Back of the book :
If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.
Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.
What I think :
This book follows the lives of four different women in Korea.
The Korean beauty industry to be precise, its all about your image with cosmetic surgery in the forefront and prostitution and sexism coming a close second. OhMYGosh! those wealthy men love to use their money to get what they want !!
Kyrui is a ‘Room Salon’ Girl, ( a prostitute) She has had many surgeries and the men seem to love her. which is a good job as its really a dog eat dog world out there and she has to compete for everything.
Miho grew up in an orphanage, and is an artist and has quite a wealthy boyfriend, but she is trying to be independent and not ask him for help.
Ara is a mute and she is in love with the lead singer of a K Pop band. Her dream is to one day meet him.
And lastly Wanna is pregnant, she is really worried about money and wants her unborn child to be secure and have much more than she had.
And so we follow the lives of these four very different women …
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this novel, as its the first time that I’d read anything remotely along these lines. But I was pleasantly surprised as what I found was a really tough story about four equally tough characters in a really tough world.
I really liked the well written characters and whilst I couldn’t identify with what any of them was going through, they were really believable in their own way.
I liked this debut novel and give it 8/10 (5 stars)
Published on 23/07/2020 by Viking Books (Penguin)
The biggest Thank you to Hannah Sawyer from Penguin Random House for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.