I can’t say that The Fold was one of my favorite books that I’ve read recently, but it did give me a new perspective on a few issues. It tackled racism and self-image very well.
Joyce’s aunt won the lottery, and gives gifts to all of Joyce’s family. She gives Joyce a plastic surgery package for a procedure called “the fold.” Apparently I’ve never noticed this, but many Asians have an double eyelid. Some don’t, and Joyce is one of them. She has never been asked out, and she thinks getting the surgery will help her look more like her older sister. She realizes that she didn’t even begin to think about her face until her Gomo made an offer. The entire book is about the decision, as well as learning to accept herself.
I did not enjoy the brief vulgarity of the first chapter. The book was very clean other than that (it’s not too bad at all, just a few unnecessary swear words) and the first chapter just didn’t fit. The end was predictable, and I felt like the book needed a stronger climax. The plot felt half-formed, with the reader knowing the ending, and the subplots being predictable as well.
I do recommend this book for a few reasons though. I did learn many things about Asian culture and pressure to look a certain magazine Asian way. I never knew about eyeliner tattoos in their culture and even learned a few new words. Joyce has an intriguing voice that lacks the self assurance many teen novels portray. I don’t think self assurance in a main character is a bad thing, but many teens don’t have it.
I’ve never read any books by An Na before, and The Fold didn’t spark my interest to read others by An Na.
Comes out April 10th, 2008.