Making Faces by Amy Harmon
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press; originally self-published
Publication Date: February 21, 2017; originally October 12, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, War/Military
Ambrose Young was beautiful. 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.
“Victory is in the Battle.”
I’m going to make this short. Mostly because I don’t think I can write a review that will do this book justice. You should just go buy it, and read it for yourself.
Ripped from the pages of a fairytale, Making Faces is, at its core, a love story. Love between friends. Love between families. Love within a community. And of course, romantic love.
“If you don’t hold me tight, I won’t believe you mean it, and that’s worse than never being held at all.”
I’d never read a book by Amy Harmon before this one. Now, I am a devoted fan. This story is full of heart. I was moved by the love shown between Fern and her cousin, Bailey. The way she cared for him, along with their effortless friendship, even when circumstances seemed at times unbearable, was beautiful. The way Ambrose cared for his friends was palpable throughout the pages of this story. These young men cared deeply for each other, as if they shared the same blood. Their support of one another, even with heavy doses of good-natured teasing, was a wonderful example of friendship.
The characters were honest with themselves; even if it took awhile they eventually got there. They were mature, while still acting their age. The relationships shown between child and parent are uplifting and touching.
“… you see beauty in me because you are beautiful, not because I am.”
In it’s essence, this is the story of two people. One who believes she’s unremarkable; the other believes he’s unlovable. Through unimaginable heartache and trials, they find each other, learn from one another, and teach each other. Together they discover that everyone, even a so-called unremarkable girl and a disfigured boy, is worthy of love.
This book is recommended for anyone aged 13+. Just because it’s categorized as ‘young adult,’ please don’t let that stop you from reading it if you are over the age of 18!
I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.