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Amy Harmon – Making Faces

Title: Making faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Genres: Romance, Military, Young adult
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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 little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

I don’t know why I waited so long before reading this book but it was a serious mistake on my part. Making Faces is a soothing balm for my battered and reading slump ridden little self. After reading this I can throw myself into my pile of TBR with a newfound energy and determination.

It was not a secret that Amy Harmon can write she proved her talent again and again so that aspect of the book didn’t surprise me at all. She has a fluid, clean and artistic style that makes it impossible to put down the book before you finished with it. It’s really easy to read no matter the topic, and the emotional charge of the story simply radiates off the pages. This particular story is simply beautiful, honest and pure without over dramatized or over complicated elements. There is such a tragic shadow over the plot yet I somehow only focused on the good and endearing parts of it. This was an amazing reading experience the storyline, the phenomenal characters and the little hidden messages that are littered thorough the book, it just give you the complete package. I don’t say that it’s perfect because for example I could have liked if the plot is a bit more energetic yet I can’t complain. Surprisingly the somber atmosphere that it creates doesn’t bother me either.
As I mentioned earlier there are a lot of hidden meaning behind this story and the titles of the chapters carries something more, too. It took me for a while but I figured it out and they suddenly made way more sense.

The story is full of different personalities but it concentrates more on the humble ones. There are Fern and Ambrose whom probably are the ones titled as the main characters. They are so similar yet different at the same time. Fern is a pure, honest and caring soul but she is really insecure and not without reasons. She is not the most beautiful girl in town but she never complains, she takes what she got even if deep inside it hurts her. I really like her personality, her loyalty and determination, the way she see things.
Ambrose is more down to earth than most of the talented, beautiful athlete characters in books but after his accident it turns out he has some of their characteristics too. It is his recently discovered vanity that makes him doubt his worth and others intentions. He starts to see the world in a completely different light and gains a deeper understanding of life and what truly matters in it.
Maybe this is the love story of Fern and Ambrose, yet I world still say that Bailey has the most significant role in it. His strength is admirable and he is practically the guiding light for the other characters. He teaches them the important things with the way he lives his ‘doomed’ life to the fullest. I absolutely loved him and I even shed a couple of tears on his behalf.

“I just explained to you how I can’t go to bathroom by myself. I have to depend on my mother to pull down my pants, blow my freakin’ nose, put deodorant on my armpits. And to make matters worse, when I went to school, I had to rely on someone to help me there too, with almost every damn thing. It was embarrassing. It was frustrating. But it was necessary! I have no pride left, Ambrose!” Bailey said. “No pride. But it was my pride or my life. I had to choose. So do you. You can have your pride and sit here and make cupcakes and get old and fat and nobody will give a damn after a while. Or you can trade that pride in for a little humility and take your life back.”

“Have you ever stared at a painting so long that the colors blur and you can’t tell what you’re looking at anymore? There’s no form, face, or shape–just color, just swirls of paint?” Fern spoke again, and Ambrose let his eyes rest on the face that had once filled his memory in a faraway place, a place that most days he would rather forget.
Bailey and Ambrose were silent, finding new faces in the clouds.
“I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straight teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the dimple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning.”


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