‘Faceless’ by Alyssa Sheinmel is about Maisie, whose face is completely destroyed in a freak accident. Now she has undergone a face transplant and is trying to live a normal life, but nothing feels normal since that day.
Beautifully written, thoughtful and poignant, we felt ALL the feels when reading this, and it even had us thinking about the world differently: the sign of a truly great book. This novel challenges ideas of beauty, identity and self-love, three things we’re definitely not done talking about in 2016.
In honour of ‘Faceless’, we’ve compiled a list of 5 other YA books that lingered in our minds long after we put them down:
One, Sarah Crossan
This beautiful book, written in verse, is about conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi. A moving story about sisterhood and identity, this book pulled at our heartstrings and made us really consider the realities of conditions like this. Not only that, but we started thinking about a person’s independence and how it can be as lonely and frightening as it is liberating. Kudos to Sarah, as well, for portraying such an intense, beautiful relationship between sisters.
Not If I See You First, Eric Lindstrom
If you’ve read ‘Not If I See You First’, you’ll know that it’s told from the perspective of Parker, a blind seventeen-year-old girl. She’s not one to feel sorry for herself (quite the opposite: she’s the snarkiest character we’ve read in ages) but it’s oddly disquieting to read a book without any visual descriptions. In fact, the only time anything is depicted with visual adjectives is when Parker’s friends describe things for her. A thought-provoking look into a different world.
The Art of Being Normal
For many YA readers The Art of Being Normal was their first experience of reading a book from the POV of a transgender youth. It successfully takes the the topic head on with a heartfelt sincerity, striking the perfect balance between the light moments and the heavy. It raises awareness of young people trying to navigate their world as transgender and opens a dialogue for readers to explore both the experiences and language surrounding transgender people. And not only that, it’s damn good storytelling too. (Sarah Clare)
Beautiful Broken Things, Sarah Barnard
Beautiful Broken Things starts with three female characters and it ends with three female characters, but they are definitely not the characters you thought they were at the beginning. Characters who were called perfect turn out to have been brutally damaged, characters who thought themselves way too shy, and good, and insignificant to do anything fun, become the ones leading the charge. This story started through one person’s worry that her friend would leave her for a new best friend; she never could have possibly even considered that she might be the one who made waves, made ‘bad choices’ but ultimately made new friends. A book that will really have you reevaluating your priorities and reconsidering everything that you thought was important. (Stevie Finegan)
I’ll Give You The Sun, Jandy Nelson
Jandy Nelson explores love and loss, and all of their complications in her stunning follow up to ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’. Written in dual-perspective, with a time difference of three years, it got us thinking about where the world would lead us in the future if we continued down the road we were on: the things we didn’t fix may well stay broken, and the apologies we made could change our lives completely. The moments we have in the present are so significant, because they can still echo into the future.
Victoria Aveyard’s second book in the ‘Red Queen’ series is so morally grey, it may as well be a British weather forecast. Can you be bad in pursuit of good, and vice versa? What divides vengeance and justice, what is a just cause and what is selfish ambition? A story that really pushed our idea of perspective and what “truth” really means.
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