the next good book

Yellowface

By R.F Kuang

9/10
(9/10)

319 pages

What’s it about?

June Hayward and Athena Liu attend Yale together and share the dream of becoming successful authors.  A few years later, they are both living in D.C. and have continued a friendship- despite the fact that Athena has become a wildly successful author and June’s writing career is stalled.  When June and Athena are out one evening Athena chokes to death on a pancake.  June impulsively takes Athena’s latest draft for a novel.  How far will she go to become the successful author she always knew she should be?

What did it make me think about?

This novel is brimming with ideas about publishing, writing, discrimination, social media, and how we choose and promote books.

Should I read it?

I read Babel by R. F. Kuang earlier this year and was impressed with her imagination.  Babel is categorized as a fantasy novel and Yellowface is firmly planted in reality.  Yet the similarity in the novels lies in how smart and thought provoking both books are.  While Babel takes on colonialism- Yellowface takes on modern day marketing. In Yellowface we see how books are chosen, published and promoted to the public. While Yellowface was not exactly a page-turner, it was easy to pick up and keep going.  I personally was not rooting for either Athena or June so I think that kept me from loving the book.  I do really admire the story and how easily Kuang weaves societal issues into her novels.  The focus on social media certainly made me think twice about even putting these reviews out.  This novel demonstrates so many of the negatives about social media.  “They’ve already decided on their narrative about me.  Now they’re just collecting ‘facts’ to back it up.”  It certainly makes you realize how manipulated we readers are by the publishing industry. In fact, it shows us how manipulated we all are in general…

Quote-

“But now, I see, author efforts have nothing to do with a book’s success.  Bestsellers are chosen.”

What’s it about?

June Hayward and Athena Liu attend Yale together and share the dream of becoming successful authors.  A few years later, they are both living in D.C. and have continued a friendship- despite the fact that Athena has become a wildly successful author and June’s writing career is stalled.  When June and Athena are out one evening Athena chokes to death on a pancake.  June impulsively takes Athena’s latest draft for a novel.  How far will she go to become the successful author she always knew she should be?

What did it make me think about?

This novel is brimming with ideas about publishing, writing, discrimination, social media, and how we choose and promote books.

Should I read it?

I read Babel by R. F. Kuang earlier this year and was impressed with her imagination.  Babel is categorized as a fantasy novel and Yellowface is firmly planted in reality.  Yet the similarity in the novels lies in how smart and thought provoking both books are.  While Babel takes on colonialism- Yellowface takes on modern day marketing. In Yellowface we see how books are chosen, published and promoted to the public. While Yellowface was not exactly a page-turner, it was easy to pick up and keep going.  I personally was not rooting for either Athena or June so I think that kept me from loving the book.  I do really admire the story and how easily Kuang weaves societal issues into her novels.  The focus on social media certainly made me think twice about even putting these reviews out.  This novel demonstrates so many of the negatives about social media.  “They’ve already decided on their narrative about me.  Now they’re just collecting ‘facts’ to back it up.”  It certainly makes you realize how manipulated we readers are by the publishing industry. In fact, it shows us how manipulated we all are in general…

Quote-

“But now, I see, author efforts have nothing to do with a book’s success.  Bestsellers are chosen.”

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