Book Review: Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S Choi
Angela S Choi is a debut novelist whose book Hello Kitty Must Die is by turns laugh-out-loud funny and deeply disturbing. Fiona Yu is a 28 year old Chinese-American, who still lives at home and sometimes helps out in her parents dry cleaning business, while working and billing an average 80 hours per week as an associate attorney in a San Francisco law firm. As the novel opens, Fiona is obsessed with removing her hymen– which she has come to believe inhibits her from having a sex life.
Some readers will no doubt find it disturbing that Fiona’s best friend Sean– a plastic surgeon whom Fiona had known in high school, with whom she becomes re-acquainted when she seeks an appointment to discuss having a hymen reconstruction, turns out to be a serial killer. And Fiona does not find this unattractive. Instead her relationship with Sean seems to help her bring out her very own inner-serial-killer, and when her father presses her to date a man she is not attracted to and when the man and his and her families begin referring to them as engaged and making plans for the wedding reception, Fiona dispatches her fiancée in a matter staged to plausibly look like an accident.
Fiona is a wildly original character and Choi’s a genuinely talented new voice. Fiona very much appears to be a quiet Asian wallflower girl, what she herself refers to as a Hello Kitty, while she is in fact both wise and cynical successful both as a corporate attorney and as a serial killer. I have to say that I was genuinely very impressed by Choi’s ability to deal with such very heavy subjects in a tone that is light, witty and at times truly laugh-out-loud funny. If you enjoy comic novels (and are not put off by the fact that the heroine is a murderer), Hello Kitty Must Die is Highly Recommended.