Joyce has never been one to give a second thought to how she looked. Always feeling "pretty enough" and perfectly fine with her Asian heritage, Joyce seems like a confident and secure teenager. Unfortunately, when Joyce becomes romantically interested "JFK" or John Ford Kang, a gorgeous older guy she goes to school with, all that confidence gets thrown out the window. Suddenly Joyce feels awkward in her own skin and begins comparing herself to all the other girls at school, as well as her beautiful older sister Helen, and wonders why JFK doesn't seem to know she is even alive.
When Joyce's Aunt wins the lottery and decides that she is going to spend her money bettering her family, including finding a marriage match for Helen and providing expensive vitamin supplements to Joyce's younger brother. Joyce is thrilled, wondering what exactly is in store for her, though a little wary once she finds out. Joyce's Aunt tells her that she is going to pay for a controversial eyelid surgery, in which a fold is created, making the patient appear to be more American, less Asian, and supposedly "more beautiful" overall. Joyce now has to struggle with the biggest decision she's ever faced; does she want to look more beautiful and American and have JFK finally notice her? Or does she want to remain plain, old Joyce?
Though written on a very serious subject matter, An Na has created a light and often humorous story line. Joyce has all of the same emotions and fears as most teenagers today, including body image and impressing romantic interests, definitely making her relatable to today's girls. Though I have heard of it being done, I enjoyed learning about just how big this eyelid surgery has gotten in the Asian and Asian-American cultures and how much these women are willing to risk in order to appear more beautiful. An Na definitely gives us a glimpse into the process of making a decision to have plastic surgery, the benefits, the disadvantages, and the risks. This book great for young adults and something I would probably have my daughter read...if I had a daughter that is :-). For now, I'll just recommend it to my teen readers!
The Fold by An Na, will be published in April.