Blurb: When Maisie is burnt in 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 recognise yourself any more? As Maisie discovers how much her looks shaped her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what ‘lucky’ really means.
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Publisher: Chicken House
This book follows Maisie’s journey from a regular teenage girl to a survivor of a lightning strike with a brand new face. This story deals with some heavy themes, mainly the main character’s recovery from a major trauma. I cried tears of sadness, grief and happiness for the characters throughout this book, becoming more and more attached to them as the plot advanced. I was rooting for Maisie so badly, willing her to get better – both physically and mentally – and feeling her pain, causing a few more tears!
One thing I really loved about this book was Maisie’s character development as the plot advanced. At the beginning of the book, she was comparatively whiny and stubborn but over time became mentally stronger and more sure of herself, eventually learning to love herself and her new face. I understand that the author was demonstrating just how tough experiencing such trauma is and that it isn’t something that is easily overcome but I so badly wanted Maisie to push through, I was impatiently wanting to cheerlead for her. I also liked that this book didn’t have a slow start, we get right into the action so that the story can be told through the aftermath of Maisie’s accident and surgery. We still get to know about her relationships with others and what her life was like before but it is told through flashbacks and comments of comparison that the main character makes about certain situations.
As a side note, I also love the cover of this edition of the book! It’s so simple but really speaks to the story and makes me think of a drawing that Maisie may have drawn of herself in the darker moments of her recovery journey.
On the other hand, I must say that, while I didn’t dislike much of the book, some of the secondary characters, like Maisie’s school peers and Chirag, were easy to dislike at times – particularly during the party scene. I understand that their part in the story was to aid Maisie’s overall growth and even reflected the way that a lot of teens would react to something so shocking but it was just my personal annoyance at them that got me. However, this only made me feel more for the main character, increasing my enthrallment in the story. As well as this, I felt like the Chirag and Alexis subplot wasn’t entirely necessary. I understand that this was used to further isolate Maisie from her boyfriend and allow her to become strong on her own without depending on him, but Chirag and Alexis seemed a bit full on (maybe in the way that high school relationships can be?) only to be pretty much over by the end. I felt like it didn’t add much to the overall plot but didn’t take away anything important either.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a book that makes them cry! 😂 Also for anyone who loves a strong character development or fans of coming-of-age stories where young characters are forced to rethink their current lives and become better for it.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did we have the same or similar thoughts on it? Or maybe you haven’t read it, is it on your TBR list now? Have you read any other novels by this author? Would you recommend them? Let me know! You can always find me on twitter and instagram for a book chat 😌💖