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Hello Kitty Must Die Paperback – April 1, 2010

94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Choi's scorching-hot debut rips into the stereotype of Hello Kitties, young Asian-American women who are upwardly mobile, outwardly modern, but trapped by their families' old-fashioned cultural expectations. A week before turning 28, Fiona Fi Yu, a San Francisco corporate lawyer who lives with her parents, uses a silicone device to take her own virginity, an act she soon regrets. When she consults Dr. Sean Killroy about restoring her hymen, the cosmetic surgeon turns out to be Sean Deacon, a former grade school classmate who once lit a girl's hair on fire. Fi renews her friendship with Sean, who draws her into a secret world that's empowering but also highly disturbing. As Sean encourages Fi to fight back when her parents suggest suitors, people who cause problems for Fi wind up dead. A demonic stir-fry of influences, including Amy Tan, Chuck Palahniuk, Clive Barker, and Candace Bushnell, infuses Choi's prose with passionate ferocity. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Look to the blatantly homicidal intent in the title, not the hot pink cover, to get a sense of this debut novel, which combines the violence and nihilism of a Chuck Palahniuk or Brett Easton Ellis novel with chick-lit label-dropping. “The six-figure salary, the J. D., the Eileen Fisher-Armani-Calvin Klein wardrobe didn't liberate me from the confines of tradition, culture and family,” says 28-year-old San Francisco lawyer Fiona Yu. Still a virgin and living with her Chinese American parents, who are aggressively intent on marrying her off, Fi rails against stereotypes of Asian women as “mouthless, clawless, Hello Kitties.” Fi finds increasingly twisted escapism from family pressure and corporate life with Sean, a long-lost childhood friend, who, Fi realizes, has matured from youthful sociopathic acts, such as setting a classmate on fire, into a busy and focused serial killer. The novel's remorseless, homicidal spree, reminiscent of that in the film Natural Born Killers, and the acid-bath satire work against glimpses of Fi's real vulnerabilities, creating an uneven, sometimes alienating mix. The shock-value plot should provoke plenty of hype, but it's Choi's furious, laugh-out-loud social commentary that is most noteworthy. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tyrus Books (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935562029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935562023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Sherrod on October 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Imagine, if you will, what the offspring of Sandra Tsing Loh (or Amy Tan) and Chuck Pahlaniuk might be like. Imagine their daughter had a law degree and chucked it to write crime fiction, but kept the stiletto heels and Prada.

You've just imagined both Angela S. Choi and her debut novel's protagonist, Fiona. Except Fiona chooses not to write crime fiction, but to abet crime itself, in a very strange way.

This is a pithy and entertaining read. Fi is not an adorable, likeable character, not a Hello Kitty (all cuteness, no mouth, no threat, no will of her own), but a smart and sassy woman who knows what she wants -- and, more importantly, what she does not. The story concerns her unorthodox but ultimately successful quest to achieve both ends in her own prickly way.

Her partner in crime, Sean, is less well-drawn and never quite comes alive, but perhaps he doesn't need to. While Fi describes him as the love of her life, it's obvious that she doesn't mean this in the conventional or romantic sense: he's her ultimate anti-fashion accessory, and on that level he's just what the doctor ordered (and yes, he's a doctor). His job is not to fulfill or complete her, but to wedge her out of the role in which she has felt trapped, as is, perhaps, hers for him.

Ultimately, this book is about getting stuff out of one's system. Now that Choi has gotten some stuff out of hers -- her obvious distaste for Chinese culture and for the way in which deliberate singles are viewed -- I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next, for she shows a great deal of promise. Next!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Cathcart on August 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was intrigued first by the title, and then by the blurb. I was smitten with the writing on the first page and by the 12% mark, knew I'd finish the book in one sitting.

I absolutely loved this story. It's dark and snarky and wrong and witty and clever and perfect if you enjoy true crime/horror genres (think "Dexter"), wondered about Chinese culture, or questioned your own role(s) as a female.

Angela S. Choi is now on my auto-buy list.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Surani on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book definitely gets an R rating (sex and violence both). Interesting story about a woman who's tired of having to be everyone's ideal (and tired of being set up on dates by her parents). After running into an old friend from school, she develops a new ... uh... hobby? Killing.
Funny in parts, uncomfortable in parts ... enjoyable if not taken too seriously.
(review originally from [...])
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JohnR on August 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sorry, I am not very good at this!

But I really did like this book. It is very different, and in a good way.

It is enjoyable, fun to read, and totally unpredictable.

And it is well edited, I saw no errors at all

Good job, thank you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By plantas on August 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel was unusual and compelled me to read it to the end. I'm still not sure how much I liked it but it caught my attention to the last page. It was a fascinating read, and I'm still pondering it after reading three other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brittany on August 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining enough for a free read, but extremely odd. Towards the middle of the book I found myself wondering where is this going?!?! But, it wrapped up quite well I think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Mother on August 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Contains Spoilers:

As I first started reading this book, I enjoyed the internal dialogue of Fiona with all of the stereotypes of Chinese culture. As the book progressed, I started to realize that she was rather like Veronica in the 1988 movie, Heathers. She was a watchful and willing participant in murders. Sean was like JD in the movie, dealing with internal demons. Even Sean's changed last name "Killroy" gave meaning to his hobbies. The ending was really like the end of Heathers with the explosion and Fiona smoking one of Sean's cigarettes.

I will not deny that the book was well written, but it was not very original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SeaShell on October 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The premise of the book is entertaining and will feel somewhat familiar to anyone who enjoys the dark humor and alternative moral code of Dexter and the earlier Heathers, and at times the book is a real page turner. However, at times the execution of the concept is lacking. The characters are rather flat, and several scenes, including one a feather boa, feel forced, crude and unbelievable.

I can't help but think that with better editing on part of the publisher, this could have been a much better book. It is an interesting first novel from a new author, though, and I look forward to reading more.
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