Moonface: A True Romance

Moonface: A True Romance

by Angela Balcita

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061537318
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 222
Sales rank: 994,874
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

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.”

Customer Reviews

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Moonface: A True Romance 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
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.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A memoir about renal failure, dialysis, and kidney transplants (multiple) can't possibly be funny, can it? This one can. It is funny and sweet and entertaining. Opening with Balcita and boyfriend/eventual husband Charlie's schtick about their matching side scars, the reader hears the patter they've developed to explain how Charlie donated a kidney to Angela. A neat deflection that answers questions briefly, avoids pity or unwanted sympathy, and keeps the fact of Charlie's donation to Angela from becoming the stuff of treacle, this thread of performance runs through each of the three acts of the memoir.The first act tells the story of how Balcita, as an 18 year old, found herself in total renal failure because of kidney disease. It covers her life, Charlie's life, her first kidney transplant, their meeting and evolving relationship, the failure of her first transplant, and Charlie's decision to offer her one of his kidneys. The second act covers the donation and all of the emotional repercussions of it. The third act chronicles the next stage in their life together, including Balcita's overwhelming desire to have a baby despite the risks for her as a kidney transplant patient.Without making light of the gravity of her situation, Balcita manages to infuse the memoir with a hopefulness and sweetness that allow the love that shines between she and Charlie to take center stage here. The humor almost masks, but doesn't quite, the fear and the pain that are always in the back of Balcita's (and Charlie's) mind as she monitors her health and whether her donated kidney continues to function as it should. She includes doubts and fears and misunderstandings that they faced seperately and as a couple so that they never become caricatures of real people. Their partnership is strong and enviable but it has all the normal bumps and bruises and Balcita does a good job showing their specialness but also their normality.The book is a very quick read as readers follow along wanting to know what drives Charlie to donate his kidney, whether they will ultimately end up married, if the kidney continues to function, whether they can have a baby, and what happens when a dream, the best dream of all, jeopardizes reality. At one point Balcita says that she doesn't understand the image of giving someone your heart to represent love. In her case, the ultimate gift has, of course, been the receipt of a kidney, a literal piece of the body, the biggest declaration of love possible. Memoir readers will definitely enjoy this upbeat tale of love and family and kidneys.
bookchickdi on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
GRgenius on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Angela is a girl who knows what she wants in life; her dreams and aspirations echoing so many others round the world. Gain an education, find love, and make lasting friendships. There is one however that sets her a bit apart from the crowd. One wish that she would rather not have on her list of wants and desires; one hope that if given the chance, she¿d gladly erase from her "things I want in life" tally with a smile upon her face. That deep seeded wish¿for her recently transplanted kidney to remain healthy and strong. Unfortunately, the things we want most don¿t always come true¿and yet even in those darker times all hope is not lost. In fact, sometimes the best things in life are discovered at the most inopportune moments and in the discoverer¿s eyes their value increases ten fold for it. The touching story of one woman¿s life, love, and search to find herself¿.with a transplant or two along the way. The unique part about this particular memoir is that while the topical issue being dealt with is kidney failure, in all its not-so-glorious and heart-wrenching moments, the heart of the book lies in the sharing of how life came to be where it is now and where it seems to be headed. It¿s about more than a disease; it¿s about a life lived to its fullest with a disease tagging along.Ms. Balcita had a hard journey with multiple medical interventions along the way to stave off the end her health was bringing her to. At times crushing in its intensity, her delivery still remains light with a comedic touch much like the ¿routines¿ her and her husband put on from time to time when delivering their story to a crowd. Why the theatrics? Well, laughter IS the best medicine after all. Why not leave people with a smile? You would think that would be hard to do with all she endures, but it¿s pulled off with great success making this a story to remember. Recommended read for older teens through adult readers. This story, while not a fairytale come true, is in fact about seeing the wonder of life unfold despite the circumstances thrown your way. Happy reading...
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Probably 4.5 stars, but I'm willing to round up.By far, the thing that sticks with me from Moonface is the author's voice. She has a way of writing that is funny without being comic, that makes her feel like someone that would be really interesting to know, and that I was getting to know her through her book. She was funny and very human. And yes, she was an interesting character, beyond being an interesting person. She faced real challenges (She had kidney disease that caused her kidneys to fail, and she received a transplant from her brother, and when that failed, another transplant from her then boyfriend). She also faced the normal challenges of deciding what to do with her life-- college, working, relationships, whether to become a mother. Her illness runs through these decisions, complicating them but not defining them.The other characters provided spots of color and interest in a story that was clearly about the author herself. Arguably, I should have gotten to know Charlie more deeply than I did, but on the other hand, that might have distracted from the focus, which led to a very coherent narrative. I liked the glimpse into the life of her Filipino family, Charlie's Irish/German one, and the friends they made along the way.While Charlie's character may not have fully come through, their romance does. Their love comes through in small ways and in big ones, through fun and carefree times, through misunderstandings and through large challenges.I'm looking forward to Angela Balcita's next book, although I hope her life is not eventfully enough to lead to another memoir!
WenGut More than 1 year ago
This was a super book! Hilarious, awesome, sad, redeeming...a MUST read! I hope she writes more;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
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.
Loreen Studley More than 1 year ago
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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