Sara's Face (Puffin Teenage Books) Paperback – 31 Jan 2008
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Genuinely chilling . . . a smart satire for our image-obsessed culture (Telegraph)
Sara's Face is quite unlike anything else I have read this year (Independent)
Ingenious and chilling . . . the narrative gallop will have readers sitting up half the night to finish it (Observer)
Remarkable . . . startling (Publishing News)
Thrilling . . . it stays with you (Guardian)
When Sara meets ageing rock star Jonathon Heat, he promises her the world. She'll become famous, beautiful, and extraordinary. But there's always a price to pay... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There's too much going on here. Burgess wants this to be a commentary on the obsession with celebrity, beauty and cosmetic surgery but also writes it as a ghost story and alludes to the Bluebeard legend when the novel simply isn't long enough to handle it all satisfactorily. Sara should be a character you can empathise with, but she's so morally ambiguous - telling different stories to different characters - that it's difficult to it's difficult to sympathise with her. Likewise, Heat is a damaged individual in his own right and could be a sympathetic villain, but seen mainly through the eyes of others he is too diffuse to understand and the sinister Dr Kaye who Heat claims was the driving force behind his operations isn't on the page long enough to make an impression.
The narrative style makes it difficult to buy into the story.Read more ›
Sarah was once an unknown and sometimes self-destructive girl. She had big plans to be famous and was saving for several forms of cosmetic surgery: new breasts, a better face, liposuction later on. It was part of her long-term plans. When Sarah's destructive behavior spiraled out of control, she burned her face with an iron and her mother had her placed in the hospital. Sarah claimed it was an accident, but not everyone was convinced. This is when she met Jonathon Heat. He came to visit children in the hospital, but somehow already knew a great deal about Sarah. He lured Sarah to his compound with the promise of free cosmetic surgery to fix the burn mark.
It was almost Michael Jacksonish the way Jonathon took Sarah in. Sarah moved into his mansion and was his constant companion. The two were constantly photographed together and speculation about their relationship was rampant. However, when readers were exposed to Sarah's video journals, we learn a completely different view of what was really going on. Secret rooms, security cameras covering every inch of the property, and maybe even ghosts. It's very difficult to tell what really happens, what Sarah might be imagining, and what she may even be making up.Read more ›
I found Sara's Face a very difficult book, not because I disliked it, not because it disturbed me, but precisely for the opposite reason: when I finished the book, I felt nothing. It's not really the sort of book you want to walk away from feeling completely unaffected, but I did.
At its heart the book is about the quest for two things: the quest for identity, and the quest for beauty. These two quests are played out through the characters of Sara and of Jonathon Heat. Dr Wayland Kaye is a key player in their quests, and yet he barely exists on the page. There is no question that Sara, Heat and Kaye are enigmatic characters. They're not easy characters either, and I think that's the point.
There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn from this book, very few of which are comfortable. In many ways Sara's Face can be read as a horror story, as it contains a lot of the horror archetypes - monsters, violence, fear. The story isn't meant to be a comfortable one. It's meant to make you think.
So why did I only find it okay? Well, I think I just may be too old for this book. I think this book is definitely aimed at its audience and I may know too much of the world, and the horrors it can hold because honestly for me the book didn't go far enough to make it stick with me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'll start by saying that I have two small gripes, but they aren't enough to prevent this from being a five-star review. The first is that in this country the surgeon should be Mr. Read morePublished on 22 April 2009 by Book Junkie
I bought this book for my teenage daughter but she wasn't interested in the book so I thought I'd give it a go. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2008 by Janie U
This book at times is incredibly eerey and creepy which of course makes it hard to put down, without giving away too much of what happens, at times I was realy urging Sara to make... Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2008 by CJ Taylor
Melvin Burgess comes up with an excelent base line plot for this book. Quite obviously influenced by some storys in the media today, Sara's face tells the story of Jonathan Heat,... Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2007 by Girl- bibliophile