by Alyssa Sheinmel
Published on September 29, 2015
by Scholastic Books
Synopsis from Goodreads: Synopsis from Goodreads: When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She's lucky enough to get 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. As Maisie discovers how much her looks did--and didn't--shape her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what "lucky" really means.
My take: I'm not going to lie, Faceless was a difficult read for me in several regards. I started it and then had to stop. I mean, this is a tough subject: a girl who's so badly burned that she needs a face transplant. After a break, I re-tried it and was able to finish. And I have a mix of thoughts. On the one hand, I learned a lot about what transplant patients have to go through. And I especially liked the scenes with Maisie and her support group. On the other hand, while reading this I never was able to forget that I was reading a book -- and this could be due to either the extreme nature of the topic or my own emotional distancing.
by Julie Murphy
Published by Balzer + Bray
on September 15, 2015
Source: eARC for review from the publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.My take: So much about Dumplin' was absolutely fantastic -- the irresistible, irrepressible main character and her fabulous voice were among my top two narrators of 2015 (Maddie in Everything, Everything would be the other.) I loved the messy, realistic way that Will's friendships and family relationships were portrayed, and the book's great messages about self-acceptance and not letting fear and shame and low self esteem and other people's negativity stop you from doing whatever you want to do. But I really wish there hadn't been a romance involved. Or if there had to be a romance, that there hadn't been two guys. I mostly wish that part of Willowdean's journey of self discovery had involved the idea that she didn't need to land the guy of her dreams to prove anything to herself or the world or anyone. But I think I'm in the minority on this opinion, so there you go...
If you're curious about Faceless, it will be up for grabs on Freebie Friday, so be sure to stop by!