Could you cope with facial injuries and losing an eye? Cass does, with Em's help, but everything is changed!
Losing Face narrates the friendship, tragedy, identity struggles and triumph of two 15-year olds, corresponding over the Internet.
Shy, musical Cass is encouraged by foster child Em to ride in Spider's car. He drives recklessly, causing an accident. He is unhurt but Cass goes through the windscreen and suffers life-threatening facial injuries. Em and her friend Jock wait for the ambulance, terrified Cass will die.
Cass struggles to cope through medical procedures and coming to terms with her facial disfigurement. She is taunted about her appearance and becomes depressed. Em has her own problems but at their lowest point, they make a pact to conquer the past and make a new future. Cass has a love/hate relationship with Spider; Em strongly dislikes him and distrusts his motives.
After singing in a school concert, Cass is interviewed on television. Spider's comments about the interview infuriate her. She finishes with him, realising she is more highly valued by others.
Cass and Em create a performance piece together based on a Christian poem written by Cass. This becomes a celebration of life itself.
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I loved the chatty way the chapters and e-mails were written, you could really imagine the teens going through it all. You literally felt the girls moods, and emotions with them. I seriously wanted to throttle the teacher that took the assembly "to prepare" the students for Cass's return to school. Why are some adults so dumb? I also want to seriously slap Miranda on behalf of Cass and Em too. Miranda is the "mean girl" in the school that picks on anyone that is "different" in any way. Em falls into that category as she lives with a foster mum. Of course after the accident Cass really falls into "different" category. I found it interesting that it seemed to be the guys such as Josh and Rob, in the book that handled Cass's accident and her feelings after it much better than some of the girls. Of course Spider you just want to shake as he is so very stupid with the comments he makes to Cass. The book shows Cass, down, depressed, devastated, and at times feeling lonely. Yet the book is also very positive as its show Cass's acceptance of what has happened and her courage and bravery to deal with the many awkward incidents and obstacles she has to overcome to continue her life. So did I enjoy the book? I loved it. Would I recommend it? Yes, it should be on the school curriculum to be read by all. Would I read more by Annie Try? Definitely. ~ Sandra Keys, Goodreads, Shelfari, Librarything, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
This is a skilfully-constructed novel about friendship and surviving terrible facial injuries. . . It is an optimistic, even uplifting piece. It has a well-defined shape and trajectory, and this novel succeeds in what it sets out to do: to explain and understand what happens when someone suffers this kind of adversity. The two girls are very well characterised - from early on they are well-defined and their friendship is portrayed in a very realistic way, with all of its highs and lows, and fallings out . . It is all reflected as sharply as if it really was being written by teenagers.~ , Feedback from MA Creative Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University: