I received this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Yes, I know,’ she said in answer to the unasked, for there was no time for explanations. ‘Yes. My face is spoilt.’
Grandible’s jowl wobbled and creased. Then, for the first time that Neverfell could remember, he changed to a Face she had never seen before, a frown more ferocious and alarming than either of the others.
‘Who the shambles told you that?’ he barked. ‘Spoilt? I’ll spoil them.’ He took hold of her chin and examined her. ‘A bit sadder, maybe. A bit wiser. But nothing rotten. You’re just growing yourself a rind at last. Still a good cheese.”
― Frances Hardinge,
This book was like a fresh drink of water. It was new, unique and different than anything I had ever read before. I’m not usually one to choose a book about a main character so young. I also usually choose books that include romance. This book was not about romance. And I was actually very okay with that. A Face Like Glass takes place in a place called Caverna. People that are born in Caverna do not smile. They don’t show anger, or any other emotion. They have to learn to show emotion like we learn our ABC’s. Those with money, get taught more expressions, it’s a commodity in Caverna. People that are born ‘above’, do not have these problems.
The people of Caverna are unique. They are craftsmen. Facesmiths, that create new facial expressions, Cheesemasters that create cheeses that can help you remember lost memories, wines created to make you forget and perfumes that control other people around you.
Neverfell, our main character, was born different. Her guardian realized when he first found Neverfell that she was different. She had natural facial expressions, so many within a minute’s time. He quickly made the decision to hide her face to protect her from the world of Caverna where facial expressions are craved like diamonds. Neverfell thinks she’s ugly. She does not know about her expressions, just that she is told to constantly wear a mask to hide her face from the world, leading her to believe that she’s ugly. Not only that, but that she craves to see the outside world. When presented with that opportunity, Neverfell jumps at it leading her down the proverbial rabbit hole. Here Neverfell discovers she has a ‘face like glass’. She has more expressions than the Facesmiths of Caverna, she’s different than anyone underground and she is targeted for it. She meets new people, has to learn the craft of lies through taught expressions, and the motives of others for herself. This book was refreshing, unique and keep me going until the very end.
I loved Neverfell and saw the world out of her eyes. Hardinge has a very poetic way of writing and I would definitely recommend her and her wonderful book to anyone.
You can find A Face Like Glass on:
Goodreads: A Face Like Glass
Website: Frances Hardinge
Amazon: A Face Like Glass