout the experience of searching out the answer to getting or refusing the fold surgery. I think younger readers would enjoy the story while those interested in the subject may benefit from the perspective.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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