Book Title & Alexandra's Review

Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

High School

When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She’s lucky enough to qualify for a rare medical treatment: a face transplant. But how do you live your life when you can’t even recognize yourself anymore? She was a runner, a girlfriend, a good student . . . a normal girl. Now, all that has changed.

The medical procedure of getting a face transplant, at first, seemed like a fascinating process. I was interested in how it would work. But then I read just how damaged Maisie’s face was. Her face was burned by an electrical fire, which is much hotter than a regular fire. Where her nose, cheeks, and chin used to be were just gone. The skin, the muscle, the bone, everything. I know I’m giving a lot of detail, but I trying to make a point. The way the transplant goes, in simplified terms, someone else’s face will replace the parts she’s now missing. She’s going to be wearing parts of someone else’s face! This procedure sounds like something from a science fiction movie or Frankenstein. The image of someone stitching the skin together with thick black thread kept popping into my mind for some reason.

I did some research on face transplants (and by that, I mean I Googled it), but after seeing a few of the pictures, I decided to stop. The pictures weren’t that bad. It’s just the whole procedure was just too much for me. I can handle it when it’s happening on a TV show because I know it’s just special effects and makeup. But when you’re reading about an actual person, it’s just too real.

I felt awful for this girl. She had a perfectly normal life, and it was torn away from her. These are the saddest kinds of stories to me. Someone is just minding their own business, and in the blink of an eye, their life changes forever. In my opinion, Maisie handles her situation pretty well, and everyone else around her takes it the way you’d expect them to. Her parents are trying to be supportive, her doctors are trying to keep her healthy, and her boyfriend has no idea what to do. I kept waiting for someone to just tell her the truth, that her life would never be the same and that it would stink for a while, but hopefully, everything was going to be a new kind of okay and that she just had to wait.

It is said that this book is ‘Wonder’ for a YA (Young Adult) audience, but Auggie and Maisie are entirely different. Auggie was born with his extraordinary face and has lived with it his whole life. On the other hand, Maisie had her face destroyed and then replaced at sixteen. She had her whole life figured out, and then she had to start from scratch. I’ve read many books about kids and teenagers going through some pretty tough situations, but this one might be the most horrifying.

This is a sad and very heavy-on-the-heart book, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it. It all turns out okay in the end.

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