[PDF / Epub] ☁ If I Had Your Face By Frances Cha – Furosemidelasix.info

If I Had Your Face Frances Cha s fascinating debut set in Seoul, South Korea, is an intimate and heartbreaking portrayal of four different flawed women, their lives and friendships, who live in the same apartment building The novel echoes many similar themes to another book I read earlier this year that focused on a close circle of four female friends, thehumorous Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu Lien Tan Cha writes of the harsh cultural norms and expectations that women are expected to adhere to, pandering Frances Cha s fascinating debut set in Seoul, South Korea, is an intimate and heartbreaking portrayal of four different flawed women, their lives and friendships, who live in the same apartment building The novel echoes many similar themes to another book I read earlier this year that focused on a close circle of four female friends, thehumorous Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu Lien Tan Cha writes of the harsh cultural norms and expectations that women are expected to adhere to, pandering to the fantasies of rich men, the misogyny and sexism, the class system and distinctions, the heavy emphasis on consumerism, and the bleak pressures of the economic environment Women chase the exacting and strict standards of beauty required in the western influenced capitalist Korean society, where your face is your fortune, fueling the rise in extreme and expensive plastic surgery, which has become a feature of everyday life.Kyuri is a gorgeous woman who has undergone numerous cosmetic procedures to compete amidst the fierce rivalries of the highly competitive market to successfully procure a position in entertaining rich businessmen in exclusive bars, or salon rooms Miho grew up in an orphanage and is a gifted artist who managed to secure a scholarship to study in New York, a dark and troubling experience She is now back in Seoul, and has a complicated relationship with her wealthy boyfriend from a corporate background The mute Ara is a hairstylist, caught up in her obsession with a K pop band, andparticularly the lead singer, Taein, whom she is hoping to meet The married and traumatised Wonna worries about her family s economic future, how they will survive, and desperate to ensure that her daughter should not have to endure the circumstances and past that has been her lot.Francis Cha s novel is character driven, so if you are looking for a plot driven read, you are going to be doomed to be disappointed If you are looking for the traditional structure of a beginning, a middle and an end where all the threads are tied up, again you will be disappointed This isa glimpse into the lives and friendships of a group of friends with an ending that doesn t give or promise fairy tale happy conclusions Instead, you get a significantlyrealistic ending where the women will continue to face demanding and challenging lives This is a compelling and insightful read of the complexities and difficulties of Korean women s life experiences, their friendships which can on occasion be competitive, yet ultimately supportive to the needs of their friends It provides a eye opening and informative look at Korean culture and society, whilst underlining the universality of what it is to be a woman in our contemporary world Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC A Riveting Debut Novel Set In Contemporary Seoul, Korea, About Four Young Women Making Their Way In A World Defined By Impossibly High Standards Of Beauty, Secret Room Salons Catering To Wealthy Men, Strict Social Hierarchies, And K Pop Fan ManiaEven As A Girl, I Knew The Only Chance I Had Was To Change My Face Even Before A Fortune Teller Told Me So Kyuri Is A Heartbreakingly Beautiful Woman With A Hard Won Job At A Room Salon, An Exclusive Bar Where She Entertains Businessmen While They Drink Though She Prides Herself On Her Cold, Clear Eyed Approach To Life, An Impulsive Mistake With A Client May Come To Threaten Her LivelihoodHer Roomate, Miho, Is A Talented Artist Who Grew Up In An Orphanage But Won A Scholarship To Study Art In New York Returning To Korea After College, She Finds Herself In A Precarious Relationship With The Super Wealthy Heir To One Of Korea S Biggest CompaniesDown The Hall In Their Apartment Building Lives Ara, A Hair Stylist For Whom Two Preoccupations Sustain Her Obsession With A Boy Band Pop Star, And A Best Friend Who Is Saving Up For The Extreme Plastic Surgery That Is CommonplaceAnd Wonna, One Floor Below, Is A Newlywed Trying To Get Pregnant With A Child That She And Her Husband Have No Idea How They Can Afford To Raise And Educate In The Cutthroat EconomyTogether, Their Stories Tell A Gripping Tale That S Seemingly Unfamiliar, Yet Unmistakably Universal In The Way That Their Tentative Friendships May Have To Be Their Saving Grace In the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before And so she drinks the witch s potion, which slices through her body like a sword Seoul, South Korea Four women try to make ends meet in a society that has raised them with unattainable expectations, corrupted aspirations and images they havIn the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before And so she drinks the witch s potion, which slices through her body like a sword Seoul, South Korea Four women try to make ends meet in a society that has raised them with unattainable expectations, corrupted aspirations and images they have to fulfill Ara has fallen in love with a K Pop singer, her obsession adding up to her personal ordeal Miho tries to balance her upbringing and her New York experiences while dealing with her intense feelings for a handsome womanizer Wonna struggles to fulfill the expectation of being a mother Kyuri falls prey to her lust for beauty and money and sacrifices her body and,importantly, her sanity and dignity But what else is there to do in a reality that worships plastic surgery, financial superiority and ridiculous, fake pop icons Frances Cha writes with clarity and honesty and allows hints of satire, albeit acute and a little morbid She comments on a set of rules that has to be obeyed, in a system that comes young female souls away, convincing them that they MUST act as everyone and especially men expect them to Beauty and money are brutally connected to each other, it has always been a reality for most women in all cultures throughout the ages In this novel, we see this bond in its most extreme version You have to make money, to put it simply and clearly You have to make men fall in love with you Therefore, you need the perfect face according to the pop star standards And plastic surgery is the means to an end.With money comes exploitation and the feeling you can manipulate others as others manipulate you Sex becomes a weapon of persuasion and a means for the elite to achieve its goals And when you fall in love, society has already fed you with despair so you become obsessed More and , faster and faster Nothing remains untouched, even motherhood is contaminated If you don t want children, you are an abomination If you can t raise them, you become a walking guilt Cha depicts an immense, impossible indifference and absolute cruelty behind the shiny facade.However, the camaraderie between women is an escape, a haven where minds can be unburdened and hearts can be made lighter through shared feelings, even for a while The voices of the four main characters are distinctive, their thoughts seamlessly communicated to the reader, as we try to understand them and their motives and choices My favourite character was Miho She was the restless spirit, the one whose horizons were broadened through Art but her soft heart was there to threaten her ve said it again and again South Korean Literature is a mystery, a treasure, an enigma to be decoyed with each book If I Had Your Face is no exception It is real and through provoking, an unsettling call to consider our views on social status, idols and a worldwide industry that wants us beautiful, willing and silent It is one of the best novels of the yearThe raindrops keep falling,thickly now So we all stand up to make our way upstairs together, as the sky starts crackling, taking aim at each of us and the drunk men stumbling by Many thanks to Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.My reviews can also be found on If the purpose of a book is to take you to a place you ve never been, then this one fulfilled that role Seoul, Korea and the young girls trying to make their way in a competitive world where beauty is the sole focus and plastic surgery is the norm This book is just heartbreaking right from the get go It delves into the lives of five young women that live in the same apartment building We hear from four of them, in alternating chapters This book was a real eye opener for me I knew about the If the purpose of a book is to take you to a place you ve never been, then this one fulfilled that role Seoul, Korea and the young girls trying to make their way in a competitive world where beauty is the sole focus and plastic surgery is the norm This book is just heartbreaking right from the get go It delves into the lives of five young women that live in the same apartment building We hear from four of them, in alternating chapters This book was a real eye opener for me I knew about the consumerism and boy band fetish But I hadn t realized what a strict class system Korea has, despite being a capitalist society And while in some ways modern, in other ways Korean society remains extremely misogynistic This is a character driven book It reminds me of Elizabeth Strout s style of writing The chapters overlap and the characters interact, but the chapters aren t linear or tightly joined together These weren t necessarily women I could relate to and I definitely didn t like some of them But yet, each one touched my heart Their lives are so tough And this isn t a story that gives you happy endings for them This novel is extremely polished and doesn t come across as a debut novel My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book wow i just adored this book it s very slice of life, but i found myself just falling in love with each of the girls and hoping for the best for each of them i would recommend it to anyone who loved hello my twenties this book definitely has a darkerrealistic tone, but i still think if you enjoyed one, you d enjoy the other 4.5 starsOh wow, I really enjoyed this novel, it felt like a New Adult Korean Gossip Girl, except with waycommentary about patriarchy and capitalism and greater solidarity between women If I Had Your Face follows four women living in Seoul, Korea Kyuri, a beautiful woman who s received a lot of plastic surgery and works in a competitive room salon, Miho, a talented artist in a precarious romantic relationship with a rich and handsome boyfriend, Ara, a hairstylist who is obsessed with a 4.5 starsOh wow, I really enjoyed this novel, it felt like a New Adult Korean Gossip Girl, except with waycommentary about patriarchy and capitalism and greater solidarity between women If I Had Your Face follows four women living in Seoul, Korea Kyuri, a beautiful woman who s received a lot of plastic surgery and works in a competitive room salon, Miho, a talented artist in a precarious romantic relationship with a rich and handsome boyfriend, Ara, a hairstylist who is obsessed with a male K Pop idol throwback to me in middle and early high school, tbh and supports her best friend after a painful plastic surgery procedure, and Wonna, a woman with a troubled past trying to conceive a baby in a brutal economy The four women navigate messy relationships, dangerous men, and their own harrowing pasts, as their friendships with one another provide some relief in a society geared toward keeping women down.I finished this book in about a day because I felt so addicted and compelled by the drama in these characters lives Frances Cha has a talent for writing short yet punchy scenes that keep the plot flowing while still containing raw and believable emotion As someone who grew up consuming K Pop I obsessed about Key from SHINee in middle school and early high school, now I m obsessed with BlackPink and have a minor crush on Seungyoon from Winner , I felt fascinated and immersed in the Korean culture and lifestyle Cha portrays in If I Had Your Face Most importantly, Cha displays the patriarchal and capitalist attitudes and behaviors that subjugate women in Korean society, such as the sexist emphasis on appearance and attaining plastic surgery, the ageist way older Korean women are viewed, the lack of economic power possessed by women which leaves them vulnerable to tempestuous and sometimes threatening men, andWhile I loved the drama from an entertainment perspective I also felt keenly aware of Cha s excellent work giving voice to these four women with varying levels of beauty and a common lower socioeconomic class, navigating some pretty awful and humiliating situations.At the same time, Cha displays the resilience and fortitude of these four women in the face of trauma and sexism I appreciated how she shows the negative consequences of the oppression they face e.g., internalized negativity toward their body image, sometimes perpetuating aggression toward fellow women while also portraying the creative and unique ways they resist patriarchy and capitalism I cherished the scenes that showed the emotional intimacy between the four women as well as how Cha wrote about their individual ambitions and talents, like Miho s penchant for art and Kyuri s desire to climb toward ahospitable job and overall lifestyle Most iconically, these women struggle and grow and support one another throughout the book with no male romantic interest saving any of them or taking up too much of the spotlight in fact, most of the male romantic interests are minor or major antagonists that the women manage to overthrow and or let go of, which I liked a lot While there s a budding romantic relationship toward the end of the novel, the four women s bonds with one another provide the most salvation and hope throughout the story.While I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in Korean culture and want a deeper look at the sexism that underlies popular phenomena like K Pop, I can also see why some people have given this book 3 star reviews as opposed to enjoying itInstead of going really deep into any one character s development, the novel focuseson the present day obstacles faced by each woman, even though there is background that helps us understand each character Further, Wonna s perspective doesn t really merge with the other characters until the end, which I didn t mind but I can see how that would give the novel a slight feeling of jaggedness or incompleteness Thus, if you approach the novel expecting less of a really thorough dive into one or two individuals perspectives andas a slice of life story of four women navigating their present day with some content from the past, I think you may enjoy the bookIt s definitely making me thinkdeeply about Korean society and how I consume related content like, ugh, I m still gonna stan BlackPink for their bops even though now I m sad that Jisoo s gorgeous visual and their super thin bodies almost definitely contribute to problematic beauty standards in Korea, sigh Excited for whatever Frances Cha writes next Audiobook.Narrated by Frances Cha, Sue Jean Kim, Ruthie Anne Miles, and Jeena Yi Beware.after reading this book.It will be hard to ever see Korean woman the same again without thinking of the horrors associated with the underground beauty subculture regime If I Had Your Face , is an eye opening novel of how South Korean women from Seoul, are valued by both men and womenWealthy men want a pretty women at their sideInsecure women want to look like the pretty women For Audiobook.Narrated by Frances Cha, Sue Jean Kim, Ruthie Anne Miles, and Jeena Yi Beware.after reading this book.It will be hard to ever see Korean woman the same again without thinking of the horrors associated with the underground beauty subculture regime If I Had Your Face , is an eye opening novel of how South Korean women from Seoul, are valued by both men and womenWealthy men want a pretty women at their sideInsecure women want to look like the pretty women For modern Korean women, having plastic surgery sounded almost , like an essential necessity The country has one of the highest plastic procedures per capital Sixty percent of women in their 20 s, have had plastic surgery Often if American women have plastic surgery society judges them as vain In Korean plastic surgery is considered a necessity in bettering oneself Room salons, beauty obsessions, superficiality, misogyny, hierarchy, classism consumerism, female friendships, competition rivalry, economic concerns, and unrealistic expectations, are examined in Frances Cha s debut book It s GOOD FASCINATING actually Cuckoo crazy at times but its interesting as can be We meet five Korean women.Ara is mute with mute parents.She s a hairdresser with fuchsia hair, an obsession with the lead singer, Taein , of a K pop band, and parents who are worried about her futureKyuri is beautiful and confident about her beauty.She s had numerous of plastic surgeries.Kyuri is shallow, ambitious, and successful Women want to look like her Men want to buy her expensive gifts to have drinks etc with her Wonna is married and wants desperately to have a child even though she knows financially it would be quite a struggle You ll meet Miho, and Sujin learn of their orphaned background, their future goals and desires Listening to the audiobook was totally enjoyable but a few times I lost track of which woman was speakingbut mostly it was easy to follow It didn t seem to matter, which female was telling whose story The bigger issue was the awareness of the culture, itself Here in San Jose we have a large population of Koreans I ve been visiting the Korean spa for the past 20 years One time while sitting in the Korean sauna a Korean woman asked me, why are YOU Here American s don t bath together , she said Hmmm Maybe not as often or in a public bath house but I like the indulgence of nourishing my body, as much as the next person Spa days with Korean women here in the states are great treat days.but until this book I had no idea of just how much Korean women valued beautifying themselves essential days for them I loved the freshness of this book a look into the world of spoken and unspoken hush hush rules Looking beautiful, at all costs, doesn t come cheap 4.5 rating Thank you, Random House Ballantine, for the gifted book.I ve read very few books set in Korea, and they ve all been historical as far as I can remember If I Had Your Face takes place mostly in Korea, with some chapters in NYC when one character travels there to study art This book is a deep dive character study of four Korean women The thread uniting them all would on the surface appear to be a search for beauty, however, the quests for inner peace and self acceptance that are also on the tab Thank you, Random House Ballantine, for the gifted book.I ve read very few books set in Korea, and they ve all been historical as far as I can remember If I Had Your Face takes place mostly in Korea, with some chapters in NYC when one character travels there to study art This book is a deep dive character study of four Korean women The thread uniting them all would on the surface appear to be a search for beauty, however, the quests for inner peace and self acceptance that are also on the table Extreme plastic surgery is the norm, and the class differences and stifling economy were intriguing and heartrending at the same time Kyuri has undergone plastic surgery to be a top tier girl in a room salon, only to be stuck there due to all she owes the owner Miho has traveled abroad to study art, only to find her position in societyprecarious than ever Ara is a mute, hair stylist, the victim of a horrible crime when she was younger Wonna is a young newlywed planning to start a family but unsure she can afford one There was so much to think about with every character.If I Had Your Face is about these four women If you love a thoughtful portrayal of characters where you learn about a different culture in a contemporary setting, definitely check this one out It s a quick, well written, emotional, memorable story of friendship.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram www.instagram.com tarheelreader If I Had Your Face is a searing debut that follows five young women living in the fringes of South Korean society, each struggling to make a living for themselves Few books that claim to tackle misogyny are as successfully unrelenting as this one is it s a bleak read, but also a beautiful one This seems to be pitched as a book about the Korean beauty industry, which it is and it isn t plastic surgery and makeup mostly litter the background of a couple of the narratives, as Cha focuses inste If I Had Your Face is a searing debut that follows five young women living in the fringes of South Korean society, each struggling to make a living for themselves Few books that claim to tackle misogyny are as successfully unrelenting as this one is it s a bleak read, but also a beautiful one This seems to be pitched as a book about the Korean beauty industry, which it is and it isn t plastic surgery and makeup mostly litter the background of a couple of the narratives, as Cha focuses instead on the women who are actively harmed by cruel and unrealistic beauty standards This book s main asset has to be the characters it s also been a while since I ve read anything with characters this convincing Of the five protagonists, four of them alternate first person point of view chapters, and each of their voices is so distinctive I never had trouble remembering whose head I was inhabiting, which tends to be a common pitfall of similarly structured fiction Narratively, this falls a bit short it wraps up rather quickly and at the point where it ends, you feel like it could keep going for at least another 150 pages One of the characters arcs felt unfinished to me And a few of the book s key events feel rushed, even before the end But despite that, my impression of this book is largely favorable I don t think I ll forget this in a hurry, and I can t wait for whatever Frances Cha does next Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. The below review originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Envy became the green eyed monster when Shakespeare dubbed it so in Iago s warning to Othello Today, we just call it access to Instagram Scrolling endlessly through a sea of heavily altered photos has the capacity to make any of us feel envious of others, or even go so far as to make us think, I would live your life so much better than you if I had your face So ponders one of the main characters of the appropriately titled The below review originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Envy became the green eyed monster when Shakespeare dubbed it so in Iago s warning to Othello Today, we just call it access to Instagram Scrolling endlessly through a sea of heavily altered photos has the capacity to make any of us feel envious of others, or even go so far as to make us think, I would live your life so much better than you if I had your face So ponders one of the main characters of the appropriately titled If I Had Your Face, the first novel released by former CNN travel and culture editor Frances Cha Set in South Korea, four rotating perspectives make up Cha s debut we begin with Ara, a mute hairstylist with a feverish obsession with a K pop star Next, we hear from Kyuri, a heavily surgerized beauty and employee of a high end room salon, in which men pay large sums of money for good liquor and the company of attractive women Wonna is the unexpected addition, a married woman living in the same building as the others, seemingly incapable of being happy with her kind husband Finally, Kyuri s roommate Miho is a naturally beautiful artist with a wealthy boyfriend.All four are deeply damaged from their pasts filled with cruelty, abandonment, tragic accidents, and loss Yet the quartet are doing their best to get by, living in Seoul s fashionable Gangnam District We follow each one of them roughly an equal number of times throughout this short novel and witness their present internal and external struggles, with backstories slowly poking through The women can often be startlingly honest about their hardships, revealing themselves to the reader fairly early on It is only the question of Ara s muteness that lingers into the back half of the novel.Their situations may be unique, but all four feel the collective cultural pressures weighing down on them South Korea is well known for having exceedingly high beauty standards, likely why the country has the highest ratio of plastic surgery procedures per capita, as Business Insider reported in 2015 Among the most common procedures is the double eyelid surgery, a procedure to enlarge and define the eyes by adding a double eyelid, as opposed to the single eyelid with which many South Koreans are born.Though many Western countries tend to see such surgeries as elective emblems of vanity, leading with appearance is highly important in modern South Korea Headshots have been historically required on applicant resumes, though President Moon Jae in was reportedly attempting to get rid of that requirement It was also rud that he would seek to end the employer s right to ask applicants about their families or even physical attributes As If I Had Your Face character Miho explainsFor all its millions of people, Korea is the size of a fishbowl and someone is always looking down on someone else That s just the way it is in this country, and the reason why people ask a series of rapid fire questions the minute they meet you Which neighborhood do you live in Where did you go to school Where do you work Do you know so and so They pinpoint where you are on the national scale of status, then spit you out in a heartbeat Where not much can be done about one s background, a single controllable status determining factor can at least be one s appearance, making it no wonder that so many, including characters Kyuri and Sujin, go under the knife.Cha s debut is filled with biting commentary about the position in which women find themselves in modern South Korea With such an onus on appearance and social rank, women s lives come to be dominated by envy, and our main characters are no exception Each one of them, through their narratives, seems suspended in space, desperately grabbing out for something unreachable, believing that getting a hold on whatever is missing will fill the hole inside of them.Cha s debut has the potential to provide a window into South Korean culture for the uninitiated, highlighting its richness as well as its problems The book, for all its sharp wit and acerbic asides, is breezily and delightfully readable, perfect for a one sitting binge Wanting only fordifferentiation between the character voices and a separate perspective of the group s keystone friend, Sujin, Cha has given us a novel to write home about Or, certainly, one with which we can distract ourselves from Instagram


About the Author: Frances Cha

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