Friday, June 30, 2023

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

Athena Liu is a literary darling and June Hayward is literally nobody.

White lies
When Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name Juniper Song.

Dark humour
But as evidence threatens June’s stolen success, she will discover exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

Deadly consequences…
What happens next is entirely everyone else’s fault.

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.

Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 16, 2023
 by William Morrow Paperbacks
3/5 stars

I jumped into this book as soon as I finished Babel, which I found to be an entertaining read. One of the things that attracted me to Yellowface was an author interview where she talked about what a fun book this was to write, that it's a funny, satire driven story giving readers a glimpse into the publishing world.

There is a lot going on in Yellowface, aside from the fact that the authorship of  the book June Hayworth published is brought into question. It also deals with diversity, and racism. As well as how social media has influenced and affected those that are questioned.

For me I was hooked right away. It starts with a bang, giving me an authentic look at June and how that book in question came to be.  But then it sort of peters off, at least for me it did. I wasn’t a huge fan of June/Juniper. I found she didn’t have too many redeeming qualities that made me root for her. There are some that say this is satire, so I was expecting some thing humorous, but I didn’t get that. Also, a lot of the story is internal thoughts of June which overtime got to be a bit much.The storyline was good, the look into the publishing industry was enlightening, and how social media people hide behind their posts, saying things they wouldn’t if it was face-to-face.

The ending took me by surprise, it wasn’t what I anticipated though honestly I didn't know what to expect. But for me, it didn’t really work. All in all a quick read.

This book was part of my 2023 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge

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