When you design your baby's face on a computer it becomes harder to recognize your own.
How much is your Face worth?
Schuyler and Madeleine Burroughs have the perfect Face—rich and powerful enough to assure their dominance in society.
But in Schuyler and Maddie’s household, cracks are beginning to appear. Schuyler is bored and taking risks. Maddie is becoming brittle, her happiness ever more fleeting. And their menial is fighting the most bizarre compulsions.
In Face, skin color is an aesthetic choice designed by professionals, consent is a pre-checked box on the path to social acceptance, and your online profile isn’t just the most important thing—it’s the only thing.
An Amazon Editors’ Pick!
A Polygon Most Anticipated Summer Read!
A Buzzfeed Best Book of August!
A Chicago Review of Books Must Read!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
West sets her smart but flawed dystopian debut in a heavily surveilled society obsessed with image, status, and social media. A series of vignettes from myriad viewpoints spotlight how the members of the high-status Burroughs family—husband Schuyler, wife Madeleine, and daughters Reyna and Naomi—become the targets of admiration and envy, and how the attention gradually affects them. Teenage Tam plans to feed off Schuyler's influence by wooing Reyna; Jake, an artificially created menial, develops a forbidden attraction to Madeleine; and couple Tonia and Eduardo's decision to have a designer baby involves the Burroughs' connections. Everyone wants to use the Burroughs, and the family fractures under the pressure. West's crisp, introspective tale succeeds in highlighting the negative side of popularity and power, with her society, a near-future reflection of the present, relying on genetic engineering and highly curated online presences to create picture-perfect self-images. The technique of revisiting scenes and conversations from multiple perspectives creates the sensation of spiraling closer and closer to a central point, which unfortunately never becomes fully clear as events fizzle and plot threads are left dangling. West delivers plenty of creepy, weird, and insightful ideas about privacy, power, and performance for readers to chew on, she just doesn't quite stick the landing.