Book · Borough Press · Fiction · Must Read · NetGalley · Review · Thriller

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang – Book Review

Ready to discover another great book for this 2023? Take a look…

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

Genre: Thriller, Fiction
Publisher: The Borough Press
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

About The Book

Athena Liu is a literary darling. Juniper Hayward is literally nobody.

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When Athena dies in a freak accident, Juniper steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name June Song.

Dark humour
But as evidence threatens Juniper’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.

My Thoughts

How can you explain a book without telling too much, making it interesting and fair to the reader and the author? I think “Yellowface” is a book difficult to describe and categorize, it talks about a lot of topics and you can’t discern if it’s fiction or non-fiction. Is this an autobiography covered as a fiction story? Or is it really everything fiction?
This is the story of Juniper Song; a white American author who goes from total anonymity to being a super star. So, the main question will be, did she deserve it? I will not enter on deciding if seeing your “friend” dying in front of you and stealing her draft for her next novel is being a good/bad person, I will leave the decision in your hands. But, while all the story is connected to this point, some of the criticism Juniper receives and is being bullied it’s not fair at all. But believe me when I say that I didn’t like her at all!
I think this is a book you should read a few times; discerning all the deep thoughts and plots that the author has left the seeds for the reader to catch, but if you don’t take a deep look, they can’t be seen. Because this book it’s like an onion, peels and peels off plots and subplots to keep you awake and thinking. It’s not easy to describe in just a few words all the story; there’s a toxic relationship, a deep insight into the publicists world (not nice), online trolling, racism, cultural appropriation… just to say a few of the themes that “Yellowface” talks about.
This is a book I recommend? Yes, for sure, it’s very well written and plotted. But at the same time I will say read it slowly, let the story sit while you are exploring June and Athina’s connection. What you’ll have to decide at the end is if it’s a symbiotic relationship or a parasitic one. And, who is who?
So, are you ready to meet the “Yellowface”?

About The Author

Rebecca F. Kuang is a Marshall Scholar, translator, and award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy and Babel: An Arcane History, among others. She has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale. She is rarely here, except to leave occasional adoring reviews for books she really loved.


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