Sunday 19 May 2024

Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang

YellowfaceYellowface by R.F. Kuang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 336

Publisher - Borough Press

Source - Bought

blurb from Goodreads

White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences… Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn’t write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American—in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R.F. Kuang, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel.

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.

My Review

Like a Jerry Springer show but instead of cheating spouses we have an author trying to make it big and when an "opportunity" arises she grabs it. Everything from that moment on she does/chooses is just car crash tv. You are mortified and like GIRL NO WHAT ARE YOU THINKING and she just gets worse as the book goes on.

I don't know what I expected with this one from everything everyone was chatting I just knew I HAD to read it but it wasn't what I thought it would be. You get it, authors have it really rough and with this we get a look behind the curtain of what it is like from education to starting out and trying to make a name for yourself. Your friend is doing the same but she strikes gold every single time and our protagonist, June - later Juniper - can't help but compare, resent and be annoyed. We then see inside June's thinking process and her justifications for what she does and her monologue of she deserves this. She isn't a nice person and wow does she spiral.

As success comes so do all the bad sides of it and when you have been a dodgy biscuit and rose high, the height to fall is far higher. Outside the drama we also have themes of cultural appropriation, race/racism, plagiarism, the pitfalls of social media, actions and consequences, greed, death and some seriously shady characters and behaviours.

I liked this I just didn't love it, a lot of characters and choices will grind your gears or just your teeth, not a bad thing. I absolutely wanted to see where it was going and I have another by this author to read, 3.5/5 for me for this one though.

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