If I Had Your Face

If I Had Your Face

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 mania.

"Even 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 livelihood.

Her 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 companies.

Down 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 commonplace.

And 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 economy.

Together, 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.

Title:If I Had Your Face
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    If I Had Your Face Reviews

  • Roxane

    There are great lines throughout. This book does a lot to explore Korean womanhood. At times it felt a bit like there was a checklist of issues to address but it was still an engrossing read. ...

  • Emily May

    She does not know what this work does to you—how you cannot hold on to your old perspective. You will not be able to save your money because there will never be enough of it. You will keep doing ...

  • Paromjit

    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 buildi...

  • Amalia Gkavea

    ''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...

  • Liz

    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...

  • Thomas

    4.5 starsOh wow, I really enjoyed this novel, it felt like a New Adult Korean Gossip Girl, except with way more commentary about patriarchy and capitalism and greater solidarity between women. If I Ha...

  • monica kim

    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 lov...

  • Elyse  Walters

    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...

  • Ash

    Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction, ...

  • Jaidee

    3.5 "toxic femininity" stars !!!2020 READ WHERE i WISH I WAS EDITOR AWARD First of all thank you to Paromjit whose review led me to this novel. I also read Jenny's review that also propelled me to rea...