Spring 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“What a sharp, terrific book. I love how Choi develops the characters with perfect details. The whole world of Yolk is beautifully built, from the vision of New York City through the eyes of both sisters to the return home to Texas, and every space in between. This family, these sisters — I’m rooting for them.”
— Rachel Barry, WORD Bookstores, Brooklyn, NY
Ooof. Be prepared to have your stomach in knots, the entire time during this read. Jayne and June, estranged sisters, TX transplants, both living in NYC. They are two sides of the American Dream, one successful, the other a mess. June, reaches out to her sister after a cancer diagnosis and despite the fraught relationship, the two support each other. What really comes through, is the contentious relationship that siblings share as well as their collective shared history. But, layered underneath, is all the love that siblings share for each other. This was a tense read for me, but I couldn't put it down.— Audrey H.
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?
“[Choi] has a knack for capturing the frenetic, vibrating voices and perspectives of young people as they enter and navigate the world.” —Conde Nast Traveler
* “Insightful and intricately constructed…an appreciably personal-feeling narrative about cultural identity, mental and physical health, and siblinghood's complications.” —Publishers Weekly, starred
“What lingers longest is the resonating, multifaceted story of Jayne and June Baek…[Choi’s] openness—personally, culturally, geographically—gives her narrative a seamless, insider fluency; her writing is consistently assured, her dialogue nimbly tuned, even her pain potently channeled through Jayne's struggles.” —Shelf Awareness Pro
“This poignant story underscores self-sacrifices that prove to be life-sustaining in the name of sisterly love. Intense, raw, textured.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Choi pushes the boundaries of young adult fiction.” —Booklist