In the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare—wines that remove memories, cheeses that make you hallucinate, and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. On the surface, the people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express (or fake) joy, despair, or fear—at a steep price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. Neverfell's expressions are as varied and dynamic as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, except hers are entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .
Frances Hardinge is the winner of the 2015 Costa Book of the Year for The Lie Tree, one of just two young adult novels to win this major UK literary prize. She is the author of several books for children, including Cuckoo Song, The Lost Conspiracy, Fly By Night, Well Witched, and Fly Trap. She lives in England. www.franceshardinge.com.
A Face Like Glass 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, ABRAMS Kids, via NetGalley for an honest review.
WHEW! Listen up guys, because this is one book that NEEDS to be noted and fawned over.
“It draws you in. You twist your mind into new shapes. You start to understand Caverna…and you fall in love with her. Imagine the most beautiful woman in the world, but with tunnels as her long, tangled, snake-like hair. Her skin is dappled in traplantern gold and velvety black, like a tropical frog. Her eyes are cavern lagoons, bottomless and full of hunger. When she smiles, she has diamonds and sapphires for teeth, thousands of them, needle-thin.”
- The Kleptomancer, A Face Like Glass
Neverfell’s story begins at the young age of five, when she is found by Cheesemaker Grandible after falling into a vat of his curdling Neverfell milk. After rescuing her and taking one look at the young girl, Grandible notices the differences in the young child, covers her face with a mask, takes her in and appoints her as his apprentice. After some seven years later, Neverfell is accustomed to her life as a cheesemaker. But unable to remove her mask around other people or to leave the cheese tunnels, she finds herself fighting a curiosity about what lays beyond. Soon Neverfell’s opportunity to leave the tunnels presents itself, and she gets her first look at the world that she has been hidden from. But her freedom is short lived when her mask falls from her face, and what lies beneath is shown to the people of Caverna. Neverfell, unlike the residents of Caverna, is able to make expressions on her own without having to be taught. As word travels of Neverfell, she becomes sold to the highest bidder. Caverna is flushed with experts in dangerous and strange delicacies, and murder is just another game for the members of the court. Pushed into a world where Neverfell finds trust in the wrong people, she struggles to find a way to protect herself and to recover the memories that she feels may be lost forever. But most importantly, to find a way out of Caverna.
Caverna. Woah. This place is seriously vicious guys. Do you remember reading The Hunger Games and being introduced to the strange people in the capitol? These people were insane and followed bizarre fashion trends that made them both appealing and frightening. Trust me when I say, the capitol has NOTHING on the court in Caverna. These people are PSYCHOTIC. They create wines that have minds and temperaments of their own, cheeses that can explode upon a slight bump, and strange foods that have creatures trapped inside gelatin. Not only do they spend all of their free time trying to poison rival families or hire assassins, but they are unable to make facial expressions on their own. The higher up in society and the better-off you are, the more “Faces” you are able to buy for yourself. People of a lower faction usually are unable to have 1 to 3 faces, depending on their job titles.
To see the full review, head over to my website: Jenacidebybibliophile.wordpress.com
More than 1 year ago
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Amulet Books for the opportunity to read and review A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge. A Face Like Glass is a strange story of a lost girl in a world where people are taught expressions or "faces" by Facesmiths. This girl, Neverfell, was given a mask to cover her face because it's different. She's brought to society and lives with a family while she learns how to act and react when around others. This is an odd story full of symbolism of human nature and society. The epilogue helps the story make a bit more sense, but the oddities and ramblings still overpower the story. The writing is well done but the story is not for me, too stretched and too vague; 3 stars.
More than 1 year ago
But it was a good book
More than 1 year ago
A Masterpiece of YA Literature
A great, engaging read for children, teens, young adults, and the young at heart. This isn't the kind of book that I would normally pick up, and it's a crying shame.
With excellent prose, and plot that avoids overused cliches, A Face Like Glass is a glowing example of what a bildungsroman should be.
This book is highly underrated, and I suggest reading it straight away. This is by far the best book I've read this year. - And trust me, I read a ton of books.
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