by Na, An

Although happy with the way she looks, Joyce begins to consider her aunt's offer to get her eyes "fixed" after she gets a crush on the most gorgeous guy in school, but thinking seriously about the final results, Joyce still isn't certain that making her Asian-looking eyes look more American in appearance is something she really wants. 35,000 first printing.

An Na is the author of Wait for Me and A Step from Heaven (National Book Award Finalist and Printz Award winner). She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

When Joyce's image-obsessed aunt Gomo offers to pay for surgery to make Asian eyelids appear more Western, the teen is unsure about going under the knife, even though she dreams of finally wearing eye shadow without looking weird and fluttering extrawide eyes at her crush. Her agonized decision making provides readers with the medical nuts and bolts, as well as a balanced look at the issues, with input from a responsible plastic surgeon, Joyce's outraged older sister, and a peer who has already acquired the folds with no regrets. Though just as rooted in contemporary Korean American family life as Na's previous books, which include Printz winner A Step from Heaven (2001), the author's third outing is both lighter in tone and less multidimensional-a flaw that isn't much aided by a hurried revelation about a family member's sexuality. That being said, few teens exist who have not yearned for a quick-fix transformation, including many for whom surgery may be a real option, and they'll welcome the solid facts as they, along with Joyce, ask difficult questions about the correlation between superficial alterations and genuine empowerment. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

The self-imposed pressure to appear as beautiful as her older sister is accentuated by a makeover gift Joyce receives from her domineering family benefactor, Aunt Gomo. The prospect of attracting the good-looking JFK (John Ford Kang) isn't the only concern for this Korean teen who's balancing school and family responsibilities with her parent's expectations for daily assistance in their busy restaurant. But when it becomes clear that the makeover extends to plastic surgery to create a western-looking fold in her eyelids, Joyce is torn between respectfully complying and her discomfort in surgically creating a look more acceptable to her Aunt, who has appeased her own insecurities with surgery. Na poses a two-fold dilemma for girls of all races. How should physical beauty be interpreted and to what extent should a girl be coerced into developing positive self-confidence? Na deftly provides alternative perspectives with some humorous disaster scenarios as consequences of Aunt Gomo's good intentions with other family members' "improvement gifts." But Helen, the shy and soon-to-be-coming-out lesbian sister, ultimately helps Joyce realize self-respect leads to self-esteem and admiration for each other's beautiful differences. A lighthearted and thought-provoking look at a serious teen issue. (Fiction. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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