Editor’s Pick: Faceless by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Faceless

“Faceless” by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015 | Scholastic, 352 pages | Amazon ~IndieBound

When Maisie Winters wakes up, she’s in the hospital.

The last thing she remembers is running through the hills of her neighborhood one misty morning. Slowly, she puts the pieces together. Before she could make it home, a storm gathered. Lightning hit a power line and sparks rained down, the hot-burning electrical fire consuming her. Destroying her face. Where her nose, cheeks, and chin used to be, now there is…nothing.

Maisie’s lucky enough to qualify for a rare medical treatment: a face transplant. At least, everyone says she’s lucky. But with someone else’s features staring back at her in the mirror, Maisie looks—and feels—like a stranger. The doctors promised that the transplant was her chance to live a normal life again, but nothing feels normal anymore. Before, she knew who she was—a regular girl who ran track and got good grades, who loved her boyfriend and her best friend. Now, she can’t even recognize herself.

Acclaimed author Alyssa Sheinmel has created a gripping and gorgeously written tale of identity and love. This is a story of losing yourself and the long, hard fight to find your way back.

Maisie Winters wakes up from a medically induced coma to find that she had been in an accident that left her horribly disfigured. Just as she’s accepted the fact that she will have to endure multiple surgeries and her face will be permanently disfigured, Maisie is given the option of a face transplant. The only hing that gets her through surgery, recovery, and painful physical therapy are her memories of her time spent with her boyfriend, Chraig, and her best friend, Serena.

Once she is able to leave the hospital, Maisie is disappointed to find that things with Chraig aren’t quite as she remembered them. Actually, none of her relationships are the same and she struggles to come to terms with her new face, the changes in her life, and how others are reacting to her.

This is a story of learning to love to yourself and learning that you can be loved for the person you are and not for how you may look. There are so many moments that I teared up, but I bawled near the end, when she had an especially poignant conversation with Serena. Touching moments between best friends are a rare find and this one was absolutely perfect.

“At once, I’m aware of another string around my rib cage, a string that’s been there all along but that I’ve never actually felt before because it’s never been pulled quite so tight. This is the string that links me with Serena: This string keeps all of our shared memories, from our first game of hide-and-seek to each of our first kisses. It’s soft as silk and loose as a pair of perfect jeans because it’s always just been there.”

Rating: B+

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