Review: Moonface by Angela Balcita

16 Feb

Moonface: A True Romance by Angela Balcita

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A true life adventure by an author with a story to tell and the voice to tell it in.

Summary via Goodreads:

The moving and hilarious true story of a young woman who found romance and laughter in the midst of illness

At the age of eighteen, Angela Balcita had reached a point in her life when her health could not keep up with her optimistic personality. After suffering kidney failure and after her body’s rejection of the kidney her brother donated to her, she was in desperate need of a transplant.

Lucky for Angela, she had found the ultimate partner in crime: her boyfriend, Charlie. Although they had known each other for only a short period of time, Charlie offered Angela his kidney. The ensuing story is unforgettable, with readers following Angela and Charlie’s journey through preparations for their respective surgeries; the procedures themselves, difficult yet emotionally riveting; the process of recuperation through the relapses; and the eventual healing—both inside and out—that greets this undeniably powerful duo.

By far, the thing that sticks with me from Moonface is the author’s voice. She has a way of writing that is funny without being comic, that makes her feel like someone that would be really interesting to know, and that I was getting to know her through her book. She was funny and very human.

And yes, she was an interesting character, beyond being an interesting person. She faced real challenges (She had kidney disease that caused her kidneys to fail, and she received a transplant from her brother, and when that failed, another transplant from her then boyfriend). She also faced the normal challenges of deciding what to do with her life– college, working, relationships, whether to become a mother. Her illness runs through these decisions, complicating them but not defining them.  She’s very opinionated, knows what she wants, and takes action to make it happen– even when that goal (pregnancy with a transplanted kidney?) isn’t the wisest course to pursue

The other characters provided spots of color and interest in a story that was clearly about the author herself. Arguably, I should have gotten to know Charlie more deeply than I did, but on the other hand, that might have distracted from the focus, which led to a very coherent narrative. I liked the glimpse into the life of her Filipino family, Charlie’s Irish/German one, and the highly assorted collection of friends they made along the way.

While Charlie’s character may not have fully come through, their romance does. Their love comes through in small ways and in big ones, through fun and carefree times, through misunderstandings and through large challenges.

I’m looking forward to Angela Balcita’s next book, although I hope her life is not eventful enough to lead to another memoir!

TLC Book ToursI read Moonface for a TLC Book Tour.  Thank you to TLC and Harper Perennial for the opportunity to participate and providing me with a copy of this book to review.

For other opinions, check out the other tour stops:


Posted by on February 16, 2011 in books, reviews, tour


Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “Review: Moonface by Angela Balcita

  1. Heather J. @ TLC

    February 16, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Oh I agree, I hope Angela’s life isn’t crazy enough that she is able to write another memoir like this one, despite how good it was!

    Thanks for being on the tour Laura – I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

  2. Rebecca Rasmussen

    February 17, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I have heard great things about this book–definitely going on my list! 🙂


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