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The Fold by An Na

The Fold

by An Na

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Quiet and lovely- I never really understood the desire for "The Fold Surgery" before I read this book. An Na's story of a girl who is given the opportunity to change a major part of herself could have been written about _any_ girl in the world, but it is about a Korean teenager, Joyce Park.
Joyce's older sister, Helen, was the shining star of their high school(in looks, popularity, and intelligence- the HS Troika!), and Joyce wants nothing more than to be noticed for herself, not as Helen's little sister. Her plan for a summer makeover is incited by her crush on another one of her HS's "Beautiful Ones," John Ford Kang; she wants to be the kind of girl HE notices. Well, he notices her, all right- he just thinks she's someone else completely.
I remember that same sort of desperate longing to be just like everyone else in High School. I even tried changing my makeup and hair and clothes; after getting mocked for trying to fit in, I gave up.
Joyce doesn't give up- Fate has dropped an Opportunity in her path. Her Aunt offers her a gift of Blepharoplasty- to have her undergo san-ga-pu-rhee (the Korean word for blepharoplasty) in order to create a more "open" or "Western" eye- "The Fold" of the title.
Will Joyce undergo the painful surgery to change the way she is perceived by others, or will she continue on the infinitely more painful path of creating inner beauty? ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
oyce is Korean teenager living in California who hasn't ever particularly cared how she looked

"While Gina [Joyce's best friend:] and Joyce were similarly dressed in jeans and T-shirts, Gina knew how to go that extra step, with a nice belt here and a silver necklace there, so that Gina looked put together whereas Joyce felt like she barely hung together.

But then her aunt gives her what could be the opportunity of a lifetime: the fold surgery--a surgery to make her Asian eyes appear more Western. After living in the shadow of her perfect, beautiful older sister Helen for so long and having a crush on John Ford Kang the half Asian boy who seems to only date blondes, nothing could be better. Right?

Well, that's what Gina says Joyce isn't so sure.

My take; Between reading the summary on the front flap of the book and the Amazon summary, I'm not really sure what else is actually in the book. Between the two of them it's a bit of a 'Joyce thinks A so she does B and C happens and then D and then there's E but what about F and oh, yeah G'. Of course, there are some other things but I feel like the summaries give you the basic plot points and only the secondary characters stories are left out, if that makes sense.

But that might also be because I don't have a very high opinion of this book. I wasn't overjoyed about reading it in the first place but I did like the first 15 or so pages. After that, however, I felt like information was left out, just little things that would have made the entire story less confusing. I would be reading and have assumed one thing based on how something was or was not said or presented and then something would be said to the contrary. Some of it was based on my assumptions, but some of it just didn't seem to make sense.

I'm not talking about the Korean phrases used, either. Those were fine, it was little things in the story that didn't add up to me. I also don't really feel like there was any character development. I know what this story was supposed to be accomplishing (Joyce growing up, learning to accept herself, deciding whether or not that was with cosmetic enhancement) but I felt like the story just sort of happened with some things thrown in for effect or to just be there and then the ending was stuck in and that was that. When there were changes in the characters they didn't seem to be precipitated by anything, it just happened (noticing a theme here?).

It's quite possible that An Na's writing is just not for me and I'm just finding every possible thing to pick at with this book, but I wouldn't suggest it, sorry. 3/10

(So maybe you shouldn't have stuck with me?...I didn't realise I was going to be so negative) ( )
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Joyce is a Korean-American who struggles with the typical issues of teens: insecurity, a huge crush on a seemingly unreachable guy, and sibling rivalry. Her aunt offers her the opportunity to have plastic surgery, giving her Asian eyes a fold that will widen them. This book is a good one for exploring the issues surrounding teenage plastic surgery. ( )
  mysteena | May 24, 2010 |
Summary: The Fold by An Na is the story of Joyce Park and her struggle with self image, love, and family. The last day of her junior year Joyce finds the courage to ask her mega-crush, John Ford Kang, to sign her yearbook. He does sign, but he signs it too the wrong girl, causing Joyce to question herself and if she will ever be beautiful enough to be noticed by John Ford Kang. Already being the middle child with the sister, Helen, which she is always being compared too and never lives up to that expectation, and the boy, Joyce has trouble trying to keep her head above water at home. Just when her questioning begins, her plastic-surgery-crazed aunt hits the lottery and decides to help each member of the family better themselves. Offering Joyce the chance to get The Fold, a surgery to alter her Asian eyes, Joyce is then sent into a tailspin trying to decide if she wants the surgery or not. Helen can’t believe she would even consider it, her best friend Gina can’t believe she wouldn’t jump at the chance for free surgery, and Joyce hates pain. But the only thing she knows is that she wants John Ford Kang to notice her, to be her boyfriend, no matter what it takes to do so. The question becomes, would she consider surgery without knowing for sure that he will notice her? Or will she make him notice her for who she is?

Review: It was a little hard to get into at first, but after the first couple of chapters it was a pretty good story. It’s something I wish I had read in high school, because almost every high school-er goes through the “would he notice me if I was prettier?” kind of situation. The stories all coincide with one another and eventually all make sense; there is the semi-shocking, but kind of obvious twist with her sister Helen, Gina’s part in everything, the boy next door (literally), the boy of her dreams (there was always that one guy), and the mean girl (we all knew those). And yes, every time they talked about John Ford Kang, they either said the entire name or called him JFK, neither of which I particularly cared for. The ending seemed a bit unsatisfying, at least to me, but overall the story was a good one to tell. Although I did never figure out exactly with “The Fold” was, or how it changed someone’s face, but that’s just me (and yes, I did check Wikipedia, but I still have no idea the difference)! ( )
  HarlequinTwilight | Nov 7, 2009 |
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. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 10, 2009 |
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Joyce stared at herself in the mirror, twisting her head from side to side, finger combing more of her long black hair over the unsightly bulge that used to be her temple.
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Teens (grades 6+)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399242767, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Korean American high school student Joyce Kim feels like a nonentity compared to her beautiful older sister, and when her aunt offers to pay for plastic surgery on her eyes, she jumps at the chance, thinking it will change her life for the better.

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