Face by Benjamin Zephaniah was kindly sent to me by Bloomsbury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I received the new cover of this book which will be released in March 2018. This post is NOT sponsored.
This book Face written by Benjamin Zephaniah was published in 2004 by Bloomsbury USA, and this year has been given a new cover (as pictured below). I was sent this book from Bloomsbury publishing, so a huge thank you to them for making this post possible.
Disclaimer: I am of course rating this as a Young Adult reading this, but many of the points will be referred back to “young Bree” and how she would’ve reviewed the book. This will not be compared using my normal scale, and such will not be likened to the works of Patrick Ness and Cassandra Clare.
In the moving and compelling debut novel from Benjamin Zephaniah, a young man’s life is completely changed when his face is badly scarred in a car accident.
Martin seems to have it all. He’s cool, funny, and he’s the undisputed leader of the Gang of Three, who roam their East London estate during the holidays looking for fun. But one night after the Gang leave a late night rap club, Martin accepts a ride from Pete, a Raider’s Posse gang member. Too late, he realises that the car is stolen, and that the police are after them.
What happens next will change Martin’s life and looks, and show him the true meaning of strength, courage, discrimination and friendship.
Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah’s novels for young adult readers.
I didn’t actually know what to expect going into this book. I haven’t read any of his works, or even heard of Benjamin Zephaniah prior to being sent this book, though I have to say upon reading the first 2-3 pages I already knew three things:
- This book was set in England – or somewhere in an English town which had alot of distinct slang terms.
- Racist themes would be addressed and prevalent
- These kids were young and naieve
As an adult reading this I guessed exactly what was going to be the major plot twist in the book by just reading the blurb, but any young human reading this wouldn’t even begin to think that a car crash would be the cause of Martin’s eventual facial deformities.
Reading this was a true culture shock especially to me as an adult, though any young human reading this would – depending on the child – find great interest in the difference in writing. I know young Bree would really enjoy the difference in speech of the characters and the way they’re raised and the freedom their parents give them.
I’m unsure how to do this book justice but I really loved how it dealt with themes such as racism, gangs, and facial deformities in a way in which young children were able to understand them. This really opened up a whole new world to me in just 200 pages.
The novel moved fast, though held nearly every emotion under the sun and portrayed some key values to its readers. The values of friendship, family, resilience, and willpower were prevalent. It even taught me a thing or two, which I admire. It shows a book is wonderfully written when it targets a younger audience, yet makes an impact on an older one.
★ Rating ★
This was such a powerful middle grade novel. It dealt with some heavy themes, doing them justice though not overcomplicating it for the target audience. I gave this novel a ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars) on Goodreads.
Please appreciate this photo I took that took almost a dozen tries to perfect. I saw this amazing cover and I had to take these style photos which turned out perfect!
Have you read this book? Tell me your thoughts down in the comments below or on my Instagram or Twitter @thebookishbree xx
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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission. This post was not sponsored, the photos and graphics are my own.
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