Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rockstar Book Tours, Interview, and Giveaway: Faceless (Alyssa Sheinmel)

Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 288
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook

When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She's lucky enough to get a face transplant--but how do you live your life when you can't even recognize yourself anymore?
She was a runner, a girlfriend, a good student...a normal girl. Now all that has changed. As Maisie discovers how much her looks did--and didn't--shape her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what "lucky" really means.
From Alyssa Sheinmel, the acclaimed author of Second Star, this is a lyrical and gripping novel that will challenge readers to think about how we create and define ourselves.

Find it: 
I was born in Stanford, California, and even though I moved across the country to New York when I was six years old, I still think of myself as a California girl.
Like so many writers, I grew up loving books. I loved stories so much that when there was nothing to read, I wrote my own stories just to give myself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, I made up stories and acted them out by myself. I played all the parts, and I was never bored.

 What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

A while before my first book, The Beautiful Between, was published, I began jotting down notes for another book idea, the story of a girl who survives an accident that changes her face forever, but I was never quite ready to start writing, never quite sure how to tell this story.

But then my wonderful editor Emily Seife shared an article from a 2012 edition of The New Yorker about a man who’d received a full face transplant. I’m pretty sure I underlined more of the article than I left blank. I know it sounds corny, but I honestly felt like it was meant to be somehow, like this was the story I’d been waiting to write when I wrote all those notes. 

 Who is your favorite character in the book?

I think her best friend Serena might have been my favorite character to write. (Though Maisie’s other friend Adam is a very close second.) Serena doesn’t play the biggest part in Faceless, but she’s still a very important character. She has a capacity for joy that Maisie sometimes envies, but most of all, Serena is a loyal and devoted friend. Plus, I love how different she and Maisie are – Serena has a giggly, goofy side that Maisie doesn’t exactly share, but that just goes to show that when it comes to our best friends, it doesn’t always matter how much we have in common.

 Which came first, the title or the novel?

Faceless was the book’s title all along – I guess you could say I never really had one without the other. As I wrote, I played around with other title ideas, but nothing ever fit quite so perfectly.

 What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I think I’m most proud of the opening chapters. The book is divided into four sections – Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring – and I really love how the scenes in the first section came together, like the morning of Maisie’s accident and then when she wakes up in the hospital weeks later.

 Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

When I started working on Faceless, I wrote a synopsis and a rough outline for where I thought the story would go. But as I wrote, the story grew. I had to push myself to take Maisie’s story to places I hadn’t imagined when I first envisioned the story. But I think taking her there made the novel stronger.

 What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love this cover – I think it communicates the story inside beautifully. I especially love the flame effects between the girl’s face and the title. There’s something so intriguing about that to me.

 What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

2015 has already been such a great year for books by some of my favorite authors. I just started Alice Hoffman’s new book, A Marriage of Opposites and I can’t wait to keep reading. But as far as books that I haven’t gotten to read yet, I think the two I’m most excited for are Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I love Mindy Kaling’s TV show and adored her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns). And, I am a huge Fangirl fangirl. I think it’s one of my all-time favorite YAs, and I love that Carry On came out of the world Rainbow Rowell created so beautifully in Fangirl.

What was your favorite book in 2014?

Oh my goodness, what a tough question! I did reread Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in 2014, and they were probably my favorite reads of the year. (That’s not quite fair, because they’re two of my favorite books ever, but still.)

 What’s up next for you?

The sequel to The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, which I co-wrote with the very cool (and very talented!) Paige McKenzie – who also stars in the web series of the same name – is publishing in March 2016. It’s called The Awakening of Sunshine Girl and we hope that fans of the first book will love where the story is going next!

Is there anything that you would like to add?

It was such an exciting challenge to research and write Faceless and I’m so thrilled that the book is finally out there for folks to read. The science behind face transplants is truly fascinating, and I’m very grateful to the doctors who answered all of my questions and to the writers who wrote about aspects of the procedure that I hadn’t even thought to ask about. But at the end of the day, Faceless is the story of one girl’s struggle to figure out who she is. Most of us –– will never find ourselves in situations as extreme as Maisie’s, but plenty of us still struggle to discover how much of who we are is tied to what we look like. While Maisie’s experience may be singular, being a girl who doesn’t look the way she thinks she should unfortunately isn’t. 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of FACELESS. US Only.

Tour Schedule

Week One:

9/21/2015- Bookhounds ya- Interview

9/22/2015- I'm Shelf-ish- Review

9/23/2015- The Cover Contessa- Guest Post

9/24/2015- Enchanted Excurse- Review

9/25/2015- The Book Bratz- Interview

Week Two:

9/28/2015- My So-Called Book Reviews- Review

9/29/2015- Paranormal Book Club- Excerpt

9/30/2015- Once Upon A Twilight- Review

10/1/2015- Curling Up With A Good Book- Interview

10/2/2015- Me, My Shelf and I- Review


  1. WOW! This book sounds fantastic! Congrats to Alyssa on the new release! What a unique and intriguing premise! thanks for sharing!

  2. wonderful, I love the cover as well. I think its very different.