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Moonface: A True Romance

( 13 )

Overview

The moving and hilarious true story of a young woman who found romance and laughter in the midst of illness

At the age of eighteen, Angela Balcita had reached a point in her life when her health could not keep up with her optimistic personality. After suffering kidney failure and after her body's rejection of the kidney her brother donated to her, she was in desperate need of a transplant.

Lucky for Angela, she had found the ultimate partner ...

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Moonface: A True Romance

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Overview

The moving and hilarious true story of a young woman who found romance and laughter in the midst of illness

At the age of eighteen, Angela Balcita had reached a point in her life when her health could not keep up with her optimistic personality. After suffering kidney failure and after her body's rejection of the kidney her brother donated to her, she was in desperate need of a transplant.

Lucky for Angela, she had found the ultimate partner in crime: her boyfriend, Charlie. Although they had known each other for only a short period of time, Charlie offered Angela his kidney. The ensuing story is unforgettable, with readers following Angela and Charlie's journey through preparations for their respective surgeries; the procedures themselves, difficult yet emotionally riveting; the process of recuperation through the relapses; and the eventual healing—both inside and out—that greets this undeniably powerful duo.

Expanded from Angela's unforgettable "Modern Love" column in the New York Times and by turns funny, bittersweet, and heartwarming, Moonface will make readers laugh, cry, and, above all, appreciate the importance of unconditional love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
By the time she was in her early 30s, Balcita had an M.F.A., a husband named Charlie, a toddler daughter, and her third kidney transplant. Her debut is a wonderfully composed, moving tale of what it was like to discover at age 17 that renal disease is her lot in life—and to realize not once but thrice that there are people who love her so much they will offer her a kidney. It's not hard to see why Balcita would inspire such generosity; she's funny and smart and considerate. In fact, she rarely stops worrying about her donors: her brother, then boyfriend (now husband), and a friend. Are they in pain? Do they regret their decision? Does she deserve such a gift? Bits of her story first appeared in literary journals and in a 2006 New York Times "Modern Love" column, and it has grown into a creatively rendered homage to love in its many forms. Whether reflecting on her nomadic postcollege days or her emergency C-section, Balcita balances drama and comedy with finesse. (Feb.)
USA Today
“Balcita paints a picture of [her and her husband’s] commitment and empathy for each other that is sweet and compelling enough to keep readers engrossed into the wee hours.”
OK! Magazine
“A triumphant story of hope and love. Buy this book—and a box of Kleenex—immediately.”
Booklist
“What makes Balcita’s memoir so brightly entertaining is the unequaled sense of humor and perspective with which she and her devoted boyfriend-cum-spouse, Charlie, challenge these health problems. Certainly, Balcita’s pitch-perfect prose and intrinsic sense of timing don’t hurt either.”
People
“[Moonface] will restore your faith in humanity.”
BookPage
“With her sharp ear for dialogue and unflinching honesty, Balcita offers a sweet story of love and healing.”
People Magazine
"[Moonface] will restore your faith in humanity."
Julie Metz
“[Angela Balcita’s] story is a sweet testimony to the power of family, love, perseverance, and hope. And three cheers for her husband, Charlie, a natural comic and all-around great guy.”
Marion Winik
“Girl meets boy, girl gets boy, girl gets kidney. . . . Moonface is full of people doing the best they can to take care of each other, and reading it is a rare refresher course in ordinary human kindness.”
People
“[Moonface] will restore your faith in humanity.”
Kirkus Reviews

A Filipino woman with a deadly diagnosis finds love and support at every turn.

Raised in Queens, New York, Balcita's family occupied a two-bedroom apartment. She spent a lot of time in the room she shared with her free-spirited brother, Joel, whom she idolized, and she was ever-fearful of the chronic stomachaches that plagued her youth. Her overprotective father, a doctor, obsessively coddled her, instilling fear about infections and disease. Unfortunately, his precautions proved to be appropriate, as minor medical problems (edema, shortness of breath, high blood pressure) interrupted her college years, and she was soon diagnosed with kidney failure. The progression of her condition forced doctors to order an immediate organ transplant, which precipitated her brother Joel to make a sacrificial donation. Providing love and support was college sweetheart Charlie, her lighthearted boyfriend who affectionately nicknamed her "Moonface" because of the bloating side effects of the anti-rejection drugs. After college graduation, Balcita relocated to San Francisco, a city "full of possibility" (and unsettling earthquakes). Charlie eventually joined her, and life became balanced until body chills signaled a kidney rejection, leading to grueling dialysis and the need for a second transplant. The author writes with earnest appreciation about the outpouring of kidney offerings she received from a fellow writer, Charlie and, surprisingly, Charlie's protective mother. The painful aftermath of Charlie's nephrectomy is coupled with Balcita's daunting postoperative complications. The author gratefully reiterates how she has been blessed with the healing power of friends and family, who collectively bolstered her faith in love.

A heartwarming and inspiring memoir.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061537318
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 540,573
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Balcita received her MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Iowa Review, and Utne Reader, among other publications. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A True Life Prescription for Love and Romance!

    Warning: May cause increased appetite and fat deposits. May cause acne, hair growth, weight gain, and a moon-face complexion.

    These were printed on the orange bottled prescription bottle of Prednisone that Charlie had picked up and began reading and that is where I got my nickname, Moonface from.

    Little did I know how much Charlie would change my life, first as someone I could relate to and be myself with and then someone who would quite literally become my hero. Charlie became my hero when after one kidney failure that my brother donated to me, he willingly donated his.

    Even now when friends ask us why he still hasn't asked me to marry him, he jokes and says, "She has my kidney and now she wants me heart too?" and the group begins to laugh.

    This is just a small sampling of the wonderful story that you will find yourself immersed in by Angela Balcita in the novel Moonface. It's a unique behind the scenes memoir about how one woman found romance and laughter in the midst of a life threatening illness.

    We learn first hand through a wonderful woven blend of humor and love that shows the unique perspective on how our attitude towards life really does help us deal with the most difficult of circumstances that life will throw our way.

    I received this heartfelt memoir compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and loved every page of it. My grandmother passed away from kidney failure when my mother was only three so this became a personal story for me in seeing things from another's eyes. This book is a beautiful 5 hearts out of 5 for the love story alone! This book is available in paperback and eBook formats.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Wrong

    Clan cats' names NEVER EVER EVER EVER begin with star! The name ENDS with star when he/she is a leader.
    (But dont feel bad I didnt know that before either lol)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    To below

    I know but i thought it was a pretty name

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    AweLarious

    This was a super book! Hilarious, awesome, sad, redeeming...a MUST read! I hope she writes more;)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A funny, honest, sweet look at true love

    I remember reading the "Modern Love" column that inspired this terrific book and thinking, "Wow- that is true love!" When I heard that the column was expanded into a book, I had to read it.

    I have a very good friend who has also undergone the same transplant. She has had kidney problems for over 20 years, and I didn't truly understand everything that she had gone through until I read Angela's book.

    It's hard to believe that people like Charlie exist: a boyfriend who is willing to give up a kidney for his girlfriend. But what is more surprising is the number of other people that Angela knew who were also willing to donate a kidney.

    Donating a kidney is not like giving your friend your car; it's a major surgical procedure and there can be serious complications. It renews your faith in humanity, and certainly says something about what a good person Angela is to have so many people willing to sacrifice for her.

    At the heart of the book is Charlie and Angela's love story. Charlie's family was understandably wary of this because Charlie was willing to give Angela a kidney, but they did not want to get married. I loved the scene where Charlie tells his family that he is giving Angela a kidney, they reacted like any family would.

    Charlie's recovery from the surgery is difficult, and at a followup doctor visit, the doctor asks him if he would do it again. Charlie says no, he wouldn't, and this devastates Angela.

    Angela decides that she would like to have a baby, and although many doctors tried to discourage her, she finally found one who believed she could do it. Again, Charlie supports her, although he worries about her.

    Moonface is such an honest book, filled with love and joy, humor and pain. Charlie is almost too good to be true, but he is also human. Angela perseveres, not letting her lifelong illness stop her from going after things she wants. They are kooky, sharing a similar goofy sense of humor that gets them through difficult times.

    I also loved her parents, and can't imagine how hard it was for them to live through this, especially her dad, a doctor who couldn't fix his baby girl.

    Balcita writes a crisp book, filled with emotion and I found her quirky chapter titles like "The Celebrated and Adored Royal Filipino Mind Reader" and
    "The Woman Who Swallows Fire and Exhales Angels" amusing.

    It's a beautifully moving true love story that will touch your heart and make you laugh. It would make a wonderful anniversary gift for a young couple.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2011

    Good book but lacked depth

    I was interested in this book as my sister is like Moonface (beginning stages of renal failure). I was hoping for a ton more insight upon reading this book that never came and was often distracted by the typos, missed capital letters, or just incorrect snytax? Overall it was a good read, but I expected more given the author had a Masters in English and obviously knew a lot about the disease. Could have been way longer than 160 pages. Seems they rush to print the book before it had time to fully bake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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