Summary and book reviews of Yolk by Mary Choi

Yolk

by Mary Choi

Yolk by Mary Choi X
Yolk by Mary Choi
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2021, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 1, 2022, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they'll go to save one of their lives - even if it means swapping identities.

Jayne and June Baek are nothing alike. June's three years older, a classic first-born, know-it-all narc with a problematic finance job and an equally soulless apartment (according to Jayne). Jayne is an emotionally stunted, self-obsessed basket case who lives in squalor, has egregious taste in men, and needs to get to class and stop wasting Mom and Dad's money (if you ask June). Once thick as thieves, these sisters who moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together now don't want anything to do with each other.

That is, until June gets cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her.

Flung together by circumstance, housing woes, and family secrets, will the sisters learn more about each other than they're willing to confront? And what if while helping June, Jayne has to confront the fact that maybe she's sick, too?

Coming soon.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In dealing with issues specific to the transitory nature of late adolescence for a young adult audience, Choi also effectively addresses the combined pressure and hunger that comes with being a child of immigrants — the sense of being deprived of a standard-issue existence alongside the impulse to push aside this deprivation to make way for success. She shows how these feelings may result in a desperate need for love and acceptance that can, somewhat insultingly, only be found by embracing the unpredictable nature of life. Her decision to wrap up certain plot points while leaving others hanging feels deliberate, a statement about how difficult the slightest uncertainty can feel even when an outcome appears hopeful...continued

Full Review Members Only (934 words).

(Reviewed by Elisabeth Cook).

Media Reviews

New York Times
Captivating, with quotable one-liners pinging on every page.

NPR
Choi has a real gift for creating a character so real and complex that she can crack his psyche open like a melon and pick through all the gnarly seeds.

Kirkus Reviews
Portraying intergenerational immigrant experiences with a Korean cultural focus, this poignant story underscores self-sacrifices that prove to be life-sustaining in the name of sisterly love. Intense, raw, textured.

Library Journal
Choi pulls from themes in her previous book, Emergency Contact, and has created a compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[A] reflective, deliberately paced novel...If the story takes its time unfolding amid running social commentary, the result is an appreciably personal-feeling narrative about cultural identity, mental and physical health, and siblinghood's complications.

Booklist (starred review)
Choi has penned a smart and funny read that is as much about finding your path as it is about falling in love...Choi's specificity, realistic dialogue, and humor ensure that the personal and romantic journeys feel warm and rewarding, but never saccharine.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Gilmore Girls, Lane Kim and Asian Americans on Television

In Mary H.K. Choi's Yolk, June is particularly fond of the Warner Brothers (WB) Network television series Gilmore Girls. At first glance, the show seems like a somewhat anachronistic and unlikely pop culture presence in the novel. Set in Connecticut, it first aired in 2000; Choi's characters June and Jayne, Korean American sisters living in contemporary New York City, are only a few years out of high school, meaning they may have been too young to watch the show at the time it was originally broadcast. However, as Jayne explains it, their family didn't have cable, so instead of watching television, they marathoned the Gilmore Girls and Friends box sets over and over on a DVD player their father purchased on sale from Costco. The show is a ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Yolk, try these:

  • Win Me Something jacket

    Win Me Something

    by Kyle Lucia Wu

    Published 2021

    About this book

    A perceptive and powerful debut of identity and belonging - of a young woman determined to be seen.

  • Flesh & Blood jacket

    Flesh & Blood

    by N. West Moss

    Published 2021

    About this book

    In her wise and witty memoir, N. West Moss discovers how she has been building a fruitful life and legacy - full of curiosity, creativity, and connection - while simultaneously dealing with infertility and illness. This beautifully written book offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Win Me Something
    by Kyle Lucia Wu
    Kyle Lucia Wu's Win Me Something opens with a young woman named Willa explaining that she did not ...
  • Book Jacket: The Island of Missing Trees
    The Island of Missing Trees
    by Elif Shafak
    The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak tells a tale of generational trauma, explores identity ...
  • Book Jacket: The Correspondents
    The Correspondents
    by Judith Mackrell
    In the introduction to The Correspondents, author Judith Mackrell points out that although there had...
  • Book Jacket: The Lincoln Highway
    The Lincoln Highway
    by Amor Towles
    Things look bleak for Emmett Watson in June of 1954. The 18-year-old has just been released from a ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    True Crime Story
    by Joseph Knox

    The #1 international bestselling novel. What happens to all the girls who go missing?

Who Said...

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Y Can't S T H, G O O T K

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.