Friday, May 15, 2009

Book Review: The Fold by An Na

The last day of Joyce's junior year ends in a social tragedy only a summer can cure. Now out $50 for an extra year book, and no closer to John Ford Kang than when she started, Joyce is not looking forward to a summer of careless working at her family's restaurant.

Helen, her perfect older sister, is busy with an internship and her younger brother Andy is off playing basketball all the time. Joyce feels like nothing she can do will ever make her as good (or smart or beautiful) as Helen, or have John notice her.

Enter Gomo (nicknamed Michael due to her love of plastic surgery), her wealthy aunt who wins the lottery and decides to each family member a gift that (Gomo thinks) will make them happy. For Apa, a new suit and Uhmma permanent make-up for her face. Helen is entered into a dating service and Andy is given pills that should make him grow.

Joyce is given surgery to get a fold added to her eyelid, that will make her look more like the Western idea of beauty. What sounds great, free surgery to make her look better, does come at a cost. Joyce looks at other women who might have had the surgery, and wonders if she could look like that as well. With help from her best friend, Gina, Joyce has to decide if she is going to get the surgery, and the choice isn't' as easy as Joyce wants it to be.

The Fold is a fun fast read that delivers a powerful message about beauty. This is one summer reading book that will make you think. Anyone who has wanted to look or just be different can relate to Joyce, and her struggle might make you rethink your definition of beauty.

I'll see you @ the library!
Katie (trying to decide to read Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena or Getting the Girl by Susan Juby)

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