For a variety of reasons, I have recently been attempting to improve my knowledge of teen literature. I feel it will be useful when approaching my own writing and I also find the role that it can play in an individual’s development to be fascinating. Louis Sachar’s The Boy Who Lost his Face is one of the books I decided to read to get me started.
It was pleasant to discover some more of Louis Sachar’s work, having previously only ever read Holes. The novel is ingeniously well structured, extremely entertaining and engages with some difficult issues that teenagers are often faced with. Sachar looks at peer pressure, the nature of friendship, the cultivation of identity and the fact that one’s behaviour has inevitable consequences for those around you.
One feature of the book that I particularly liked was the way that Sachar was able to portray the imaginary and exaggerated world view that teenagers and young adults so frequently maintain in their own heads, whilst succeeding in underpinning that imaginary plot line with more concrete and feasible details. The inevitable climactic finale of the novel occurs when these two threads realign at the end of the novel…. spoiler alert.