Review: At Face Value {Emily Franklin}

At Face Value

In this modern love story, Cyrano de Bergerac is reinvented as a brilliant seventeen-year-old girl. A tennis champion and editor of the school paper, Cyrie Bergerac has learned to live with her peculiar proboscis. And she's got an armory of witty retorts for every schnoz joke that comes her way. 

But despite her talents and charm, Cyrie is convinced that no guy would deem her crush-worthy. Certainly not Eddie "Rox" Roxanninoff, who's gorgeous, smart, and genuinely nice to boot!
There's someone else smitten with Rox, too. It's Leyla, Cyrie's pretty yet tongue-tied best friend. Helping Leyla seduce Rox through email provides a wonderful way for Cyrie to express her true feelings. But watching her crush hook up with Leyla may be more than she can take. 


Cyrie is not perfectly gorgeous, as is stereotypical of many YA heroines, and, more than that, she's actually three-dimensional. The girl has layers! Sure, she's snappy and sometimes a bit too aggressive when it comes to defending herself but, honestly, which of us wouldn't love to have the guts to tell bullies where to stick it?

Cyrie doesn't let herself get put down by the girls at school and instead she just slings insults back proving that, even though she may not be as traditionally pretty as they are, she's a hell of a lot smarter. Plus I loved how she was always correcting people on their grammar because, as someone who can't help but do the same I really laughed when Leyla got agitated by it.

More than that though, Cyrie's genuinely nice and loyal to her friends and, despite her head-over-heels love for Eddie, when she finds out her best friend likes him she sets her feelings aside and tries to help. Yes, things go a bit pear-shaped, but you've got to admire the girl for letting her own feelings take a back seat.

Eddie was a great guy and I could definitely understand the attraction, but he was slightly stereotypical. Saying that, Eddie really came to life on the page, in such a way that I actually didn't mind any clich├ęs. He was smart and funny and friends with everyone despite their social standing. He didn't judge Cyrie for her looks or her status and remained close friends with her despite what everyone else said. Plus he encouraged Cyrie to rise above the crap she was getting at school and just to be a good person.

But where Eddie really scored points was at the end. Once he found out it was Cyrie that had been emailing him he didn't fill the final chapters of the book with unnecessary drama that was sure to be resolved in just a few pages. Instead he was happy, pleased he'd found someone he connected with. And all he wanted was to let Cyrie know that he felt the same. So well done, Eddie, you've made it onto my cool list!

Franklin's style was straight-up and authentic. She crafted a multitude of well-rounded characters, all of whom had their own personalities and stories. Though the writing is casual, Cyrie's narrative is intelligent and entertaining and, every now and again, Franklin hits gold.

"In the safety of the dark auditorium, I look at the profiles of other people, the curve or flatness of their faces, their mouths open or closed while they watch Eddie give his speech. I stare at their noses and know that, with the lights out, I can almost blend in."


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.