Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com
What would you do to be beautiful?
Joyce, the main character of An Na's new book, THE FOLD, is facing that question. Joyce, who is Korean, is going to be a senior in high school in the fall. Her Aunt Gomo has won some money and has scheduled a surgery to put a fold in Joyce's eyes.
I wasn't sure what a fold was but I am lucky to have a Mongolian exchange student living with me and she was able to explain. Solongo, my exchange student, said that she was lucky to have natural lines in her eyelids, but many of her aunts and cousins do not, and they are very concerned about not having them. It was very interesting and made the book more accessible for me.
Joyce has a big sister, Helen, who seems to be perfect, and Joyce feels that she is living in her shadow. Joyce also has a giant crush on a boy in school named John Ford Kang. John doesn't even know that Joyce exists. Joyce thinks that maybe, if she gets the fold, then John will realize that she is there -- but she really doesn't want to go through the surgery. The book then deals with this subject from the points of view of many other different characters.
I loved this book. I enjoyed the main characters, Joyce's family is funny, loving, and very open-minded. Gomo is demanding, but upon hearing her back story she seems to be someone with a very big heart. I enjoyed the scenes at the Korean church and how everyone knew everyone else's business. This book educated me a little about Korean-American culture. I was surprised to hear how they want to look European, while I always think that they are beautiful!
Thank you, An Na, for the wonderful story. I am now going to read your other books.