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!
For other opinions, check out the other tour stops:
- Tuesday, February 1st: Books Like Breathing
- Wednesday, February 2nd: My Own Little Corner of the World
- Thursday, February 3rd: Take Me Away
- Wednesday, February 9th: Reviews from the Heart
- Thursday, February 10th: Rundpinne
- Friday, February 11th: Debbie’s Book Bag
- Tuesday, February 15th: Reading Through Life
- Wednesday, February 16th: I’m Booking It
- Monday, February 21st: BookNAround
- Tuesday, February 22nd: Clever Girl Goes Blog
- Wednesday, February 23rd: Life In Review
- Thursday, February 24th: The Book Chick