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Moonface: A True Romance

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  42 reviews
“Angela Balcita's love story takes a couple of artsy wanderers off the road and into the bright, scary world of transplants, dialysis, and neonatal intensive care.” —Marion Winik, author of The Glen Rock Book of the Dead

From the pages of the New York Times’ Modern Love column comes one woman’s moving and uproarious story of how love and laughter rescued her from life-threa
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Harper Perennial (first published January 14th 2011)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  187 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gmr by: Harper Perennial
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 re ...more
Laura de Leon
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 fai
Tara Chevrestt
This is a memoir written by a woman who has a kidney disease. I won't get into all the medical jargon that none of us can spell or pronounce, but just try to sum it up real quick.

Angela's kidney began failing her when she was in College. It would no longer clean her blood. Her brother stepped in and gave her his kidney. Ten years later, she rejects the kidney and has to go on dialysis. By this point, she is with Charlie.

Charlie is a really likable guy. He remains positive when Angela gets down
Jim Gleason
As the title suggests, Angela’s book is truly a young couple’s modern day love story with her three times failing kidney health challenges, a knight in shining armor who supports his love for her in both words and action. In the final chapters, there is a beautiful happy ending as they (now a family of three) ride off to face the future.
An easy engaging read, this is a living kidney donation first hand account of how it is supposed to work and how it sometimes turns out to be more complex than a
Shwe Phue
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was an amazing adventure, it allowed the readers to experience all the tragedies of having a disease without having to go through all the burdens. I randomly chose it for my English class and I did not regret it at all. A story that had me in tears continuously is not rare but this was special to me, a really stupid reason, because it is one of the only non-fiction books I've ever read. I highly recommend it if you have a sensitive heart.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I know it’s been said again and again, but reviewing memoirs is such a difficult thing to do; the contents of these books are the authors’ actual lives, so to critique them in any way just seems wrong. Anyway, it’s been a few days since I finished this one and I’ve had time to let it simmer in my mind. While I didn’t at all dislike the book while I was reading it, I do feel that it took time to mull it over for a while to really appreciate it. This is probably because I had all these outrageous ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
First and foremost thanks to Erica at Harper Perennial for sending me a copy of this for review!

I'm not a big fan of memoirs or non-fiction, for that matter, but I flew through the pages of this little book. I couldn't put it down! When I first read the synopsis of this one, I was rather intrigued mostly due to the fact that my own mother has had a pancreas transplant that failed, so I was curious to read about Angela Balcita's own experience. Not only that, but it seemed like the makings of a
June Morgan
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Moonface is the very touching autobiographical account of Angela Balcita's determination to live life to the fullest despite the difficulties she encountered with the failure of her kidneys. In her freshman year in college, she has to return home because of the failure of her kidneys to function. You live with her turmoil of the disruption kidney disease causes her loving family. She receives her first donor kidney from her brother. It is a successful surgery enabling her to return to school whe ...more
Chocolate & Croissants
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Moonface is a memoir and romance rolled into one. It is about the most selfless gift a person could give another, their kidney.

During her first year in college, Author Balcita becomes ill. As the child of a physician her parents summon her home where she enters the world of medical tests and kidney transplant and dialyses. This book is not for the faint of heart. This poor women has had more than one kidney tranplant. Her first kidney was donated by her brother. She then received a second kidne
Kelsey Whing
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
“You know, Charlie, I don’t know why the heart is classically defined as the symbol of love. No way! I say the kidneys! You’re born with two: one to keep and one to share. You can’t literally give someone your heart.”

This is just one interesting point in Angela Balcita’s Moonface that made me think a little after reading it. This book was a rather interesting read. It deals with the serious issue of kidney failure and the difficulties surrounding kidney transplants. Balcita writes this as a memo
Natalie Shawver
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
When it comes to hope, Angela Balcita has more than most. First needing a kidney transplant as a teenager, and then again ten years after that, she was nothing less than brave. Receiving her first transplant from her brother and her second from her boyfriend (later turned husband), this story made me realize how there truly are good people out there in this big bad world, even today; willing to give of an organ so someone near and dear to them can have life extended says so much about their char ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

I loved reading this bitter sweet story about two yo
Rachel Jessen
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this today during spring break while the kids had friends to play with -- it felt like vacation, alrighty!
The thing I kept thinking about as I read this medical story was HOW did they pay for all her medical bills? Were the parents/inlaws wealthy? Did they go on Medicaid? They seemed to have very good health insurance, or at least the author really didn't describe worrying about how her treatments were covered. In America, financing a major chronic illness has got to be expensive. I know
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Apparently expanded from Angela's Balcita's "Modern Love" column in the NY Times, this memoir is a bit scattered and suffers from not being in chronological order. But Balcita -- who has a MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa -- is a good writer and shares the story about her kidney disease and transplant (from her boyfriend) with unflinching honesty, with the love between the duo clearly evident on each page.
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an odd account of Angela's life. I thought that it would be a great romance novel to read, but the romance isn't fairy tale like, it is very real and down to earth. The story of Angela's journey is quite intriguing. You feel for her, but yet you see her inner strength and how Charlie brings out the best in her.
Janice Crespo
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Put this book on preorder - goes to sale in February and is very enjoyable to read. True Romance takes you thru health and comedy and shows you that yes, good people still do exist in this world. When things get unbearable, comedy takes over and shows you a way thru the toughest times! Definitely put this one on your reading list!
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
She is a great writer, but this interesting story didn't have enough of the passionate detail that I like. I love that it is non-fiction. I just prefer more intimacies about human emotion and drive. I love her quirky writing style, just wish she'd offered more of the why's to what she did/felt.
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not a bad read, but I didn't find it hilarious. Not even mildly amusing, although I was told over and over again how funny the people in the story really are. Apparently that didn't translate in the written form.
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I didn't get through this medical memoir, because it gave the impression of consisting in large part of visits to doctors and hospitals and hard-to-read descriptions of being in pain from kidney disease. But the true story behind it is interesting: receiving a donated kidney from your husband.
Jenn Stein
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This book reads very easily, but it's very hard to critique a memoir. I honestly feel like this story would be most interesting to those that personally know Angela and her husband. That being said, it really is a beautiful love story.
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Actually 4.5/5

From my book review blog Rundpinne..."Moonface is a beautiful story of love, illness, and family."....My full review may be read here.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Another true story - very interesting subject matter (girl gets kidney transplant from her boyfriend) but I'm not really getting to know or understand the characters. I'll stick with it - because I'm curious and stubborn.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read. It's a story of the author's struggle with kidney disease and her boyfriend's decision to donate a kidney to her. The book follows their relationship from beginning to present. Very well written, charming and funny.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was just a fresh read! Its super cute and kept me stuck in it til i finished a few short hours later! I did not want put it down. Shes a brave person with so many loving people surrounding her! THIS IS TRULY A ROMANCE!!!
Mar 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Sophomoric. It's ironic that a good writer can take a simple story and make it great, and this woman has an advanced degree in nonfiction writing and took her own intriguing story and made it so boring.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book after reading a review about in in a magazine. A great story of what love and a fighting attitude can do for someone! She's one hell of a fighter!
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
There wasn't anyhing special about how this story was written. Easy to get through but not worth the time.
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
A quick and wonderful story about love.
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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."