Friday, July 11, 2014

REVIEW: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Title/Series: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Published: October 12th 2013
Genre: YA/NA, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Format: eBook | Pages: 405
Source: Amazon
★★★★★ (5/5) Stars!!!

Amy Harmon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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.

I hadn't even heard about this book until this past weekend when I stopped by my friend Jessica's STS post. She had a very short one with only two books, one of them being Making Faces and I liked the cover so I looked it up. I don't think I even got through the entire summary and my heart was going crazy and I needed to buy this book. There's no other way to put it. It was need. I quickly rushed to Amazon, purchased and started it immediately. 

I seem to be having this major burst of good luck when it comes to the books I'm reading lately. Which makes me feel like I'm being repetitive when I say once again, I. Loved. This. Book. I don't think I've ever felt anything so deeply, I also don't think I've ever really cried as much as I did with Making Faces. Truly in a good cry sort of way. In the best way possible, this book left me completely shattered. I did end up having to stop once, at around 85% for an entire day because I just couldn't deal with all of the emotions. And the constant tears.

We basically have two stories going on within this book. There's the story from the summary, but running parallel to that and equally as important to the book as a whole, is another storyline that is filled with just as much humor, warmth, grief and tragedy. You really get hit with the feels from all sides here. Both of the storylines were written absolutely beautifully.

She had floated through childhood without drama and with little fanfare, grounded in a perfect awareness of her own mediocrity.

I feel like, at this point, Fern is probably one of my all time favorite FMCs. What she lacks in self confidence, she seems to make up for in this never ending well of optimism. She was just so sweet and genuine. She had me under her spell from the very beginning and that's so very rare for me. She was the type of person to see the beauty in just about everything. And also to see that sometimes a beautiful package can contain something so very ugly and slippery inside. 

"I'll add you to my list," Ambrose promised suddenly, his eyes holding Bailey's in the mirror. "When the time comes, I'll write your name across my heart with the others."

Ambrose has everything going for him, yet he's still this really humble guy. Even before being changed physically and emotionally by war. Star of the wrestling team, the pressures on him by the entire town were really starting to weigh him down. Enlisting was a way to escape the pressures for him. He wasn't ready to go off to college and be the town golden boy. He got swept up in the moment and I don't think the possibility really comes to mind that you could be the only one of your friends to make it home from that. If you even come home at all.

"He left us sooner than we wanted him to, but that's how life is. We don't get to choose when we go or how we go. None of us do."

The thing about Making Faces is it's not just this incredibly moving love story. It has that and it's sweet and innocent. A refreshing change. I mean, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy my steamy and sometimes smutty reads. Though this book, and Fern and Ambrose, still did make me swoon, it was more of a YA type of swoon. It was perfect.. But it goes so much deeper than the love story. It's also about friendship and strength. Dealing with tragedy and loss. Embracing the imperfections that life deals you. Whether it's being born with a crippling disease, overcoming loss and disfigurement, or even growing up feeling quite unremarkable and plain. And a great lesson on the fact that what's inside of a person and who they truly are, is what makes them beautiful.

"Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way it all turns out. Maybe the miracles we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don't recognize the blessings that come as a result of the terrible things."

I think I should just leave it at this. It's been very hard to express what I'm feeling after reading this. And short of opening myself up so you could see inside all the beautiful emotions that this book stirred up in me, I don't think I'm going to find it any easier to articulate my feelings than what I've put down so far. I keep using this phrase but this book truly is beautiful and I feel like everyone should read it at some point. It's going to take a really incredible book to even come close to how this one made me feel and it deserves far more than 5 stars in my opinion.

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1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear you loved this one. I have it on my Kindle and I've been waiting to read it. Gonna bump it up the list now that I see your review.