Book Review: Moonface by Angela Balcita

Moonface by Angela BalcitaMoonface is subtitled A True Romance and that is what it’s about. But it’s not romantic fiction. In fact, it’s non-fiction. a memoir. Who would have thought that?

Moonface: What it is about

Moonface is the autobiographical story of a young woman who suffers from kidney disease. Amazingly, her boyfriend offers up one of his kidneys so that she doesn’t have to suffer dialysis three times a week and so she has the chance to live a reasonably normal life.

The book describes the onset of the disease, how Angela meets Charlie, her boyfriend, and how he stays with her through all her difficult moments and supports her in every way he can.

After Charlie has donated his kidney, he feels rather ill for a while, because of the wound and because of the effect having just one kidney has on his energy levels. In fact, Angela is feeling better than him, having two kidneys.

Once Angela has Charlie’s kidney she is terrified she may lose it again (from rejection by her body) and sees the kidney as a symbol of their love. Losing the kidney would surely mean losing Charlie (of course, Charlie has no such thoughts at all).

When a third person becomes involved in Angela’s disease, things become rather complicated.

(Moonface is Charlie’s name for Angela, as the medicines give her face a typical “moon face”. )

Moonface: What I thought

I loved reading this bitter sweet story about two young lovers that struggle against Angela’s kidney disease together. In a way, the book is a celebration of Charlie’s love for her.

Angela is more concerned about Charlie’s feelings (emotional and physical) than her own. The reader doesn’t get a lot of information about how ill she feels or what pains she has, but there is a lot of thought from Angela about how Charlie must be feeling.

There wasn’t a lot of drama in the book to start with. I didn’t pick up the book because I was expecting drama (I’m not the sensationalist type) but I did expect a bit more than I got. The drama really started (and with a vengeance!) in the last quarter of the book.

The book is not so much about the technicalities of kidney disease, but rather a personal account of Angela’s life with Charlie.

Some readers may expect to shed a few tears.

Rating: 4/5

I got this book: free from the publishers, Harper Perennial, for review.

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 222 (ARC)

First published: 2011

Genre: non-fiction, memoir


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

8 Responses to Book Review: Moonface by Angela Balcita

  1. Nadine Nys says:

    Not my cup of tea, this one, I think! I never read memoirs, why, I’m not sure. But thanks for the review, because I do like to read reviews of books I will never read myself.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ha ha, now you can at least say you know something about the book. I do like memoirs sometimes (like this one). I enjoy reading someone’s experience in their own words. I especially like travel stories.

  2. Tes says:

    This looks like a beautiful story. I will look for it at the book store 🙂

  3. Biographies are my favorite books (I guess I like gossip…lol). I am placing this book on my list for this year. I really like the way you describe the story.

  4. Esme says:

    Thank you for stopping by-things are getting better-although I sound like I have smoked a pack of cigarettes. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Please stop by for my giveaway.

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  6. Pingback: Moonface by Angela « The Young 1

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