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.
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Praise for Faceless
Faceless is gorgeous and wrenching, full of gigantic questions and even more gigantic answers about love, identity and appearance. I’m sure I’ll reread it many times, as I do with my favorites. It is a vivid, compelling, beautiful, immediate novel, and Alyssa Sheinmel’s writing is so true, her characters so real, that they live on long after the last page is turned.
—New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice
[Sheinmel’s] depiction of a disfigured adolescent girl, already searching for herself and now suddenly forced to accept this new enormity, is compelling… absorbing.
Fascinating… Maisie’s struggle is certainly one that not many teens will have to face, but teens will identify with her struggle to accept that her old life is gone forever. The anger and grief that she feels is palpable and vividly expressed. Fans of R. J. Palacio’s Wonder will also enjoy this book and relate to its similar theme about how physical appearance does not define who you really are.
A fascinating human portrait of a unique medical procedure, this work paints a complex picture of a young life impacted by a mammoth change…. Give this to fans of Trisha Leaver’s The Secrets We Keep and other readers ready for an all-too-gritty piece of realistic fiction.
—School Library Journal
Sheinmel’s prose is accessible to a wide range of readers who, for whatever reason, find themselves struggling with differences. A touching reminder that real change is rarely skin deep.
This is a captivating story of a teen coming to terms with a face transplant. [Sheinmel] does a fab job of showing the internal struggle of dealing with not only the terrible accident but the surgery that comes after. [A] riveting portrayal of an accident victim who struggles to come to grips with not only a new face but the person she becomes.
—YA Book Central
Readers may be drawn to this novel out of curiosity for its unusual subject matter—most of us are only used to hearing about face transplants when they make the news every once and a while—but you’ll stay for Sheinmel’s excellent writing… rewarding.
Progressively clever, sassy, and insightful, Faceless makes an impact.
—Compass Book Ratings
Fascinating… Maisie’s emotional journey from anger to optimism is riveting.
—School Library Connection