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A review of Alyssa Sheinmel’s “Faceless”

by Gabi Rutherford

Maisie knows a few things about who she is: a runner with good grades who has both an excellent boyfriend and a wonderful best friend. But when a thunderstorm interrupts one of her morning runs and she is burned from a tree that was struck, her life is completely changed. Maisie wakes up in the hospital, unable to even turn her head, and learns that half of her face was destroyed in the fire.

However, the doctor’s might have a solution: a face transplant. Maisie’s hopes rise, but when she comes out of surgery, the face looking back in the mirror at her isn’t what she expected, and she is crushed. Will Maisie be able to be who she used to be, even though she can’t even recognize herself?

Alyssa Sheinmel did a very good job with character development. Most of the story, Maisie is dealing with a lot of emotions. She goes through anger, disgust, loathing, and more, and she has to find a way to deal with these emotions. Sheinmel portrayed all of these emotions very well. Her use of seasons as sections for the story was also interesting, as they helped to portray Maisie’s growth and emotions.

I thought this was an interesting read. However, I also thought it was slow moving. Maisie feels sorry for herself for half of the book, and that frustrated me. While I realize that this was a major event for this character, and she has the right to be angry and hurt, I felt as though the character development could have been a bit faster.

The story does pick up about a quarter to halfway through the book, so if you are able to push through that, I do think that this story is a good read. It took me a while to enjoy this story, so this is not at the top of my list of recommendations, but if you enjoy perseverance stories, this might be a better read for you than it was for me.

Want to read it for yourself? Check it out from the WIU QC Library today!

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