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The Fold

The Fold
Author: An Na
ISBN 13: 9780399242762
ISBN 10: 399242767
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: 2008-04-10
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 192
List Price: $16.99

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?

Printz Award—winning author An Na has created a surprisingly funny and thought-provoking look at notions of beauty, who sets the standards and how they affect us all. Joyce's decision is sure to spark heated discussions about the beauty myths readers confront in their own lives.

Publishers Weekly

The Printz Award-winning author of A Step from Heaven goes lightweight, or lighter, in this story about a Korean-American teenager whose wealthy aunt has just won a lottery and offers her plastic surgery for double eyelid folds. On the one hand, Joyce longs to be as beautiful as her perfect, high-achieving older sister, Helen, but she can't stand pain. Yet how else will she attract her handsome classmate, John Ford Kang, who confuses her with their ugly Korean-American classmate? Then again, does she really want to be like Aunt Gomo, who has had so much cosmetic surgery that Joyce and her younger brother have nicknamed her Michael "for the singer who had altered his appearance beyond recognition"? In creating her bumbling, would-be Everygirl protagonist, Na gives only surface attention to the issues she raises: the pressures of conventional standards of beauty, especially Western demands on Asian women; conformity versus individuality (Joyce is the last in the family to discover that Helen is gay). Joyce remains focused on appearances, being rude to the generous, sensitive boy who has cystic acne, liking John Ford Kang for his looks and learning tricks to make her eyes appear less Asian. By the end, the suffering of supporting characters seems to have been airbrushed away. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

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