This subject matter is rather yucky. Very, very yucky, really, if you think about it. Before I read Sara’s Face when it was first out, I emailed Melvin Burgess to see if he wanted to reassure me that it wasn’t going to be too disgusting. No, he didn’t. He more or less said that it was going to be horrendous.
Ah well. I read it anyway, and it wasn’t too bad. I mean, it’s a good story, as you’d expect from Melvin. But it’s got a high yuck-factor. Daughter snatched it off me, naturally, and we ended up reading it in tandem, with two bookmarks. It was another of those books where Daughter simply doesn’t want to take part in ordinary life until the book’s done.
Sara’s Face is out in paperback this week, and if you’re looking for something that little bit extra, then go to the Spinebreakers website to watch the video logs they’ve recorded, based on the ones Sara records in the book.
The book originally came out just after the first real face transplant, but it was written before that took place. Melvin was obviously feeling the right vibes.
Sara is being used and manipulated by rock star Jonathon Heat, who is after Sara’s face, to replace his own mutilated face. In usual Melvin style the story is told by several people, each one casting a different light on what goes on.
It is pretty gruesome, but the worst of it almost vanishes with the reader’s dislike for Sara’s willingness to put up with it all. There are many twists and turns, and you’re never entirely sure what to believe.
If you’re not sqeamish – read it. If you are, consider carefully if you dare.