First, I had to giggle that because my name is Anna and the author is An Na. I know, I’m easily amused. Now, back to the story…
Joyce, is the middle daughter, who is finishing her junior year in high school. Things are going to be different her senior year – John Ford Kang will notice her, she will not be compared to her older more-accomplished sister, Helen and things will just be different.
Things take an interesting twist when Joyce’s Gomo, or auntie, decided to bestow gifts on Joyce’s family after she wins the lottery. Gomo thinks she is doing what is best for each individual in her family. For example, for Joyce’s younger brother, she gives him shark pills so he will grow taller. In the end, it gives him ..um, stomach problems. For Joyce, she insists on giving her “the fold,” a surgical procedure that will give Joyce the gift of eyelid folds.
An Na’s novel deals with cultural differences between American and Korean culture, idealized views of beauty, sexuality and the plight for the middle child all with humor and wit. I was laughing out loud at parts and could relate because what Joyce goes through, I went through. It was refreshing to also see a book about Korean-American life which I think is not really represented in a lot of the books out today. Teens will enjoy this humourous coming-of-age and relate to Joyce on an number of different levels.