REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Face by Amy Harmon

405 Pages

Digital copies: 99 cents!!!

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Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

First of all, let me say WOW. This book is incredible. I couldn’t put it down. I know it has over 10,000 ratings on Goodreads, but I wonder if the author knows that she created a truly special story.

I laughed, I cried, I giggled. When I picked up this ebook for 99 cents, (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!) I had no idea how much would affect me. Sale or no sale, Making Faces is worth your money and every second of the time you spend reading it.

What a beautiful story. I think Amy Harmon might be my hero. I haven’t felt this invested in a story since I read The Fault in our Stars. So, way to go, Amy! You’re awesome!

The Characters

FERN – I loved Fern. She was nerdy and uncertain, yet so altruistic that it was impossible not to root for her. With red hair and freckles, and shorter than a fifth grader, she was a loveable, believable character from the start. I enjoyed watching her grow from her Ugly Girl Syndrome into someone confident and strong.

BAILEY – Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He’s wheel chair bound since the age of 11 due to Muscular Dystrophy. He and Fern are inseparable, but Bailey is unforgettable. With a fresh outlook on life and a killer sense of humor, he often stole the show.

AMBROSE – I have a thing for tortured souls, and Ambrose Young is the ultimate tortured male lead. (In fact, when I bought the book, I worried I wouldn’t like it just because it had a hot, half-naked guy on the cover. It drew me in, and then I was SO GLAD it wasn’t a smutty romance!)

Ambrose…where do I begin? He’s an all-star wrestler in high school. He’s the champ of the town (and did I mention hot?). Everyone knows and loves Ambrose, but he always feels at risk of letting them down. So when the army recruiter comes to their school, Ambrose finally sees his way out.

This has somehow veered from Ambrose to the plot—try to keep up. A lot of the book takes place in 2001 and Ambrose’s decision revolves around the World Trade Center bombings. The author’s description of the students watching the news in class? Spot on. I was a sophomore in high school when this happened and it took me back to watching in horror as the second plane crashed into the tower and then their inevitable collapse.

This event, along with Ambrose’s increasing anxiety over pleasing the town prompts him to join the military.

At this point, he’s had a little contact with Fern and it wasn’t too pleasant. Suffice it to say that they both left the situation a bit mortified. Still—he can’t stop thinking about Fern while he’s in Iraq.

Then the unthinkable happens. Beautiful Ambrose Young gets half his face blown off by an IED in Iraq. An IED that takes the life of four of his friends.

I’m going to stop the book report there because watching the story unfold is lovely. Every character has a purpose – even the tiny secondary characters were developed enough to make me cry. This book was like ripping off someone’s skin and seeing inside.

I. Loved. Every. Second.

Another thing that did me in was the innocence. It was a stripped down, raw kind of innocent, but so true in its observations. I don’t even know if that statement made sense.

I believed it, though. The heartache, the hope, the impossible grief of losing someone you love and the gaping hole that’ll never be filled.

Getting back to the innocence thing – Amy is a very clean writer. I don’t know how she manages to fill her books with so much honesty when they’re so inoffensive!

Amy Harmon. Amy, Amy, Amy…what have you done to me??

I guess I could list some of the things I liked, instead of just rambling incoherently.

Things I Liked:
*The gentle use of religion throughout the book.
*The beach scene with Ambrose, Fern, and Bailey.
*Ambrose working in a bakery. There is something so adorable about a big, sexy, sexy man making cupcakes.
*Fern writing romance novels.
*Ambrose’s stepfather. This man—I felt so awful and so inspired by him.
*Fern’s father, the pastor. If I could imagine a perfect pastor, it was this guy. Too bad there’s none around here like him.
*Bailey and everything about Bailey. He reminded me a lot of Owen Meany, except a bit older.
*Fern and Ambrose’s question game.
*The honesty and patience it took for Fern and Ambrose to fall in love.

You need this book in your life. It’s a masterpiece.

5 STARS

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One thought on “REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

  1. Pingback: MY BEST BOOKS OF 2014! | Kacey Vanderkarr

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