(April 10, 2008)
I actually got two books from Penguin when I got Audrey, Wait!...I just said it was one because for whatever reason I was having a really hard time finishing this one. But stick with me here:
Joyce is Korean teenager living in California who hasn't ever particularly cared how she looked
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?
"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.
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)