Review: My Face Is More Beautiful Than Yours by Greg Burkholder

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Quick Info
My Face is More Beautiful Than Yours

  • title: My Face Is More Beautiful Than Yours
  • author: Greg Burkholder
  • publisher: Beautiful Mutant Books
  • release date: 23.07.2020
  • series: standalone
  • genre: Paranormal, Young Adult-ish?
  • diversity: different disablilities
  • content warnings: ableism, emotional abuse, self harm (cutting), maybe more
  • rating: 3.5/5

Blurb
My Face Is More Beautiful Than Yours

How would you react if the entire world thought you were ugly for no reason? If people thought you were stupid because you looked different? If strangers constantly asked what happened to your face? For thousands of people with facial disorders this isn’t the plot of some dystopian novel but everyday life.

My Face is More Beautiful Than Yours is an exploration of the complicated yet beautiful lives of people with facial conditions which challenges biases most people don’t even realize they hold. These characters aren’t brave. Or heroic. They’re people. Real, deeply flawed people. Through it’s linked stories readers will get to know two girls who stumble on their speech therapists dark secret, a guy who’s proclaimed to be the savior of the world, a punk rock kid who discovers he can eat music and become essentially immortal, two cousins wrestling with their feelings for each other, plus many more stories rife with teenage runaways, sex, drugs and the occasional demonic encounter. Yipee!

As the book unfolds you’ll learn how their lives intersect, how there’s more to these people than their faces and more to the book than meets the eye. And just who is the mysterious woman who keeps showing up everywhere? Dark, provocative, yet always fiercely body positive, you’ve never seen people with facial disorders represented quite like this.

100% of the profits benefits FACES: The National Craniofacial Association, an organization that promotes awareness of craniofacial disorders and assists low income families with medical costs and transportation.

[contains potential misophonia triggers]

The Queer’s Review

That was a wild and intense ride.

I came into this book with a loose idea of it being different short stories that are on the darker side but interwoven with each other. And I was thrown right into an info dump-y section that reminded me of the Karma-aspect in Buddhism (please note, that while I had some courses at university called something like ‘Religions of the Asian continent’ I don’t know a lot about Buddhism. So you gotta check in with an #ownvoices blogger about this to get a feeling how it is handled etc.).

Luckily the info dump ends at around 3% and while it was strange to read it at least gave me an idea of the world that I am entering.

As soon as the actual book – in a way – starts it’s way easier to get into the stories. One of the great things about My Face Is More Beautiful Than Yours is that the character of the writing changes completely from story to story, so it feels more like the characters have taken a hold of Greg to tell their story than the other way around.

And gosh, are they characters. Not all I enjoyed, some I actually was glad to escape from to be honest, but even with those I enjoyed how rough and taking no shit they were. Some of them are queer too, so this book more than deserves its place on my little blog.

Even though the book is dark, and at times really aggressive, it managed to give me warm feelings too. Honestly just because those scenes where characters turn down or off their hearing aids reminded me so much of my late great great grandmother…

Bookish Thoughts

At around 67% I had to stop reading and then decided to skim read to get at least a feeling the rest of the book. There is a scene where a character self harms and even though it is not that explicit, it hit too hard. Maybe because of the overall atmosphere of Greg’s book? Which in theory is a good thing but not for me and especially not in this shitshow that 2020 has been in nearly every aspect of my life.

I still wanted to know what happens next, but by then I was wary about other scenes hitting hard, so you see my dilemma. So skim reading it was. I still don’t know what to think about the end, so you’d need to read the book yourself to get an opinion on that.

Disclaimer

I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you. I also asked Greg to provide a link to FACES so if you can spare a little, you could donate to it.

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