Google+ YA Romantics: Mini-Reviews: Faceless and Dumplin'

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mini-Reviews: Faceless and Dumplin'

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Welcome to Mini-Reviews, a periodic feature in which I give you my (brief) thoughts on a few of my recent reads:


Faceless 
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.


Dumplin'
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!

12 comments:

  1. I don't think I'd be able to handle Faceless. I'm terrible about reading outside my comfort zone.

    I haven't seen a single negative review for Dumplin which has me excited! Usually I'm the black sheep in these books, but Willow sounds like hte kind of character I need to read about - especially in YA.

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  2. I want to read both. OBVIOUSLY!

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  3. I am not sure Faceless is one for me. Sounds like a tough one. I totally agree about Dumplin' though. I could have done without the two love interests or the romance all together. I still really loved it though!

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  4. I hadn't heard of Faceless before, but it definitely sounds like an interesting read. I haven't decided whether I would want to read it or not though. It's hard to say right now.

    I am really excited for Dumplin'. I have heard such amazing things about it, and I have been wanting to read it since I first heard about it several months back. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, but can see where you're coming from in regard to the romance you mentioned. I guess I'll just have to find out!

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  5. I'm so happy to see you loved Dumplin'. I just started the audio today and I'm already really enjoying it. :)

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  6. I'm SO excited to read Dumplin'! Thanks a bunch for your review and happy reading! :)

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  7. For some reason, Faceless sounds so appealing to me! LOL Maybe it's the kind of mood I'm in... haha Dumplin' sounds like a fun and easy read! I'll have to for sure check out Faceless

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  8. I've been on the fence about reading Dumplin'. I'm seeing good reviews but I guess I was hopeful that the story could have focused on Willowdean and her own feelings of self-worth without having to introduce a romantic interest (or interests). That just gives off the "he likes/loves me so I must be okay" vibe. Ugh.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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  9. Dumplin is on my tbr, and glad to hear that you enjoyed and it was fantastic.

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  10. Yay, Dumplin'!! I am really intrigued by Faceless. I read an adult novel with the same subject, but I hadn't heard of this one....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  11. Dumplin' is on my list - most def. I don't know about Faceless, though. Kind of not in the mood for difficult reads at the moment.

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  12. I just read Dumplin and I completely agree. with you. I loved it and I did love Bo. I mean, it's okay that there was a little romance. But I didn't like that it involved two guys. And I would have much preferred her get a little more self confidence by herself instead of relying on a guy for it. That did bug me.

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