Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sara's Face by Melvin Burgess

I recommend this book for: high school

Sara Carter is destined to be famous - that's what she believes. She's a complex, scary 17 year old who sees ghosts, becomes different people for weeks on end, and self injures. She sees plastic surgery as a way to make all of her dreams come true, and meeting Jonathon Heat is her big chance. Heat, a pop star/cultural icon whose face has collapsed after too many surgeries, offers her the chance to get the work she wants done and make her big debut with him - but once she's moved into his mansion, Sara and the people around her begin to realize that the deal is not exactly what it appears . . . Heat is desperate to get a new face, but would he stoop to stealing one from a teenage girl? Or has he already tried it before . . .?

Burgess covers a lot of territory in this novel written in the style of a true crime narrative. The narrator is an unnamed journalist who frequently quotes his interviews with Sara's boyfriend, best friend, mother, nurse, and other people around her. Sara herself is absent except for in excerpts of her video diary. A compelling read that deals with celebrity, body image, reality, and how far people are willing to go for what they want.

*Note: The plot centers around a teen girl in a celebrity's house, and there's a good bit of the scandal you might imagine involved. The sex and drinking aren't graphic, but they are definitely present, and there's a good bit of profanity.

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