Yellowface Book Reviews

R. F. Kuang

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang Book Summary


“Hard to put down, harder to forget.” — Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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. 

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Book Name Yellowface
Genre Fiction & Literature
Language English
E-Book Size 1.4 MB

Yellowface (R. F. Kuang) Book Reviews 2023

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Disappointed. It’s very hard for me to get invested in a main character that I hate, so that could be coloring my view. The writing was good, but I felt like the plot was a culmination of what these times are full of-cultural insensitivity, jealousy, and success at any cost. Throw in some mental health issues and you have the basis for Yellow Face. And, it wasn’t just the protagonist who was unlikeable. Not one character had a redeeming bone in their body. No kindness. Nothing uplifting. When I was done reading I felt just the same as when I watch the news. Disappointed and disillusioned.

She's Done it Again. Another amazing story from the queen of modern writing herself. R.F. Kuang has the makings of one of the greats. There is not a doubt in my mind that in a future Literature 101 course they will be going over this book. Truly a thriller, I started this book about an hour after it was released and finished at 4 PM that day.

terribly invigorating. a story like this makes it difficult for me to understand how I feel about it. for one, throughout the course of the book I hated how it made me feel, but the horror of the story kept me turning the page. r. f. kuang narrates june’s story in such a captivating yet humorous way; the choices june makes are discussed in a way that impressed me greatly. this story is not one of happiness, it is about the haunting ghosts of the publishing industry. kuang herself states in the acknowledgments that her book is a horror story about loneliness in the fiercely competitive publishing industry. this book is so drastically different from anything else she has written (i.e. the poppy war trilogy, babel) and I can tell this was something that she had fun writing. it lacks the research that went into babel, but not in a negative way, because this story did not require that sort of work beforehand, to be created into a story worth reading. this is not what I expected to pick up, but I am thoroughly glad with what I read. I don’t think I will ever regret picking up an r. f. kuang novel! a topic I would like to touch on in my review is: racism. it is a prominent theme and topic of discussion in yellowface, but I felt at some points during the story it was there just to make a point. I’m not sure how to exactly explain the way it came off, but one example of this in the book was when june debated the race of a woman internally. she asked herself whether the woman was race 1 or race 2 (I can’t remember what two races were mentioned in this part of the book) and when she didn’t know she wondered if it was racist that she didn’t know. that just rubbed me the wrong way as did a few other scenes, but overall I do not think they took away from the whole book so I tried to ignore them. I also found it hypocritical when june talked about right-wingers in a stereotypical way by acting as if all conservatives are red-necked racists. she assumed this stereotype about millions of people who she knows nothing about. I find it hypocritical because she finds it offensive when right-wingers assume stereotypes about left-wingers. both of which can be fun to poke at from either side amongst friends, but shouldn’t immediately be assumed on either side. of course, that’s instances in the book can be received in many different ways so I understand if you disagree. I don’t mean to complain about the story, it was wonderful, but I just wanted to state some of my opinions. kuang talks about many of her liberal political views throughout the book which I could honestly care less about (everyone is entitled to their beliefs and everyone has a reason to belief what they do!) overall, if you’ve read the exerp and it snags your interest READ IT! but it’s a book that only speaks to a certain audience so if you know your tastes and you don’t think you’ll like it I’d suggest to skip out on this one. it’s a quick, sharp and informative read on the publishing industry, guilt, and loneliness.

Wow!. Amazing read, everything about this book is great. The imagery, the storyline is original and fresh! I loved this book, couldn’t put it down until I was done!

Chilling, sad, thought-provoking. At first, I enjoyed the satire, but it quickly became clear that this novel is more than a biting send-up of the culture wars. As Kuang notes in her afterword, it's a horror story about loneliness. The end is a bit over the top, but this is a gripping tale.

Addicting. This book captured my attention and it was hard to put it down. I was so shocked by Juniper’s action and behavior throughout the entire book. The way she justified everything just made me sick. The writing just pulled me in immediately and the narrator, Helen Laser did a fantastic job keeping me engaged. Her voice is so convincing! When Juniper is frantic, you can hear through the speakers clearly. It all felt very real to me. I highly recommend the audiobook. It brought the story to life for me. Juniper is a character that we all will love to hate and the writing is just spectacular. Giving insight to the publishing world and how it works was also fascinating.

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Other Books from R. F. Kuang
Book Name Score Reviews Price
Babel 0/5 0 $12.99
La repubblica del drago 0/5 0 $13.99
The Poppy War 4.5/5 826 $11.99
Babel 4.5/5 330 $15.99
La dea in fiamme 0/5 0 $6.99

Summary of Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

The Yellowface book written by R. F. Kuang was published on 16 May 2023, Tuesday in the Fiction & Literature category. A total of 518 readers of the book gave the book 4 points out of 5.

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